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The TED Interview


Society & Culture, Personal Journals

4.4 • 2.5K Ratings


To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity Sit down with Head of TED Chris Anderson as he interviews leading thinkers and creators from around the world. The TED Interview is a space for guests to further delve into their groundbreaking work, give us a peek into how they discover and explore fascinating ideas, and, in some cases, even defend their thinking. This season, we’re looking at Infectious Generosity. Generosity is at the heart of being human. It's how we've co-operated, innovated and grown as a civilization. Following Chris’s book of the same name, this podcast will dive into the idea that through the power of the internet, small acts of thoughtfulness spread to change lives at a scale never experienced before. Welcome to your front-row seat to great conversations with the world’s brightest minds. And in the spirit of the Infectious Generosity, listeners can receive a free copy of Chris’s book in e-book or audio format. Just visit ted.com/generosity and fill out the short form to receive yours.

106 Episodes

How to solve the world’s biggest problems with Natalie Cargill

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity What if the world’s biggest problems could be solved with just some simple math? Natalie Cargill, the founder of strategic giving consultancy Longview Philanthropy, works on finding funding for the most impactful solutions to global issues. In an exciting chat, Natalie and Chris talk about the numbers on what it takes to solve extreme poverty, how to prevent the next pandemic and what kind of money it takes to mitigate other risks to our planet. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 23 May 2024

How much happiness can 2 million USD buy? with Elizabeth Dunn

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity How much happiness could be gained if more people had access to wealth? Does the relationship between spending money and happiness change when people are in different economic classes? And if chosen randomly, what would YOU do with $10,000? These are questions that Elizabeth Dunn, a social psychologist and professor, posed in a recent study. She researches how people can optimize time, money and technology to maximize their own happiness. In December 2020, TED teamped up with Elizabeth’s researchers to distribute $10,000 to each of 200 random recipients in seven countries to understand how the use of this cash would contribute to their happiness. The end result was fascinating — and at this live event at the TED2024 conference in Vancouver, Elizabeth and Chris dive into the findings. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 16 May 2024

Exercising your generosity like a muscle with John M. Sweeney

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity When John M. Sweeney first read about the old Italian tradition of “café sospeso”, he didn’t know he’d create a viral movement. The simple and powerful idea originates in the working-class cafés of Naples, where generous Neapolitans who could afford to do so would buy two coffees — but consume only one, leaving the other for a less fortunate person to claim. Chris chats with John about why he took this concept from an exploratory Facebook page to the Suspended Coffees movement that now has more than 2,000 participating cafes worldwide. They talk about the profound power of random acts of kindness, the beauty of gifting economies and how the philosophy of generosity can change an entire community – and the world at large. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 9 May 2024

Why true success goes beyond profit with Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani (a company with expected valuation in the billions of USD) claims to be an “anti-CEO” of sorts. That’s because he cares about one thing more than profit — people. Chris asks Hamdi about how he uses his business to make the world better for both employees and customers, the difference between profit and true wealth, and what we can do, in and outside of business, to combat global inequality. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 2 May 2024

How to use your time and money for good — as effectively as possible — with Will MacAskill

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity Will McCaskill is a moral philosopher and the cofounder of the Effective Altruism Movement, a school of thought that tries to answer the question: How can we do as much good as possible? Chris and Will talk about how to use evidence to figure out how to help solve the world’s most pressing problems efficiently. Then, they discuss why focusing our efforts on some issues over others is both a compelling philosophical question — and a complex project to scale up. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 25 April 2024

The healing power of art with Lily Yeh

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity. From Taiwan to Rwanda, artist Lily Yeh has traveled all over the world in pursuit of more than just aesthetic pleasure — and she’s activating local communities on this journey. Chris and Lily chat about Lily’s artistic evolution, discuss how art encourages growth and healing, and examine the positive effect that art can have on individuals long, even long after a work has been completed. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts.

Transcribed - Published: 18 April 2024

How to fight hatred with curiosity with Daryl Davis

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity. Daryl Davis is a Black musician and actor who regularly enters white nationalist spaces. That’s because Daryl is determined to understand the source of bigotry – by actually talking to the humans he disagrees with. Chris interviews Daryl about his unique approach, from attending KKK rallies to joining all-white country bands. Then, Daryl shares why he chooses curiosity over fear and why he still believes, despite our current divisions, humanity is in a bright spot. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at: go.ted.com/TTIscripts.

Transcribed - Published: 11 April 2024

How empathy gets in the way of a better world with Paul Bloom

It may feel like the world is running low on a seemingly crucial human trait: empathy. But Paul Bloom, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, thinks that empathy is not the best measure of goodness. Paul’s work focuses on exploring some of the most puzzling aspects of human nature, including pleasure, religion and morality. He argues that empathy can actually lead to inequality because it muddles our judgment and narrows our prejudices. Chris and Paul talk about the biological evolution that led to our modern human psyche, discuss the perils of acting emotionally and break down the relationship between empathy, generosity and what Paul calls "rational compassion." go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 4 April 2024

How kindness went viral with Catherine Barrett

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when misinformation and fear was spreading rampantly, one optimistic community was forming... on Facebook. Catherine Barrett started "The Kindness Pandemic" Facebook group as a way to combat the negativity and aggression she was seeing online. Members participated in campaigns where they engaged in kind acts — and then they posted about it. The group went from dozens of members in its first day to more than 50,000 members joining every day. In this episode, Chris and Catherine chat about bringing humanity back into our digital worlds, discuss what it takes to make kindness go viral, and make a case for being loud about generosity. Transcripts for The TED Interview are available at go.ted.com/TTIscripts

Transcribed - Published: 28 March 2024

How Bill Gates spends $9 billion a year

To get a free copy of the Infectious Generosity book, visit ted.com/generosity. Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is one of the top 10 richest people in the world. But since 2008, he has traded his day-to-day role with Microsoft to focus full-time on his foundation's work to expand opportunity around the world. Chris interviews Bill about his philanthropy philosophy and digs into the opportunities and challenges that face one of the largest private charitable foundations in the world. The two also discuss The Giving Pledge, the movement Bill co-founded with Warren Buffet, which encourages wealthy individuals to commit the majority of their wealth to charitable causes within their lifetimes. Chris and Bill examine the importance of solving the world’s most pressing problems efficiently, talk about why meaningful change requires scale and compare notes on how to best encourage collective excitement about giving back.

Transcribed - Published: 21 March 2024

New season coming March 21: Infectious Generosity

The TED Interview is back for a special season. Chris Anderson, Head of TED, returns as host to investigate the ultimate idea worth spreading: Infectious Generosity. Inspired by Chris’s book of the same name, this season will explore how even small acts of kindness have the potential to spread and impact millions – and ultimately build a more hopeful future for all. Listen in as amazing people and great thinkers share how they aim to change lives at a scale never experienced before. And in the spirit of infectious generosity, listeners can receive a free copy of Chris’s book in e-book or audio format. Just visit ted.com/generosity and fill out the short form to receive yours. Tune in next week for the first episode of this new season.

Transcribed - Published: 14 March 2024

Introducing Good Sport

This week on The TED Interview we’re excited to introduce TED’s newest podcast, Good Sport, hosted by veteran sports producer Jody Avirgan. What can sports teach us about life – and each other? Good Sport brings you invigorating stories from on and off the field to argue that sports are as powerful and compelling a lens as any to understand the world – from what happens when you age out of a sport, to how we do or don't nurture talent, to analyzing how sports arguments have become the mode for all arguments. Good Sport launched on February 8th and you can find it anywhere you’re listening to this. TED Audio Collective+ subscribers on Apple Podcasts can hear the whole season early and ad-free.

Transcribed - Published: 8 February 2023

Our Predictions for 2023 | After Hours

Curious about 2023? Youngme, Mihir and Felix from the podcast After Hours are back with their celebrated predictions episode. Who will acquire Spotify? Will Twitter implode? What’s the trend in inflation and energy prices? Who will top the music charts? Space travel for all? Listen in as the hosts outguess each other what the new year will bring. After Hours is another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. If you'd like to hear more, follow the show now wherever you're listening to this.

Transcribed - Published: 4 January 2023

The music of David Byrne’s mind

David Byrne views life through many lenses. He’s a musician, author, filmmaker, curator, conservationist, digital music theorist, bicycle advocate, visual artist... the list goes on. But through his many trajectories – from co-founding the acclaimed band Talking Heads to his later solo career, moving into theater and beyond, David is always trying to capture the indescribable. In this episode, he shares how he meshes art, technology, and point of view to tell one-of-a-kind stories, move audiences, and invoke all of us to create masterpieces of our own. David’s latest experiential theater project “Theater of the Mind” is running now through December 18 at York Street Yards in Denver, Colorado.

Transcribed - Published: 17 November 2022

The hidden gifts of visual thinking with Temple Grandin

When she was just 18, scientist, industrial designer, animal behaviorist, and autism activist Temple Grandin created one of her most well-known inventions: the hug machine. Inspired by the squeeze chute–a device that holds and soothes cattle before they’re handled–Temple designed a device for her and other hypersensitive people who want to experience being held without overstimulation. In this episode, Temple talks about her long, multifaceted career, and how her neurodivergent mind and its gift for identifying patterns and thinking visually has helped her pioneer groundbreaking research. She also explains how all kinds of brains can contribute to creating knowledge, and shares how neurodiversity is a strength across many disciplines. Temple’s latest book, “Visual Thinking: The Hidden Gifts of People Who Think in Pictures, Patterns, and Abstractions,” is out now.

Transcribed - Published: 10 November 2022

Inciting joy with Ross Gay

Nearly every day for a year, American poet Ross Gay sat down and wrote about something that delighted him–from carrying a small tomato plant through an airport to playing a pickup basketball game.The result was his first nonfiction book, “The Book of Delights”, a collection of essays beloved by both critics and fans. These days, Ross is in pursuit of understanding another transcendent human emotion: joy. The author shares what his practice of seeking delight has taught him about life, writing and language, and why he thinks poetry is the best coach for philosophy, mindfulness and gratitude.

Transcribed - Published: 3 November 2022

Randall Munroe answers your wildest questions

How many soulmates do you think people have? What if you tried to funnel all the water from Niagara falls through a straw? Do you think it’s possible? if you sold the whole planet for scrap–what parts would be most valuable? You might think these absurd questions are unanswerable, or even pointless, but these are the kind of questions Randall Munroe can’t stop thinking about. Randall is the bestselling author of the books “What If” and “What If 2” which provide serious, scientific answers to absurd questions. He’s also the Hugo-award winning cartoonist behind the popular xkcd webcomics. In this episode, Randall talks through the most intriguing scenarios from his new volume, and shares why absurdist thought experiments actually help us understand the world–and each other–a bit better.

Transcribed - Published: 27 October 2022

A future without pandemics? with Mark Smolinski

In 2011, when medical doctor and epidemiologist Mark Smolinski was working as a science advisor for the blockbuster film “Contagion,” the film ran a campaign that asked communities: “What are you gonna do to prepare for the next pandemic?” A decade later, as the president of Ending Pandemics–a social venture that aims to predict, detect, and prevent disease outbreaks on our planet– Mark is still thinking about how we can rid the world of pandemic disease. In this episode, Mark shares why we use big data to track disease, explains how our interconnected ecosystems shape public health, talks about why ending pandemics is an achievable goal, and argues that local communities are the ones who can lead the way in understanding–and preventing–the spread of illness.

Transcribed - Published: 20 October 2022

Atul Gawande on why American healthcare desperately needs innovation

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, life expectancy in the United States was 79. Today it’s 76. When compared to other countries like the UK and Japan, where life expectancy is above 80, it’s clear that the U.S. has a lot of work to do. Today on The TED Interview, surgeon, writer, and the Assistant Administrator for Global Health as USAID. Atul Gawande talks about the obstacles the U.S. is facing and how investment in key areas like healthcare innovation, geriatric medicine, and accessible health education, could help Americans live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

Transcribed - Published: 13 October 2022

Linda Villarosa on the hidden toll of racism on health

When Linda Villarosa was the health editor of Essence Magazine, she says she had a one-track mind. A former college athlete, Linda grew up, like many of us, thinking about health on an individual level. But after reporting on environmental justice, the AIDS crisis, and black mother and infant mortality rates, Linda has uncovered just how much culture and public health infrastructure impact life expectancy – specifically for black Americans. Her 2018 cover story on “Why America's Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis" was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. In today’s episode, she highlights how structural racism impacts community health and talks about why she’s still optimistic about combating health disparities in the country and across the globe.

Transcribed - Published: 6 October 2022

Can AI make healthcare human again? with Eric Topol

Eric Topol is a leading health expert whose writing and explainers about Covid-19 have helped people better understand the complexities of the global pandemic. As a doctor, author, and one of the most cited researchers in medicine, Eric has dedicated his time to thinking about the human genome and how digital tools like artificial intelligence can help us individualize and improve medicine. In this episode, he shares his thoughts why he believes healthcare and the doctor-patient relationship feel broken, and how AI can revolutionize–and save–the future of medicine.

Transcribed - Published: 29 September 2022

Ed Yong on how animal senses reveal the world around us

Like any animal, humans understand the world through our senses. But unlike other creatures, we can't detect magnetic fields with our bodies, or the flow of water from a fish swimming hundreds of feet in the distance. But Ed Yong wants us to really imagine what it would be like to perceive the world in these ways. In this episode, the Pulitzer winning science writer shares the unique ways that other living species get information about the world–from the melodic data-loaded songs of treehoppers and cicadas, to the olfactory brilliance of an average dog. Listen in for a glimpse at the beautiful animal narratives that lie beyond our restrained worldview that Ed writes about in his new book "An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal The Hidden Realms Around Us", which is out now.

Transcribed - Published: 22 September 2022

Mark Cuban doesn’t believe in following your passions | ReThinking w/ Adam Grant

Mark Cuban has gone from selling garbage bags door-to-door to selling internet companies for billions, acquiring an NBA team, and becoming a beloved “Shark” on Shark Tank. Mark reveals to Adam how he turns problems into opportunities in entrepreneurship, basketball, and investing. They discuss his latest venture–disrupting the healthcare industry with an online pharmacy and a price-slashing philosophy that makes hundreds of drugs affordable–and why following your passion is not the best way to maintain your motivation. This is an episode of ReThinking with Adam Grant, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. For episodes on the psychology of the world's most interesting minds, follow ReThinking wherever you're listening to this. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/RTWAG1

Transcribed - Published: 15 September 2022

Pete Souza, Reagan and Obama’s White House Photographer | Design Matters

Pete Souza has taken some iconic photographs. A former Chief Official White House Photographer for both U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan AND Barack Obama, Pete’s career has taken him from teaching basic photography in Kansas to taking pictures for National Geographic, Life Magazine, and other dream outlets. In this episode, he talks about carrying out a vision for a project, how he built his unique path in the field, and why he sticks to the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is an episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, another podcast from the TED Audio Collective. For more conversations on how incredibly creative people design their careers and lives, follow Design Matters wherever you’re listening to this.

Transcribed - Published: 8 September 2022

A brain implant that turns your thoughts into text | Tom Oxley | TED Tech

"What if you could control digital devices using just the power of thought? That's the incredible promise behind the Stentrode -- an implantable brain-computer interface that collects and wirelessly transmits information directly from the brain, without the need for open surgery. Neurotech entrepreneur Tom Oxley describes the intricacies of this breakthrough technology, which is currently enrolling participants in human trials, as well as how it could help restore dignity to those with disabilities -- and transform the future of communication. This is an episode of TED Tech. Stay tuned after the talk to hear host Sherrell Dorsey talk about the promise and potential of technology when it comes to serving one of humanity's greatest needs: connection. For more ideas on the intersection of tech and humanity, follow TED Tech wherever you're listening to this. "

Transcribed - Published: 1 September 2022

How do we fix the restaurant tipping system? with Saru Jayaraman

How often do you go back and forth over how much to tip at the end of a meal? Depending on the state, in the U.S. that choice could be the difference between a livable income or financial mayhem for the workers who served and prepared your meal. But why do consumers have such power–and why are labor wages so tied to tips? Saru Jayaraman is a lawyer, activist and President of One Fair Wage. She is organizing a national movement of restaurant workers, employers and consumers in one of the most important labor battles in the country–one that aims to end subminimum wage and tip-based labor. Listen as she talks about the stakes of minimum wage legislation, the surprising history of this unfair practice, and how the pandemic has changed the labor landscape–for better and worse.

Transcribed - Published: 25 August 2022

Michael Schur on every moral question ever

Michael Scott, Leslie Knope, Detective Jake Peralta–television producer and writer Michael Schur has created some of TV’s most beloved sitcom characters on shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Good Place. Still, his shows and his philosophy are not just about laughs. Today on The TED Interview, Michael Schur talks about the craft of writing the TV comedy, why he is obsessed with philosophy and ethics, and what he’s learned from both the fictional and the real workplace about how humans behave, grow, and love. Michael’s New York Times-bestselling book “How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question” is out now.

Transcribed - Published: 18 August 2022

Aaron Bastani is thinking about automated luxury…communism?

With such rampant inequality across the globe, it’s difficult to imagine that in the near future, society could be a place of abundance where everyone has education, healthcare, or housing. But for journalist Aaron Bastani, this improved state of affairs is not off limits; in fact, he believes that, with technology, a better world could be closer than we think. In this episode, Aaron speaks to how and why we should leverage the technological revolution to confront the global challenges of the 21st century. You can read more of his ideas in his much-discussed book Fully Automated Luxury Communism.

Transcribed - Published: 11 August 2022

Juliet Schor wants a four-day work week

Before labor unions fought for them, society didn’t have weekends as we know them. In the 13th century, the average male peasants in the UK only worked 135 days a year. In a post-pandemic and increasingly virtual world, what is the future of labor? Juliet Schor is an economist and sociologist whose research focuses on work and consumer society. In this episode, she shares her thoughts on modern working practices and how her current research on the four-day work week could help address society’s major problems–from burnout at work, to the effects of work on the climate crisis. Juliet also highlights the fascinating ways we have and might continue to reconfigure business in the 21st century, especially as it pertains to the dynamic–and at times predatory–sharing economy.

Transcribed - Published: 4 August 2022

DeepMind's Demis Hassabis on the future of AI

Demis Hassabis is one of tech's most brilliant minds. A chess-playing child prodigy turned researcher and founder of headline-making AI company DeepMind, Demis is thinking through some of the most revolutionary—and in some cases controversial—uses of artificial intelligence. From ​​the development of computer program AlphaGo, which beat out world champions in the board game Go, to making leaps in the research of how proteins fold, Demis is at the helm of the next generation of groundbreaking technology. In this episode, he gives a peek into some of the questions that his top-level projects are asking, talks about how gaming, creativity, and intelligence inform his approach to tech, and muses on where AI is headed next.

Transcribed - Published: 28 July 2022

Jennifer Egan on storytelling in a data-hooked world

Jennifer Egan is a journalist and writer whose novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won both the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. Using a unique format—including a whole chapter told through Powerpoint—Egan nimbly explores the mystery and complexity of human life in the digital age. Her newest book, “The Candy House,” poses similar questions around technology, memory, and authenticity. In this episode, the author talks candidly about her creative process, considers the role of the novelist in an increasingly tech-driven world, and makes an argument for why the long-lasting art of fiction has the power to shift and even alter our consciousness.

Transcribed - Published: 21 July 2022

Garry Kasparov on chess, technology and democracy

Garry Kasparov is one of the greatest chess players of all time. He was one of the youngest world champions ever, and had a 20-year streak as the world’s top-rated player. But even though he is known as a champion, he is also particularly famous for losing—against Deep Blue. After the IBM computer beat Kasparov, the Azerbaijan native spent much of his career thinking about games, computers, artificial intelligence, and how to beat our fears regarding technology. Now he’s turned his attention to finding a fear-fighting strategy with far higher stakes: the preservation of freedom and democracy. Kasparov has become one of Vladimir Putin’s most vocal critics in recent years. Earlier this year, he opened the TED conference with a stirring call to action in support of Ukraine. In this episode, he looks back on his outstanding career, his advocacy and political activism, and shares his latest thinking on the Ukraine war.

Transcribed - Published: 14 July 2022

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein connects history to the stars

The way Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist, sees it, Harriet Tubman is the Great American Astronomer. Using the North Star, with no formal training, Harriet Tubman led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom. Chanda is a night sky expert, too. She’s studying the intersections of astrophysics, particle physics, and cosmology, and she’s a leading thinker in understanding dark matter—the invisible particles some postulate could account for most of the matter in the universe. In this episode, Chanda shares how she uses science and the stars not just to uncover how amazing our universe is, but to understand and celebrate humanity’s shared histories—and struggles. Chanda’s latest book, “The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred” is out now.

Transcribed - Published: 7 July 2022

How to predict the future with Jane McGonigal

Future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal ran a social simulation game in 2008 that had players dealing with the effects of a respiratory pandemic set to happen in the next decade. She wasn’t literally predicting the 2020 pandemic—but she got eerily close. Her game, set in 2019, featured scenarios we're now familiar with (like masking and social distancing), and participant reactions gave her a sense of what the world could—and eventually, did—look like. How did she do it? And what can we learn from this experiment to predict—and prepare for—the future ourselves? In this episode, Jane teaches us how to be futurists, and talks about the role of imagination—and gaming—in shaping a future that we’re truly excited about. Jane’s new book, Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything―Even Things That Seem Impossible Today is available now.

Transcribed - Published: 30 June 2022

Steven Johnson wants to know how enlightenment happens

It’s official, the TED Interview has a new host! In Chris’s last episode as head of the show, he interviews his successor, bestselling science and technology author Steven Johnson. Two self-described intellectual soulmates, Chris and Steven take a deep dive in discussing where ideas come from, how optimism benefits creative ideation, the complex and even controversial process of discovery, and the beauty of what they call the “adjacent possible.”

Transcribed - Published: 23 June 2022

Unlocking the mysteries of our brain | David Eagleman

The way that our brain perceives the world is profoundly informed by our senses–so what would happen if we could heighten them—or even create a whole NEW sense? In one of his last episodes as host of the show, Chris Anderson kicks off our series on the future of intelligence by interviewing neuroscientist and author David Eagleman. They’ll decode the mysteries of the brain, consider consciousness and what it means to be human, and dig deep into David’s ground-breaking research on how wearable technology can bypass sensory impairment, translating sound into patterns of vibration for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Transcribed - Published: 16 June 2022

What’s on Elon Musk’s mind?

What will it take to build a future worth being excited about? Elon Musk believes we already have the tools that will help us create one, but we must take bold action to get there. In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Musk details how the radical new innovations he’s working on—Tesla’s intelligent humanoid robot Optimus, SpaceX’s otherworldly Starship and Neuralink’s brain-machine interfaces—could help maximize the lifespan of humanity and create a world where goods and services are abundant and accessible for all. This episode was recorded on April 6, 2022. To talk about recent developments including his bid to buy Twitter, Elon joined Chris on stage at TED 2022 on April 14. You can listen to that interview now by following TED Talks Daily wherever you’re listening to this.

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2022

The limitless potential of human knowledge | David Deutsch

In an ever expanding world, it can be easy to think of our lives as insignificant. But according to David Deutsch, we all possess one skill that gives each of us infinite reach: our ability to attain knowledge. In the final episode of this season dedicated to making a case for optimism, Chris revisits his interview with the father of quantum computing to explore how knowledge first developed, how it sets us apart and how we can use it to shape a more hopeful future.

Transcribed - Published: 26 June 2021

The science and ethics of rewriting our DNA | Jennifer Doudna

Biochemist Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering CRISPR, a revolutionary biotech tool that can edit DNA with unprecedented precision and ease. But how exactly does CRISPR work, and what consequences may arise from altering our internal makeup? She talks to Chris about the remarkable effects CRISPR can have on our lives--from eradicating genetic diseases to slowing the climate crisis--as well as the ethical and moral questions we must grapple with when it comes to changing who we are. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 17 June 2021

Can planting trees really stop climate change? | Thomas Crowther

From governments to airlines to your favorite eco-friendly clothing brand, tree-planting campaigns are everywhere. Reforesting the planet has become one of the quickest, easiest and most ubiquitous ways to reduce our carbon footprint...but is it actually helping to stop climate change? Ecologist Thomas Crowther speaks with Chris about how planting trees can actually hurt the environment -- unless it's done right. In which case, it can be a pivotal solution in our efforts to end the climate crisis. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 10 June 2021

Bonus: How to give a killer speech | How To!

We all have to give a presentation at some point in our lives—on a stage, in a conference room, and, these days, on Zoom. So what makes a good speech? In this episode from How To! science writer David Epstein turns the microphone on Chris to find the answer. Chris breaks down some of the most famous talks of all time and solves an unusual challenge from a 6th-grader named Lucy: can he help her prepare for the biggest speech of her young life? This is an episode of How To!, a podcast from Slate. For more episodes, find it wherever you're listening to this.

Transcribed - Published: 8 June 2021

The end of our 50-year stagnation | Tyler Cowen

Some believe our world has changed at a rapid pace in recent decades. From the rise of the internet to the proliferation of startups spinning out inventions, it can certainly seem that way. In this episode, though, economist Tyler Cowen argues that none of this has really transformed the ways we live over the last 50 years. But he contends that now that's changing, as new breakthroughs in science and medicine push us out of the so-called "Great Stagnation" into a new era of meaningful innovation. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 3 June 2021

How to turn grit into a lifelong habit | Angela Duckworth

What does it take to persevere and succeed, not just in our careers but in all aspects of our lives? For psychologist Angela Duckworth, the answer can be summed up in one concept: grit. She explains the ingredients in grit and the experiences that make one person persist where another gives up — and offers concrete steps to instill grit early in life and sustain it. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 27 May 2021

What it really takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz

From the strikes that transformed the world's view on climate change to the marches that demanded equity and justice for Black lives, there has been a new awakening of people passionate about creating change. As founder and CEO of Acumen, Jacqueline Novogratz decided early on to dedicate her life's work to doing just that. In this episode, Chris talks to Jacqueline (who he also happens to be married to) about the wisdom she gained from abandoning a lucrative career as a banker to start a nonprofit dedicated to eradicating global poverty, and the moral imagination -- and difficult tradeoffs -- she believes are necessary to make a transformative impact on the world. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 20 May 2021

How youth gave climate the urgency it needed | Xiye Bastida

Before the pandemic struck, young people everywhere abandoned their classrooms and took to the streets. Xiye Bastida was a driving force among these youth climate activists in the U.S. Xiye grew up in Mexico, moved to New York at 13 and started organizing school walk-outs to demand a future unruined by climate change. That movement led to one of the biggest global marches the world has ever seen. In this conversation, Chris and Xiye explore how a group of young people shifted the cultural zeitgeist for a problem that is often seen as too vast, and too entrenched, to overcome. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers.

Transcribed - Published: 13 May 2021

Work is never going back to normal | Simon Sinek

Work as we knew it is undergoing seismic shifts as the pandemic in the U.S. wanes. As some businesses reopen, even people lucky enough to work from home face big questions. What lessons do we take from this past year? How should we lead? How should we talk to each other? How should we even relate to work? Chris turns to Simon Sinek, a thinker and writer on leadership, for some candid guidance in this moment of reinvention. This conversation was recorded in front of a live virtual audience of TED Members. To join us for future recordings, access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more, visit go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 6 May 2021

How COVID vaccines are revolutionizing medicine | Adrian Hill

This past year, scientists racing to stop the novel coronavirus delivered vaccines at a pace and scale the world has never seen before. Adrian Hill, director of Oxford University's vaccine research institute, recounts how he and his team developed the AstraZeneca vaccine. He explains why the challenges were as much about logistics as science, and predicts how the rapid creation of all COVID vaccines could change the pace of medical progress—even in realms beyond vaccines. This episode was recorded on March 8, 2021. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 22 April 2021

The race to build AI that benefits humanity | Sam Altman

In this new season of the TED Interview, conversations with people who make a case for...optimism. Not some blind, hopeful feeling but the conviction that somewhere out there are solutions that, given the right attention and resources, can guide us out of the dark place we’re in. We share those ideas—and the people propelling them—to light a possible path forward. For the first episode: AI. Will innovation in artificial intelligence drastically improve our lives, or destroy humanity as we know it? From the unintended consequences we've suffered from platforms like Facebook and YouTube to the danger of creating technology we can't control, it's easy to see why people are afraid of a world powered by AI. But in this interview, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman makes a case for AI's potential to make the future better for all of us—and explains how his company is leading that charge with an unusual new business model. Can’t get enough TED? Become a member for access to exclusive events, global conversations, and more. Join now: go.ted.com/podmembers

Transcribed - Published: 15 April 2021

A special announcement from TED on climate

Today, we're re-sharing a conversation with Christiana Figueres, because we've got a special update for you from TED. On Saturday, October 10, we'll launch Countdown: an exciting new global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. To get involved, tune in to the global launch which will be live-streamed at youtube.com/ted on October 10 at 11am ET. In 2015, Christiana Figueres brokered the historic Paris Agreement to combat climate change. She gives an inside look at the negotiations that led to a commitment from 195 countries to work toward a low carbon future and discusses her current work on COUNTDOWN, an ambitious new initiative from TED aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero.

Transcribed - Published: 8 October 2020

Malala Yousafzai on why educating girls changes everything

The youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai has been an international advocate for girls' education since she was 15 years old and was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about girls' education. Now, as a fresh graduate of Oxford University (and job seeking!), she urges us not to forget about the girls who still lack access to a classroom. She describes why learning was crucial to her as a young girl in Pakistan and how the fight for girls' education is inextricably linked with the coronavirus pandemic and recent calls for racial justice. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted by TED's current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded July 8, 2020.

Transcribed - Published: 16 July 2020

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