Home: TEDTalks

Why can't we talk about periods? | Jen Gunter "It shouldn't be an act of feminism to know how your body works," says gynecologist and author Jen Gunter. In this revelatory talk, she explains how menstrual shame silences and represses -- and leads to the spread of harmful misinformation and the mismanagement of pain. Declaring the era of the menstrual taboos over, she delivers a clear, much-needed lesson on the once-mysterious mechanics of the uterus.
A path to security for the world's deadliest countries | Rachel Kleinfeld You are more likely to die violently if you live in a middle-income democracy with high levels of inequality and political polarization than if you live in a country at war, says democracy advisor Rachel Kleinfeld. This historical shift in the nature of violence presents an opportunity for everyday voters to act as a great force for change in their unbalanced societies. In this eye-opening talk, Kleinfeld unravels the causes of violence and offers a path to security for the world's deadliest countries.
Why are drug prices so high? Investigating the outdated US patent system | Priti Krishtel Between 2006 and 2016, the number of drug patents granted in the United States doubled -- but not because there was an explosion in invention or innovation. Drug companies have learned how to game the system, accumulating patents not for new medicines but for small changes to existing ones, which allows them to build monopolies, block competition and drive prices up. Health justice lawyer Priti Krishtel sheds light on how we've lost sight of the patent system's original intent -- and offers five reforms for a redesign that would serve the public and save lives.
How supply chain transparency can help the planet | Markus Mutz Given the option, few would choose to buy products that harm the earth -- yet it's nearly impossible to know how most consumer goods are made or where they're sourced from. That's about to change, says supply chain innovator Markus Mutz. He shares how he used blockchain technology to track Patagonian toothfish on their journey from ocean to dinner plate -- and proved it's possible to offer consumers a product they can trust.
How guest worker visas could transform the US immigration system | David J. Bier The United States can create a more humane immigration system; in fact, it's been done before, says policy analyst David J. Bier. Pointing to the historical success of the US guest worker program, which allows foreign workers to legally enter and work in the country, Bier shows why expanding the program to Central Americans could alleviate the border crisis and provide new opportunities for immigrants.
The perks of being a pirate | Tom Nash In this deeply charming and humorous talk, DJ and self-professed pirate Tom Nash meditates on how facing adversity due to disability invited patience, ambition and pragmatism into his life in enlightening, unexpected ways. "We all have unique weaknesses," he says. "If we're honest about what they are, we can learn how to best take advantage of them."
Why "biofabrication" is the next industrial revolution | Suzanne Lee What if we could "grow" clothes from microbes, furniture from living organisms and buildings with exteriors like tree bark? TED Fellow Suzanne Lee shares exciting developments from the field of biofabrication and shows how it could help us replace major sources of waste, like plastic and cement, with sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.
A swarm of mini drones makes ... magic! | Marco Tempest Leading a swarm of small, buzzing flying machines, techno-magician Marco Tempest orchestrates a "cyber illusion" that will have you asking yourself: Was that science or magic?
Climate change will displace millions. Here's how we prepare | Colette Pichon Battle Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 -- a crisis of "climate migration" the world isn't ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this passionate, lyrical talk, she urges us to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration -- and caused it in the first place -- and shares how we can cultivate collective resilience, better prepare before disaster strikes and advance human rights for all.
What a digital government looks like | Anna Piperal What if you never had to fill out paperwork again? In Estonia, this is a reality: citizens conduct nearly all public services online, from starting a business to voting from their laptops, thanks to the nation's ambitious post-Soviet digital transformation known as "e-Estonia." One of the program's experts, Anna Piperal, explains the key design principles that power the country's "e-government" -- and shows why the rest of the world should follow suit to eradicate outdated bureaucracy and regain citizens' trust.
The secret weapon that let dinosaurs take over the planet | Emma Schachner We've all heard the theories on why the dinosaurs died -- but how did they come to dominate the earth for so long in the first place? (Hint: it has nothing to do with their size, speed, spikes or fantastic feathers.) Travel back in time to 200 million years before their extinction with paleontologist Emma Schachner for a breath of fresh air on dinosaur history.
The urgent case for antibiotic-free animals | Leon Marchal The UN predicts that antimicrobial resistance will be our biggest killer by 2050. "That should really scare the hell out of all of us," says bioprocess engineer Leon Marchal. He's working on an urgently needed solution: transforming the massive, global animal feed industry. Learn why the overuse of antibiotics in animal products, from livestock feed to everyday pet treats, has skyrocketed worldwide -- and how we can take common-sense measures to stave off a potential epidemic.
The search for dark matter -- and what we've found so far | Risa Wechsler Roughly 85 percent of mass in the universe is "dark matter" -- mysterious material that can't be directly observed but has an immense influence on the cosmos. What exactly is this strange stuff, and what does it have to do with our existence? Astrophysicist Risa Wechsler explores why dark matter may be the key to understanding how the universe formed -- and shares how physicists in labs around the world are coming up with creative ways to study it.
The past, present and future of nicotine addiction | Mitch Zeller Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, killing more people each year than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murder and suicide combined. Follow health policy expert Mitch Zeller into the murky depths of the tobacco industry as he details the sordid history of nicotine addiction -- and invites us to imagine a world where policy change helps stop people from becoming addicted in the first place.
The "opportunity gap" in US public education -- and how to close it | Anindya Kundu How can we tap into the potential of all students, especially those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds? Sociologist Anindya Kundu invites us to take a deeper look at the personal, social and institutional challenges that keep students from thriving in the United States -- and shows how closing this "opportunity gap" means valuing public education for what it really is: the greatest investment in our collective future.