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TED Talks Society and Culture
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TED Talks Society and Culture

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Thought-provoking videos about life and being human, with ideas from business leaders, psychologists and researchers speaking onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.
305 Episodes
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The coronavirus brought much of the world to a standstill, dropping carbon emissions by five percent. Al Gore says keeping those rates down is now up to us. In this illuminating interview, he discusses how the steadily declining cost of wind and solar energy will transform manufacturing, transportation and agriculture, offer a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear energy and create millions of new jobs. Stay tuned for a lively debate about geoengineering and hear Gore's thoughts about how humanity can create a clean, prosperous future through a focused global effort and a generation of young people committed to change. (This virtual conversation, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded June 23, 2020.)
Offering a vision of Afghanistan that goes beyond what's often depicted in the media, President Ashraf Ghani shares his thoughts on peacemaking, the true cost of war, the nation's COVID-19 response strategy and the sweeping economic and social reforms happening throughout the country. "The ultimate goal is a sovereign, democratic, united Afghanistan at peace with itself and the world," he says. (This virtual conversation, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded June 16, 2020.)
Colonialism remains an inescapable blight on the present, lingering in the toxic, internalized mythologies and stereotypes that have outlived the regimes that created them, says historian Farish Ahmad-Noor. Examining why these prejudices and narratives persist (and sometimes thrive), he suggests a multidisciplinary approach to reject cultural obsessions with romanticized history and prevent this nostalgia from perpetuating past oppressions.
Our brains create categories to make sense of the world, recognize patterns and make quick decisions. But this ability to categorize also exacts a heavy toll in the form of unconscious bias. In this powerful talk, psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt explores how our biases unfairly target Black people at all levels of society -- from schools and social media to policing and criminal justice -- and discusses how creating points of friction can help us actively interrupt and address this troubling problem.
Everyone experiences loss, but how do you cope with the tough moments that follow? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone shares three hard-won strategies for developing the capacity to brave adversity, overcome struggle and face whatever may come head-on with fortitude and grace.
After the devastating rebel invasion of Freetown in 1999 and the Ebola epidemic in 2014, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of the city, refused to be paralyzed by her frustration with the status quo. Instead, she used her anger as a catalyst for action. In this inspiring talk, she shares how she transformed her city by taking the risks necessary to bring about dramatic change -- and shows how you can find power in your dissatisfaction.
There is no such thing as being "not racist," says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, he defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and personal beliefs. Learn how you can actively use this awareness to uproot injustice and inequality in the world -- and replace it with love. (This virtual interview, hosted by TED's current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and speaker development curator Cloe Shasha, was recorded June 9, 2020.)
Flags are one of the simplest yet most powerful pieces of design ever conceived. They can make us swell with pride, burn with hatred -- and even inspire people to die or kill in their name, says vexillologist Michael Green. Take a brief walk through history as Green explores the symbolic fervor behind flags that unify and divide, inviting us to imagine a future where we can come together under one collective identity: humanity.
The presence and visibility of a movement can often lead us to believe that progress is inevitable. But building power and changing the system requires more than conversations and retweets, says Rashad Robinson, the president of Color Of Change. To create material change in the racist systems that enable and perpetuate violence against Black communities, Robinson shares how we can translate the energy of global protests into specific demands, actions and laws -- and hold those in power accountable to them. "This is the time for white allies to stand up in new ways, to do the type of allyship that truly dismantles structures, not just provides charity," Robinson says. "You can't sing our songs, use our hashtags and march in our marches if you are on the other end supporting the structures that put us in harm's way, that literally kill us." (This video, excerpted from a panel featuring Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Dr. Bernice King and Anthony D. Romero, was recorded June 3, 2020. Watch the full discussion at go.ted.com/endingracism)
The bill has come due for the unpaid debts the United States owes its Black residents, says Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, CEO of the Center for Policing Equity (CPE). But we're not going to get to where we need to go just by reforming law enforcement. In addition to the work that CPE is known for -- working with police departments to use their own data to improve relationships with the communities they serve -- Goff and his team are encouraging cities to take money from police budgets and instead invest it directly in public resources for the community. (This video, excerpted from a panel featuring Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King and Anthony D. Romero, was recorded June 3, 2020. Watch the full discussion at go.ted.com/endingracism)
In a time of mourning and anger over the ongoing violence inflicted on Black communities by police in the US and the lack of accountability from national leadership, what is the path forward? Sharing urgent insights into this historic moment, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King and Anthony D. Romero discuss dismantling the systems of oppression and racism responsible for tragedies like the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and far too many others -- and explore how the US can start to live up to its ideals. (This discussion, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was recorded on June 3, 2020.)
Veterans in the United States take their own lives at an alarming rate. Suggesting new ways to prioritize mental health in the military, veterans advocate Charles P. Smith offers a data-driven plan to help prevent suicide and ensure service members get proper care before, during and after active duty.
You speak far more languages than you realize, says Poet Ali. In a profound talk, he reveals how the idea of "language" goes far beyond a lexicon of words, communicating universal experiences like love, laughter and loneliness -- and serving as a portal to cultures, feelings and thoughts that unite us all.
Many countries have an active, centuries-old law that allows government agencies to take your things -- your house, your car, your business -- without ever convicting you of a crime. Law researcher Dick M. Carpenter II exposes how this practice of civil forfeiture threatens your rights and creates a huge monetary incentive for law enforcement to pocket your possessions -- and he lays out a path to end "policing for profit" once and for all.
Racism makes our economy worse -- and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential -- and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much to remain divided."
There's a simple and powerful way to confront the world's most pressing crises, says women's rights activist Yifat Susskind: think like a mother. As she puts it: "When you think like a mother, you prioritize the needs of the many, not the whims of the few." Follow along as she shares moving stories of people around the world who embody this mindset -- and shows how it can also help you see beyond suffering and act to build a better world.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks offers thoughts on how we can navigate the coronavirus pandemic with courage, hope and empathy. With wisdom and clarity, he speaks on leadership, fear, death, hope and how we could use this moment to build a more just world. Watch for a special, impromptu prayer about halfway through the conversation. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and head of curation Helen Walters. Recorded March 30, 2020)
Author Priya Parker shares tools for creating meaningful connections with friends, family and coworkers during the coronavirus pandemic -- and shows how we can take advantage of gatherings that are unique to this moment of social distancing. "We don't necessarily need to gather more," she says. "We need to gather better." (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 27, 2020)
"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David. In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to listeners' questions from across the globe, she offers ways to talk to your children about their emotions, keep focus during the crisis and help those working on the front lines. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 23, 2020)
Farmers keep us fed and our economies stable, but in the US they're retiring faster than they're being replaced. Take a crash course in agricultural policy with Eric Sannerud to see why this problem can't be solved by simply buying from your local farmer's market -- and learn how you can use your vote to create a better future for farmers.
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Comments (11)

Thomas George

Helpful

May 19th
Reply

Ahmed LIMEM

So funny, we live in a strange world that can no longer be caricatured!

Jan 22nd
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KateSos75

love this! it's similar to mindset: growth v fixed

Aug 7th
Reply (1)

Jason Huntley

The f was for female which the medical professional put there because of her vagina.

Nov 14th
Reply

Jason Huntley

A talk that could have been good motivational speech, had it not been full of false beliefs. Reality IS objective... That's absolutely true.

Nov 14th
Reply

Jason Huntley

He should have stayed in seminary, maybe he would have learned what Christians actually believe and suitor stop misrepresenting them. Secular Humanist aren't the majority of first responders to disasters, the Christians are. Humanists aren't the biggest donators to charities, the Christians are. Christians don't dream and hope for something to change, they are active and move.

Nov 8th
Reply (2)

Jo Sutton

Wonderful, inspiring, powerful. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I plan to do a "search and replace" every day and teach my children to do the ssme

Sep 12th
Reply

An Rendell

Amazing.

Feb 20th
Reply
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