Home: TEDTalks

Why we must confront hard historical truths | Hasan Kwame Jeffries To move forward in the United States, we must look back and confront the difficult history that has shaped widespread injustice. Revisiting a significant yet overlooked piece of the past, Hasan Kwame Jeffries emphasizes the need to weave historical context, no matter how painful, into our understanding of modern society -- so we can disrupt the continuum of inequality massively affecting marginalized communities.
3 secrets to Netflix's success | Reed Hastings What does it take to cultivate a culture of innovation and reinvention at work? Tracing his journey from math teacher to honesty-seeking executive, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings describes three key elements of a successful work culture, sharing how to design a company around inspiration, creativity and candor. (This discussion, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded September 4, 2020.)
How your personality shapes your politics | Dannagal G. Young Social psychologist Dannagal G. Young breaks down the link between our psychology and politics, showing how personality types largely fall into people who prioritize openness and flexibility (liberals) and those who prefer order and certainty (conservatives). Hear why both sets of traits are crucial to any society -- and how our differences are being dangerously exploited to divide us. What if things weren't that way?
Why I fight for climate justice | Xiye Bastida In a deeply moving letter to her grandmother, Xiye Bastida reflects on what led her to become a leading voice for global climate activism -- from mobilizing school climate strikes to speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit alongside Greta Thunberg -- and traces her resolve, resilience and profound love of the earth to the values passed down to her. "Thank you for inviting me to love the world since the moment I was born," she says.
Secrets of the mind and free will -- revealed by magic tricks | Alice Pailhs Are you in control of your choices? Magic tricks might reveal otherwise, says scientist and illusionist Alice Pailhs. Watch closely as she performs magic tricks that unveil how your brain works, how you can be subtly influenced and what that means for free will and your day-to-day life. Did she guess your card right?
What role does luck play in your life? | Barry Schwartz Chance plays a far bigger role in life than we're willing to admit, says psychologist Barry Schwartz. Of course, working hard and following the rules can get you far -- but the rest could boil down to simple good fortune. Schwartz examines the overlooked link between luck, merit and success, offering an intriguing solution to equalize opportunity -- starting with college admissions.
Why do we blame individuals for economic crises? | Liene Ozoliņa In 2008, the global financial crisis decimated Latvia. As unemployment skyrocketed, the government slashed public funding and raised taxes, while providing relief to the wealthy and large businesses -- all without backlash or protest from struggling citizens. Sociologist Liene Ozoliņa examines how Latvian officials convinced their people to accept responsibility for the country's failing economy -- and highlights the rise of similar social policies upholding inequality worldwide.
You shouldn't have to choose between filling your prescriptions and paying bills | Kiah Williams As prescription drug costs skyrocket in the US, thousands of people are forced to forgo lifesaving medications -- all while manufacturers and health care facilities systematically destroy perfectly good, surplus pills. Kiah Williams shares how SIRUM -- a nonprofit that delivers unused medications to families who need them most -- plans to drive down prescription prices by recycling almost a billion dollars' worth of medications in the next five years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
The psychology of inequality and political division | Keith Payne "If we want to fix our politics, we have to do something about inequality," says social psychologist Keith Payne. Showing how economic inequality changes the way people see and behave towards one another, Payne helps explain the rise of the political polarization that's slicing up society -- and challenges us to think twice the next time we dismiss someone for the sake of politics.
How to win an argument (at the US Supreme Court, or anywhere) | Neal Katyal The secret to winning an argument isn't grand rhetoric or elegant style, says US Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal -- it takes more than that. With stories of some of the most impactful cases he's argued before the Court, Katyal shows why the key to crafting a persuasive and successful argument lies in human connection, empathy and faith in the power of your ideas. "The question is not how to win every argument," he says. "It's how to get back up when you do lose."
A lesson in turning adversaries into allies | Leah Garcs When you're on opposite sides of an issue, how do you broker peace with your adversaries and work together to solve a problem? Follow along as animal rights activist Leah Garcs recounts three lessons she learned in hatching an ambitious plan to end chicken factory farming with the last person she expected: a chicken farmer.
What it takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz What can you do to build a better world? Sharing stories from her pioneering career dedicated to tackling poverty, Jacqueline Novogratz offers three principles to spark and sustain a moral revolution. Learn how you can commit (or recommit) to creating big, positive change in your lifetime -- and give back more to the world than you take from it. "It is in the darkest times that we have the chance to find our deepest beauty," Novogratz says.
Dear Facebook, this is how you're breaking democracy | Yal Eisenstat "Lies are more engaging online than truth," says former CIA analyst, diplomat and Facebook employee Yal Eisenstat. "As long as [social media] algorithms' goals are to keep us engaged, they will feed us the poison that plays to our worst instincts and human weaknesses." In this bold talk, Eisenstat explores how social media companies like Facebook incentivize inflammatory content, contributing to a culture of political polarization and mistrust -- and calls on governments to hold these platforms accountable in order to protect civil discourse and democracy.
4 steps to ending extreme poverty | Shameran Abed At least 400 million people worldwide live in ultra-poverty: a state of severe financial and social vulnerability that robs many of hope and dignity. At BRAC, an international development organization focused on fighting poverty, Shameran Abed and his team have developed a sustainable, multi-faceted program that has already helped millions lift themselves out of poverty and create lives full of possibility. Learn more about their audacious plan to partner with governments to bring this life-changing program to an additional 21 million people in the next six years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
How do daily habits lead to political violence? | Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah What drives someone to commit politically motivated violence? The unsettling answer lies in daily habits. Behavioral historian Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah shares startling insights into how seemingly mundane choices can breed polarization that lead to extreme, even deadly, actions -- and explains how to identify and bypass these behaviors in order to rediscover common ground.