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.
Why do some of us believe, and some of us don’t? Can our doubts bring our beliefs into sharper focus? Do we all need to believe in something, and to seek meaning by creating rituals, myths and symbols? And what is the difference between belief and faith? In this hour, TED speakers offer personal perspectives on belief from all ends of the spectrum, from ardent atheists to the devout faithful. Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Billy Graham, reflects on her father’s faith and lifelong devotion to God. Writer Lesley Hazleton calls for a new appreciation of doubt as the foundation of faith. Julia Sweeney talks about how two Mormon missionaries made her completely rethink her own beliefs. Alain de Botton says "Atheism 2.0" could satisfy our human need for connection and ritual. Devdutt Pattanaik examines the East vs West approach to life through the lens of mythology.
There are some truths that we believe in wholeheartedly — but what if we’re completely wrong? Once we separate fact from fiction, how do our perceptions change? In this hour, TED speakers move beyond conventional wisdom to reveal complex realities about what we think we know to be true. Author Malcolm Gladwell reveals an alternative account of David and Goliath that flips the story on its head. Writer Jennifer 8. Lee talks about her hunt for the actual origins of Chinese-American food. Ecologist Allan Savory counters everything conventional wisdom tells us about how grasslands lose their life to desertification. Journalist Leslie T. Chang debunks how we assume Chinese factory workers feel. Plus, Psychologist Barry Schwartz says having more options doesn't make us happier — it actually paralyzes us.
Income inequality is at an all-time high between the haves and the have nots. But does the poverty gap have to be so wide, and can it potentially be eliminated altogether? In this hour, TED speakers share some big ideas about inequality, and new ways we might achieve prosperity for all. Ernesto Sirolli recounts how well-intentioned aid programs can go awry; he says the first step to addressing poverty might be to “shut up and listen.” Author and politician Chrystia Freeland charts the rise of today’s billionaire plutocrats, and wonders what concentrated super-wealth means for the rest of us. Historian Niall Ferguson explains why, when it comes to amassing wealth, it’s been the West versus the rest for the past 500 years. Ghanaian economist George Ayittey says that when it comes to Africa, it’s up to a new generation to bring about accountability. Jacqueline Novogratz, CEO of Acumen Fund, discusses groundbreaking work that connects the poor to the global economy.
We try so hard to be perfect, to never make mistakes and to avoid failure at all costs. But mistakes happen. And when they do, how do we deal with being wrong? In this episode, TED speakers look at those darker moments in our lives, and consider why sometimes we need to make mistakes and face them head on. Dr. Brian Goldman tells a profound story about the first big mistake he made in the ER, and questions medicine's culture of denial. Professor Brené Brown explains how important it is to confront shame. Also, jazz composer Stefon Harris argues that a lot of our actions are seen as mistakes only because we don't react to them appropriately. Plus, Margaret Heffernan, the former CEO of five businesses, tells the story of two unexpected collaborators, and how good disagreement is central to progress.
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? 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 them. Neurosurgeon Andres Lozano talks about dramatic findings in deep brain stimulation.
Gazing up at the night sky is simultaneously humbling and utterly thrilling. This hour, we’ll hear from TED speakers who share an infectious sense of wonder and curiosity about our place in the universe and what lies beyond our skies. Phil Plait breaks down how we can defend Earth from an asteroid. Also, Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute explains why it’s crucial for humans here on earth to continue searching for sentient beings in the cosmos. Plus: Physicist Brian Greene unravels the strange tale of dark matter and why our universe may be one of many in the “multiverse.”
Here's a preview of our next episode, available Friday, August 9.
Some people might only dream of adventure, but for others, there’s no other option but to explore the most extreme places on Earth. From the deepest caves to rough oceans, from the North Pole to dizzying heights on a high wire: what drives adventurers to constantly push to the brink of human endurance? In this hour, TED speakers share their experiences of going to the edge of our world. Arctic explorer Ben Saunders recounts his harrowing solo ski trek to the North Pole. Engineer and daredevil caver Bill Stone pushes the frontier to the remotest depths of the Earth. Roz Savage quit her high-powered job to become an ocean rower. High-wire artist Philippe Petit tells the amazing story of how he walked between the Twin Towers.
Here's a preview of our next episode, available Friday, July 26.
"The world has over a trillion hours a year of free time to commit to shared projects," says professor Clay Shirky. But what motivates dozens, thousands, even millions of people to come together on the Internet and commit their time to a project, for free? What is the key to making a successful collaboration work? In this hour, TED speakers unravel ideas behind the mystery of mass collaborations that build a better world. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explains what drives people everywhere to contribute to the self-organizing online encyclopedia. Computer programmer Luis von Ahn builds systems that combine humans and computers to help digitize books and translate the web. Social media guru Clay Shirky says when we contribute to the web, we’re building a better world. Software entrepreneur Jason Fried thinks collaboration is key to productivity, as long as we do away with meetings. And coder Jennifer Pahlka believes the government should be more like the Internet: permissionless and open.
Here's a preview of our next episode, available Friday, July 12.
Here's a preview of our next episode, available Friday, July 12.
Our lives are often defined by turning points. They can happen gradually or in an instant. But how do we reconcile the before and the after — our former selves with who we’ve become? In this hour, we hear from TED speakers who have been shaped by profound turning points in their lives. Surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland recalls how he broke free of a debilitating depression after undergoing electroshock therapy. Businessman Ric Elias had a front row seat on Flight 1549 that crash-landed in the Hudson River in 2009. He describes what went through his mind as the plane was going down. As a teenager, Maajid Nawaz was active in an extreme Islamist organization. But after spending five years in an Egyptian jail, he now devotes himself to promoting democracy in the face of extremism and xenophobia. Journalist Joshua Prager describes his life before and after a devastating bus accident that left him paralyzed on his left side. He probes questions of self-deception, identity, and whether the crash or his response to the crash has ultimately defined him.
Here's a preview of our next episode, available Friday, June 28.
As part of our latest episode, "Framing the Story", filmmaker Andrew Stanton talked with Guy Raz about what makes a good story, why some people tell bad ones, and how stories help us make meaning of our lives. There was a lot of good stuff we couldn't fit in the final cut of the show, so we've included it here.