TED Radio Hour
Summary: The TED Radio Hour is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create. Based on Talks given by riveting speakers on the world-renowned TED stage, each show is centered on a common theme – such as the source of happiness, crowd-sourcing innovation, power shifts, or inexplicable connections. The TED Radio Hour is hosted by Guy Raz, and is a co-production of NPR & TED. Follow the show @TEDRadioHour.
In this hour, TED speakers question whether we can experience the world more deeply by not only extending our senses — but going beyond them. Color blind artist Neil Harbisson can "hear" colors, even those beyond the range of sight. Physician and engineer Todd Kuiken builds prosthetic arms that connect with the human nervous system — improving motion, control and even feeling. Speech scientist Rupal Patel creates customized synthetic voices that enable people who can’t speak to communicate in a unique voice that embodies who they are. Sound expert Julian Treasure says we are losing our listening in a louder world. He shares ways to retune our ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around us.
We've been promised a future where robots will be our friends, and technology will make life’s daily chores as easy as flipping a switch. But are we ready for how those innovations will change us as humans? In this episode, TED speakers consider the promises and perils of our relationship with technology. Psychologist Sherry Turkle looks at how devices and online personas are redefining human connection. Robotics engineer Cynthia Breazeal talks about building robots that teach, learn, and play. Research Scientist Andrew McAfee examines how technology affects the labor market, today and in the future. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are data points, and calls for a return to the traditional physical exam. (Rebroadcast)
Each of us has a sense of who we are, where we come from, and what we believe. But is identity assigned at birth? Shaped by circumstance? Or is it something we choose that changes over time? In this hour, TED speakers describe their journeys to answer the question: who am I? Entrepreneur Tan Le recounts her family’s harrowing journey from Vietnam to Australia, and how it defined her identity. Writer Andrew Solomon has interviewed dozens of parents, and he talks about what it’s like to raise a child whose identity is fundamentally different from yours. Novelist Elif Shafak describes how fiction has allowed her to explore many different lives, to jump over cultural walls, and how it may have the power to overcome identity politics. Writer Pico Iyer meditates on the meaning of home in a world where the boundaries of nation-states no longer apply. (Rebroadcast)
We all want to find happiness, but it seems elusive. Can we learn more about happiness through science? Or are there simpler ways to achieve it? Host Guy Raz feels happy listening to Pharrell’s song “Happy”, so Guy asked Pharrell to share his ideas on happiness. Then we hear from five TED speakers who contemplate different paths to finding happiness. Researcher Matt Killingsworth says we're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. Journalist Carl Honore believes our society's emphasis on speed erodes our quality of life. Writer Graham Hill makes the case for taking up less space. Psychologist Dan Gilbert challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Brother David Steindl-Rast reflects on slowing down, looking where you’re going, and being grateful.
Every species plays a crucial role in our natural world. But when humans tinker with the equation, a chain reaction can cause entire ecosystems to break down. In this hour, TED speakers explain how everything is connected in nature, with some bold ideas about how we can restore the delicate balance and bring disappearing ecosystems back. Journalist George Monbiot wants us to "rewild" — allowing creatures to reclaim their lost habitats. Jane Poynter lived for two years in Biosphere 2, where the connection among living things was often fragile and at risk of breaking down. Sound recordist Bernie Krause helps us hear the signs of vanishing ecosystems. And bee researcher Marla Spivak explains why bee colonies in the U.S. have been declining for decades. (Rebroadcast)
Everyone expects a degree of privacy. But who holds the reins over our personal information? And does it matter if it’s collected by government, by a search engine, or if we willingly give it away? In this hour, TED speakers explore ideas about our changing notions of privacy, the consequences and benefits. When Hasan Elahi’s name was mistakenly added to the U.S. government’s watch list, he fought the assault on his privacy by turning his life inside-out for the world to see. Hacker and security expert Mikko Hyppönen says virtually every international internet user is being watched — and he makes the case for privacy in the age of government surveillance. Former U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck shares her vision of practical openness – connecting bureaucracies to citizens, and creating a truly participatory democracy. Health IT expert John Wilbanks explores whether the desire to protect privacy is slowing research, and if opening up medical data could create a wave of health care innovation. Behavioral economist Alessandro Acquisti explains how everyday decisions contribute to blurring the line between our public and private lives.
Visions of the future don’t just have to come from science fiction. There’s very real technology today giving us clues about how our future lives might be transformed. So what might our future look like? And what does it take for an idea about the future to become a reality? In this hour, TED speakers make some bold predictions and explain how our future lives might look. Technology leader Nicholas Negroponte looks back on predictions he made in 1984, with surprising accuracy. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon says in the future, we’ll be able to grow replacement organs. Entrepreneur Richard Resnick says faster genome sequencing will revolutionize how we treat disease. Global security consultant Marc Goodman explains how advancing technology will change how we fight crime. GPS expert Todd Humphreys forecasts the future of geo-locators and how it will change our notions of privacy. Also, Sebastian Thrun says we will see more driverless cars on the road in the next decade, and soon traffic jams and accidents will be a thing of the past. (Rebroadcast)
Is leadership only reserved for the extraordinary few? Who has what it takes to disrupt the status quo? In this hour, TED speakers share ideas about what it takes to forge a new path. Four-star general Stanley McChrystal recounts some tough lessons about leadership he gained from the front lines. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg gets to the bottom line for women who want to lead. Bunker Roy created a school in India that equips rural women for leadership by training them to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors. Drew Dudley calls on us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Seth Godin believes the Internet gives ordinary people the power to lead.
Whether you call them Millennials, Generation Y, or the Me Generation, one thing's for certain: this generation of young people will change the world. But how different is this hyper-connected generation from its predecessors? And what will be its legacy? In this hour, we hear from TED speakers searching to define themselves and their generation. Demographer Neil Howe coined the term “Millennial” in 1991, and offers perspective on the now loaded term. Activist Natalie Warne calls on young people to find their passion, chase after it, and not let age stop them from changing the world. Psychologist Meg Jay tells twentysomethings how to reclaim adulthood before it’s too late. Charlie Hoehn explains how he built a career on his own terms at the height of the economic recession. YouTube Trends Manager Kevin Allocca describes how this generation is using technology to completely change the way we consume media. Teenager and RookieMag.com editor-in-chief Tavi Gevinson talks about the need for an unapologetically uncertain, complex face for feminism and for teenage girls. (Rebroadcast)
We all have our struggles, whether they be mental, physical, or social. But what is it that makes some of us keep trying and striving to overcome despite the odds? In this hour, TED speakers tell their stories about overcoming a weakness and turning it into a strength. Temple Grandin talks about how she struggled with autism for years until she realized that her ability to “think in pictures” allows her to solve problems that many others might miss. Shane Koyczan describes being tormented endlessly by bullies, but when he turned to spoken word poetry as an adult, he found a community of fans eager to embrace him for his anti-bullying message. Eleanor Longden recounts how her life was spiraling out of control when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia, hospitalized, and drugged — until she learned to listen to and live with her voices. Kakenya Ntaiya tells the fearless story of challenging ingrained traditions, insisting to continue her education, and becoming the first girl to leave her Maasai village for college.
In this TED Radio Hour, we'll try to seduce you with new ideas about beauty. Philosopher Denis Dutton and psychologist Nancy Etcoff take us back in time to the primordial reasons why we all share a common taste for beauty. Fashion model Cameron Russell walks us down the runway of beauty's perilous side. Civic leader Bill Strickland transforms inner city youth by adorning arts education centers with beauty of every shape and form. And designer Richard Seymour believes we do not recognize beauty until we know the story behind it.
You can give away almost anything — your time, money, food, your ideas. Giving helps define who we are and helps us connect with others. And thanks to the internet and a rise in social consciousness, there’s been a seismic shift not only in what we’re giving, but how. In this hour, stories from TED speakers who are “giving it away” in new and surprising ways, and the things that happen in return. Firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn't go as expected, but ended up teaching him an important lesson. Gardener Ron Finley wants to help make his community in South Central LA more healthy, by letting people take fruit and vegetables from his roadside gardens. Activist Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. And musician Amanda Palmer tells us how she developed a more trusting relationship with her fans by not charging for her music.
We communicate with each other in all sorts of ways, spoken and unspoken. In this hour, TED speakers reflect on how our words and methods of communication affect us, more than you might expect. Linguist John McWhorter says texting has come of age with such speed and force that it's created an entirely new language within a generation. Biologist Mark Pagel believes our complex language system is a piece of "social technology", simply created to help us get things done. Teacher Phuc Tran tells a personal story of how being caught in a world between the subjunctive and indicative tense — yes, grammar — helped him find his identity. Etymologist Mark Forsyth shares the surprising back story of the word "president." Social psychologist Amy Cuddy explains how body language, like “power posing”, can affect our brains, and might even have an impact on our success.
Science and technology now allow us to "hack" solutions to the biggest challenges of our time. But how far is too far? And what are the consequences of these hacks? In this hour, we hear stories from TED speakers who dare to hack the brain, the climate, and even the animal kingdom in hopes of creating a better world. Computer security expert Mikko Hyppönen describes how he discovered the first PC virus and what he learned about protecting the Internet today. Environmentalist Stewart Brand says we now have the technology to bring back some of the species that humanity has wiped out. Climate scientist David Keith proposes a cheap and surprising way to address climate change. Inventor Jay Silver encourages everyone to play with the world around us. Neurosurgeon Andres Lozano talks about dramatic findings in deep brain stimulation.
Memory is malleable, dynamic and elusive. When we tap into our memories, where is the line between fact and fiction? How does our memory play tricks on us, and how can we train it to be more accurate? In this hour, TED speakers discuss how a nimble memory can improve your life, and how a frail one might ruin someone else's. Forensic psychologist Scott Fraser argues that in a criminal trial, even close-up eyewitnesses can create "memories" they may not have seen. Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman explains how our experiences and our memories perceive happiness differently. Writer Joshua Foer shows how anyone can achieve amazing feats of memory, including him.