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Allan Adams image Allan Adams
Theoretical physicist

Allan Adams is a theoretical physicist working at the intersection of fluid dynamics, quantum field theory and string theory.

Allan Adams is a theoretical physicist working at the intersection of fluid dynamics, quantum field theory and string theory.  His latest work uses the physics of black holes to study turbulence in quantum liquids.  He is currently working on disorder in many-body systems and pondering the duality between 2d gauge theories and topological 4-manifolds.  Adams earned his AB from Harvard, his MA from Berkeley and his PhD from Stanford before spending three years at Harvard as a Junior Fellow.  In 2006, Adams moved to MIT where he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and CTP.

 
Session 7: Why?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Allan Adams image Allan Adams
Theoretical physicist

Allan Adams is a theoretical physicist working at the intersection of fluid dynamics, quantum field theory and string theory.

Allan Adams is a theoretical physicist working at the intersection of fluid dynamics, quantum field theory and string theory.  His latest work uses the physics of black holes to study turbulence in quantum liquids.  He is currently working on disorder in many-body systems and pondering the duality between 2d gauge theories and topological 4-manifolds.  Adams earned his AB from Harvard, his MA from Berkeley and his PhD from Stanford before spending three years at Harvard as a Junior Fellow.  In 2006, Adams moved to MIT where he is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and CTP.

 
Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Isabel Allende image Isabel Allende
Novelist

Isabel Allende writes stories of passion. Her novels and memoirs, including The House of the Spirits and Eva Luna, tell the stories of women and men who live with passionate commitment -- to love, to their world, to an ideal.

As a novelist and memoirist, Isabel Allende writes of passionate lives, including her own. Born into a Chilean family with political ties, she went into exile in the United States in the 1970s—an event that, she believes, created her as a writer. Her voice blends sweeping narrative with touches of magical realism; her stories are romantic, in the very best sense of the word. Her novels include The House of the SpiritsEva Luna and The Stories of Eva Luna, and her latest, Maya's Notebook and Ripper. And don't forget her adventure trilogy for young readers—City of the Beasts, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon and Forest of the Pygmies.

As a memoirist, she has written about her vision of her lost Chile, in My Invented Country, and movingly tells the story of her life to her own daughter, in Paula. Her book Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses memorably linked two sections of the bookstore that don't see much crossover: Erotica and Cookbooks. Just as vital is her community work: The Isabel Allende Foundation works with nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area and Chile to empower and protect women and girls—understanding that empowering women is the only true route to social and economic justice.

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Chris Anderson image Chris Anderson
TED Curator

After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading.

TED's Chris Anderson was born in a remote village in Pakistan, and spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his father worked as a missionary eye surgeon. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in philosophy, and then trained as a journalist. After several years at newspapers and radio stations, he got hooked on the strange new "home computers" which had just started appearing. He became an editor at one of the UK's early computer magazines, and a year later, in 1985, formed a tiny start-up to launch his own magazine. Its unlikely success led to more launches, and his company Future Publishing grew rapidly under the moniker "media with passion."

Anderson expanded to the United States in 1994, where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine, and creator of the popular games website IGN. The combined companies eventually spawned more than 100 monthly magazines, employing 2,000 people. And they allowed Anderson to create a private nonprofit foundation, the Sapling Foundation, which hoped to find new ways of tackling tough global issues by leveraging media, technology, entrepreneurship, and most of all, ideas. Sapling acquired the TED Conference in 2001, and Anderson then left his businesses to focus on growing TED. (He is not to be confused with his super-smart friend, the Chris Anderson who edits WIRED magazine and wrote The Long Tail.)

Inside TED
Mon Mar 17, 2014
4:00 – 5:00
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Uldus Bakhtiozina image Uldus Bakhtiozina
photographer + visual artist

Russian artist Uldus Bakhtiozina creates magical photographs of whimsy and irony. Asking questions about gender and cultural stereotypes, she presents the world with humor and thoughtfulness.

Uldus Bakhtiozina is a photographer and visual artist who lives and works in Russia. Born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg, Bakhtiozina studied and worked in graphic design and photography (and even politics, briefly) before settling on her particular style of absurd photos. Whether depicting a young boy in a tutu and Stormtrooper helmet or a hulking man wearing a collar of Barbie dolls, Bakhtiozina challenges gender and cultural norms with humor and magic, creating a fairytale world for the viewer.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Bonnie Bassler image Bonnie Bassler
Molecular biologist

Bonnie Bassler studies how bacteria can communicate with one another, through chemical signals, to act as a unit. Her work could pave the way for new, more potent medicine.

In 2002, bearing her microscope on a microbe that lives in the gut of fish, Bonnie Bassler isolated an elusive molecule called AI-2, and uncovered the mechanism behind mysterious behavior called quorum sensing -- or bacterial communication. She showed that bacterial chatter is hardly exceptional or anomolous behavior, as was once thought -- and in fact, most bacteria do it, and most do it all the time. (She calls the signaling molecules "bacterial Esperanto.")

The discovery shows how cell populations use chemical powwows to stage attacks, evade immune systems and forge slimy defenses called biofilms. For that, she's won a MacArthur "genius" grant -- and is giving new hope to frustrated pharmacos seeking new weapons against drug-resistant superbugs.

Bassler teaches molecular biology at Princeton, where she continues her years-long study of V. harveyi, one such social microbe that is mainly responsible for glow-in-the-dark sushi. She also teaches aerobics at the YMCA.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Andrew Bastawrous image Andrew Bastawrous
Eye surgeon, inventor

Andrew Bastawrous studies eye health -- and builds accessible new tools to bring eye health to more people. He is a 2014 TED Fellow.

Andrew Bastawrous is a Kenya-based ophthalmologist who co-founded PEEK, a low-cost smartphone ophthalmic tool. PEEK was built to deliver eye care in some of the world's most challenging places, to those who need it most. Bastawrous is a research fellow at the International Centre for Eye Health.

Andrew has worked in Sierra Leone, Peru, Belize, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Uganda and is based in Kenya working on the collaborative development and testing of Peek. In 2011, Andrew was awarded a Medical Research Council (MRC) and Fight for Sight Fellowship to undertake the first longitudinal population-based study (follow-up study) of eye disease in Africa and the challenges he faced inspired the idea of a smartphone-based ophthalmic tool. He has published some 25 peer-reviewed articles focusing on international eye health and mobile technology in healthcare and has co-authored four book chapters. Andrew was awarded the MRC Max Perutz Science writing Award in 2012 and is a TED Fellow.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Ayah Bdeir image Ayah Bdeir
Engineer and artist

Ayah Bdeir is an engineer and artist, and is the founder of littleBits and karaj, an experimental art, architecture and technology lab in Beirut.

Ayah Bdeir is the creator of littleBits, an open source system of preassembled, modular circuits that snap together with magnets – making learning about electronics fun, easy and creative. An engineer, inventor and interactive artist, Ayah received her master’s degree from the MIT Media Lab and undergraduate degrees in computer engineering and sociology from the American University of Beirut. Ayah has taught graduate classes at NYU and Parsons and taught numerous workshops to get non-engineers – particularly young girls – interested in science and technology. She is also the founder of karaj, Beirut’s lab for experimental art, architecture and technology. littleBits was named Best of Toyfair, has won the editor’s Choice award from MAKE magazine, and has been acquired by MoMA for its collection.
TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Eric Berlow image Eric Berlow
Ecologist

TED Senior Fellow Eric Berlow studies ecology and networks, exposing the interconnectedness of our ecosystems with climate change, government, corporations and more.

Eric Berlow is an ecologist and network scientist who specializes in not specializing. A TED Senior Fellow, Berlow is recognized for his research on food webs and ecological networks and for creative approaches to complex problems. He was the founding director of the University of California's first environmental science center inside Yosemite National Park, where he continues to develop data-driven approaches to managing natural ecosystems. 

In 2012 Berlow founded Vibrant Data Labs, which builds tools to use data for social good. Berlow's current projects range from helping spark an egalitarian personal data economy to protecting endangered amphibians in Yosemite to crowd-sourcing novel insights about human creativity. Berlow holds a Ph.D. from Oregon State University in marine ecology.

 

 

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Tim Berners-Lee image Tim Berners-Lee
Inventor

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. He leads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), overseeing the Web's standards and development.

In the 1980s, scientists at CERN were asking themselves how massive, complex, collaborative projects -- like the fledgling LHC -- could be orchestrated and tracked. Tim Berners-Lee, then a contractor, answered by inventing the World Wide Web. This global system of hypertext documents, linked through the Internet, brought about a massive cultural shift ushered in by the new tech and content it made possible: AOL, eBay, Wikipedia, TED.com...

Berners-Lee is now director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which maintains standards for the Web and continues to refine its design. Recently he has envisioned a "Semantic Web" -- an evolved version of the same system that recognizes the meaning of the information it carries. He's the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence (CSAIL) at the MIT, where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also a Professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK.

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Blood Orange image Blood Orange
Musician, producer

As Blood Orange, musical polymath Devonté “Dev” Hynes blends guitar, voice, and electronica into a seductive cocktail of 21st-century R&B.

As a producer and songwriter, Devonté “Dev” Hynes has helped launch several superstar careers. Now, under the guise of his solo project Blood Orange, he is launching his own. 

Channeling classical tropes, nineties hits and hip New York musical culture with equal proficiency, Hynes, who has synesthesia, literally applies sounds as colors. His 2013 album Cupid Deluxe showcases dazzling, complex compositions that retain pop’s infectious stickiness. 

In addition to his own work, Hynes has produced sessions for Sky Ferreira, Solange, and MKS.

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Laurel Braitman image Laurel Braitman
Science Historian + Writer

Science historian Laurel Braitman is the author of Animal Madness, a book that takes a close look at our non-human friends and their mental anxieties.

Laurel Braitman is a science historian who wants to know: Why is your cat so sad? For her book Animal Madness, the TED Fellow delves into the history of mental illness in animals, revealing a world of parrots that pluck themselves, cats with PTSD and donkeys with deep neuroses. Braitman holds a PhD in history and anthropology of science from MIT and works as an affiliate artist at the Headlands Center for the Arts.
TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Stewart Brand image Stewart Brand
Environmentalist, futurist

Since the counterculture '60s, Stewart Brand has been creating our internet-worked world. Now, with biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, Stewart Brand has a bold new plan ...

With biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, the revival of extinct species is becoming possible. Stewart Brand plans to not only bring species back but restore them to the wild.

Brand is already a legend in the tech industry for things he’s created: the Whole Earth Catalog, The WELL, the Global Business Network, the Long Now Foundation, and the notion that “information wants to be free.” Now Brand, a lifelong environmentalist, wants to re-create -- or “de-extinct” -- a few animals that’ve disappeared from the planet.

Granted, resurrecting the woolly mammoth using ancient DNA may sound like mad science. But Brand’s Revive and Restore project has an entirely rational goal: to learn what causes extinctions so we can protect currently endangered species, preserve genetic and biological diversity, repair depleted ecosystems, and essentially “undo harm that humans have caused in the past.”

His newest book is Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Kevin Briggs image Kevin Briggs
Golden Gate guardian

As a member of the California Highway Patrol with assignments including patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, Sergeant Kevin Briggs and his staff are the last barriers between would-be suicides and the plunge to near-certain death.

The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark of unparalleled beauty and attracts swarms of visitors every year. Tragically, also among them are hundreds of suicidal men and women.

As a member of the CHP for over twenty-three years, with the majority of those years patrolling the Golden Gate Bridge, Sgt. Briggs discovered early that his job required him to take on an unusual role for a police officer: suicide prevention counselor. As a cancer survivor and survivor of multiple heart operations, Briggs’ familiarity with personal struggle bonds him with suicidal men and women. With simple empathy, an instinct for improvisation and a refusal to walk away, Briggs has negotiated several hundred people from suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge. As he told the SF Chronicle, "I've talked to people from ten minutes to seven hours. I very much despise losing. I do whatever I can to get that person back over the rail. I play to win." Sgt. Briggs retired from the CHP in November 2013.
Session 11: Unstress
Fri Mar 21, 2014
9:00 – 10:30
David Brooks image David Brooks
Columnist

New York Times columnist David Brooks is the author of “Bobos in Paradise,” “On Paradise Drive,” and the narrative of neuroscience, "The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement."

Writer and thinker David Brooks has covered business, crime and politics (as well as subbing in as the Wall Street Journal's movie critic) over a long career in journalism. He's an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times in a legendary run that started in September 2003.

His column looks deeply into the social currents that underpin American life. He's the author of Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There and On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense. His most recent book, The Social Animal, examines new findings in brain science in the context of a story about two successful people whose lives unfold in ways that neurological research is helping us understand more deeply. 

Brroks is a frequent analyst on NPR’s All Things Considered and a commentator on The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.

 

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Rodney Brooks image Rodney Brooks
Roboticist

Rodney Brooks builds robots based on biological principles of movement and reasoning. The goal: a robot who can figure things out.

MIT professor Rodney Brooks studies and engineers robot intelligence, looking for the holy grail of robotics: the AGI, or artificial general intelligence. For decades, we've been building robots to do highly specific tasks -- welding, riveting, delivering interoffice mail -- but what we all want, really, is a robot that can figure things out on its own, the way we humans do.

Brooks realized that a top-down approach -- just building the biggest brain possible and teaching it everything we could think of -- would never work. What would work is a robot who learns like we do, by trial and error, and with many separate parts that learn separate jobs. The thesis of his work which was captured in Fast, Cheap and Out of Control,went on to become the title of the great Errol Morris documentary.

A founder of iRobot, makers of the Roomba vacuum, Brooks now heads Rethink Robotics, whose mission is to apply advanced robotic intelligence to manufacturing and physical labor. Its first robot: the versatile Baxter. Brooks is affiliated with CSAIL, MIT's Computers Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

 
All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Amanda Burden image Amanda Burden
Urban planner

As New York’s chief city planner under the Bloomberg administration, Amanda Burden led revitalization of some of the city's most familiar features -- from the High Line to the Brooklyn waterfront.

With a keen eye for detail that extends to the most humble park bench -- and a gift for convincing developers and bureaucrats of her vision -- former New York City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden rebuilt New York City.

Taking inspiration from her mentor, the influential urban theorist William H. “Holly” Whyte, Burden stepped out of the society pages (she's Babe Paley's daughter) and into a high-profile development career, which started with the planning and design of Battery Park and brought her to the Bloomberg administration. Her high design standards and flair for human-scale public spaces (as she told the Wall Street Journal, "You can actually change a city by a small stroke") ensures that her legacy will be an enduring element of New York’s urban landscape. Post-mayoralty, she is joining Mike Bloomberg's newly established global consultancy, Bloomberg Associates, as one of the founding Principals (along with Janette Sadik-Khan, former traffic commisioner).

Session 3: Reshape
Tues Mar 18, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Edward Burtynsky image Edward Burtynsky
Photographer

2005 TED Prize winner Edward Burtynsky has made it his life's work to document humanity's impact on the planet. His riveting photographs, as beautiful as they are horrifying, capture views of the Earth altered by mankind.

To describe Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky's work in a single adjective, you have to speak French: jolie-laide. His images of scarred landscapes -- from mountains of tires to rivers of bright orange waste from a nickel mine -- are eerily pretty yet ugly at the same time. Burtynsky's large-format color photographs explore the impact of humanity's expanding footprint and the substantial ways in which we're reshaping the surface of the planet. His images powerfully alter the way we think about the world and our place in it.

With his blessing and encouragement, WorldChanging.com and others use his work to inspire ongoing global conversations about sustainable living. Burtynsky's photographs are included in the collections of over 50 museums around the world, including the Tate, London and the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim in New York City. A large-format book, 2003's Manufactured Landscapes, collected his work, and in 2007, a documentary based on his photography, also called Manufactured Landscapes, debuted at the Toronto Film Festival before going on to screen at Sundance and elsewhere. It was released on DVD in March 2007. In 2008, after giving a talk at the Long Now Foundation, Burtynsky proposed "The 10,000 Year Gallery," which could house art to be curated over thousands of years preserved through carbon transfers in an effort to reflect the attitudes and changes of the world over time. 

When Burtynsky accepted his 2005 TED Prize, he made three wishes. One of his wishes: to build a website that will help kids think about going green. Thanks to WGBH and the TED community, the show and site Meet the Greens debuted at TED2007. His second wish: to begin work on an Imax film, which morphed into the jaw-dropping film Manufactured Landscapes with Jennifer Baichwal. And his third wish, wider in scope, was simply to encourage "a massive and productive worldwide conversation about sustainable living." Thanks to his help and the input of the TED community, the site WorldChanging.com got an infusion of energy that has helped it to grow into a leading voice in the sustainability community.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
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Kitra Cahana image Kitra Cahana
Vagabond photojournalist + conceptual artist

Kitra Cahana is a Canadian photographer who blurs the line between anthropologist and journalist.

Kitra Cahana is a wanderer. The American-born photographer was raised in Canada and Sweden, with a father who worked as a rabbi and took his family along with him everywhere he traveled. Cahana's itinerant childhood is evident in her work, which has taken her to teenage "rainbow parties," Venezuelan spiritual rituals, Ukranian Ultra-Orthodox prayer sites, American boxcars and bus stops and many more places. The 2014 TED Fellow embeds herself in the societies she documents, playing the part of photojouralist as well as enthnographer.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Susan Cain image Susan Cain
Quiet revolutionary

Our world prizes extroverts -- but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.

Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant -- and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin's nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments -- but because of them.

How did Susan write her talk (in a week)? Watch this interview >>

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Matthew Carter image Matthew Carter
Type designer

Even if you don’t recognize his name, chances are you’ve seen Matthew Carter’s work -- his type designs include some of the world’s most familiar digital typefaces.

MacArthur Fellow Matthew Carter started his career as a punchcutter, a print artisan who physically carves each letter into metal. He had already designed several legendary typefaces (in 1975, he created Bell Centennial for use in phone books) when he stepped into the digital design ring. As part of a project undertaken for Microsoft, Carter created early and successful examples of screen type emphasizing clarity and ease of long-term viewing, including the familiar Verdana, Galliard and Georgia. A recent work is MS Sitka, a family of digital fonts that are built to be readable at many sizes in print and onscreen.

Print and online publications such as Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Wired and the Washington Post have all commissioned Carter fonts, leading Microsoft's typography blog to call him "the person who shapes the way we read about the world."

Carter is a principal of Carter & Cone Type Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company specializing in designing and producing original typefaces. As he says: "A typeface is a beautiful collection of letters, not a collection of beautiful letters."

Session 3: Reshape
Tues Mar 18, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
David Chalmers image David Chalmers
Philosopher

In his work, David Chalmers explores the “hard problem of consciousness" -- the quest to explain our subjective experience.

David Chalmers is a philosopher at the Australian National University and New York University. He works in philosophy of mind and in related areas of philosophy and cognitive science. While he's especially known for his theories on consciousness, he's also interested (and has extensively published) in all sorts of other issues in the foundations of cognitive science, the philosophy of language, metaphysics and epistemology.

Chalmers placed the "hard problem" of consciousness firmly on the philosophical map. He famously challenges materialist conceptions of mind, arguing for an "explanatory gap" between our brains’ physical properties and our minds’ qualia. Elsewhere he has championed the notion of the "extended mind," which argues that the mind is not confined to skin or skull, but plausibly may extend beyond them.

Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Aziza Chaouni image Aziza Chaouni
Architect + ecotourism specialist

Aziza Chaouni focuses on projects that integrate architecture and landscape, and that ultimately give back to their communities. For years, she has worked to revive the Fez River, which runs through her hometown of Fez, Morocco.

Civil engineer and architect Aziza Chaouni creates sustainable, built environments in the developing world, focusing on the deserts of the Middle East. Chaouni’s design philosophy holds that it is not enough for sustainable buildings to have zero impact—they must give back to the community on social, economic, infrastructural and environmental levels too. The founding principal of Aziza Chaouni Projects, she collaborates closely with local communities and experts from other disciplines to integrate architecture, landscape and infrastructure in innovative ways.

Born and raised in Fez, Morocco, Chaouni has long found herself fascinated with the Fez River, which winds through the city's ancient Medina. Once considered the city's soul, sending water to both public and private fountains, in the 1950s, the stream started to become a toxic sewer because of overcrowding, over-development and pollution. The city responded by covering the river over with concrete slabs, bit by bit, in the process destroying houses and creating dumping grounds. When Fez received a grant to divert and clean the river's water, Chaouni proposed the Fez River Project to uncover the river, restore its riverbanks and create pedestrian pathways. Her vision: to reclaim these areas as public spaces and reconnect them to the rest of the city.

A project that Chaouni has been working on for two decades, her mission to transform the Fez River began with her thesis in graduate school and has continued throughout her career. Over the course of years, the river is gradually being uncovered—illegal parking lots are being transformed into playgrounds, trees and vegetation are being planted to create public spaces. Overall, the project is revitalizing Fez as a living city.

 

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
Wendy Chung image Wendy Chung
Geneticist

At the Simons Foundation, Wendy Chung is working to characterize behavior, brain structure and function in people with genetic variations that may relate to autism.

Wendy Chung is the director of clinical research at the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, which does both basic and applied science to serve people affected by autism spectrum disorders. She's the principal investigator of the foundation's Simons Variation in Individuals Project, which characterizes behavior and brain structure and function in participants with genetic copy number variants such as those at 16p11.2, which are believed to play a role in spectrum disorders.
 
Chung also directs the clinical genetics program at Columbia University. In assessing and treating kids with autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, she uses advanced genomic diagnostics to explore the genetic basis of neurological conditions. She thinks deeply about the ethical and emotional questions around genetic medicine and genetic testing.

Session 7: Why?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
June Cohen image June Cohen
Executive producer, TED Media

The co-creator of TEDTalks and a bold thinker about new media, June Cohen is the Executive Producer of TED Media.

As Executive Producer of TED Media, June Cohen has been responsible for bringing the TED Conference online and helping to grow its audience to more than 150 million viewers worldwide. In 2006, she launched TEDTalks, the online video series of TED Conference talks, followed by TED.com, the TED Open Translation Project and the TED Open TV Project. Cohen also co-produces and co-hosts the TED Conference in California. A journalist by training, she was previously VP of Content at HotWired.com, the pioneering website from Wired magazine. In 1991, she launched the world's first networked multimedia magazine, at Stanford University

She says: "Modern technologies are returning us to very ancient forms of media, communication and community. And we're all the better for it."

Inside TED
Mon Mar 17, 2014
4:00 – 5:00
Billy Collins image Billy Collins
Poet

A two-term U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins captures readers with his understated wit, profound insight -- and a sense of being "hospitable."

Accessibility is not a word often associated with great poetry. Yet Billy Collins has managed to create a legacy from what he calls being poetically “hospitable.” Preferring lyrical simplicity to abstruse intellectualism, Collins combines humility and depth of perception, undercutting light and digestible topics with dark and at times biting humor.

While Collins approaches his work with a healthy sense of self-deprecation, calling his poems “domestic” and “middle class,” John Taylor has said of Collins: “Rarely has anyone written poems that appear so transparent on the surface yet become so ambiguous, thought-provoking, or simply wise once the reader has peered into the depths.”

In 2001 he was named U.S. Poet Laureate, a title he kept until 2003. Collins lives in Somers, New York, and is an English professor at City University of New York, where he has taught for more than 40 years.

Credits for the animations in this talk:

"Budapest," "Forgetfulness" and "Some Days" -- animation by Julian Grey/Head Gear

"The Country" -- animation by Brady Baltezor/Radium

"The Dead" -- animation by Juan Delcan/Spontaneous
 

Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Andrew Connolly image Andrew Connolly
Astronomer

Andrew Connolly is helping to build the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope -- as well as tools to handle the massive datasets it will send our way.

Andrew Connolly's research focuses on understanding the evolution of our universe, by studying how structure forms and evolves on small and large scales -- from the search for asteroids to the clustering of distant galaxies. He's a ten-year veteran of the Large Synoptic Sky Survey, and is now prepping for the unprecedented data streams we could expect from the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.
 
Set on an 8,800-foot peak in northern Chile, the LSST will have an 8.4-meter primary mirror, a 10-square-degree field of view and a 3.2 gigapixel camera. It will survey half the sky every three nights, creating about 100 terabytes of data every week. Astronomers, Connolly suggests, will need wholly new tools to wrangle this amount of data -- so he has been helping bring together computer scientists, statisticians and astronomers to develop scalable algorithms for processing massive data streams.
 
On sabbatical from the University of Washington, Connolly led the development of Google Sky, and he's now working with Microsoft to develop affordable digital planetariums.
Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Amy Cuddy image Amy Cuddy
Social Psychologist

Amy Cuddy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions.

Amy Cuddy wasn’t supposed to become a successful scientist. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to finish her undergraduate degree. Early in her college career, Cuddy suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, and doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree.

But she proved them wrong. Today, Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. And her training as a classical dancer (another skill she regained after her injury) is evident in her fascinating work on "power posing" -- how your body position influences others and even your own brain.

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
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Masarat Daud image Masarat Daud
Rural education campaigner

Masarat Daud founded the 8-Day Academy, creating short, accessible courses to educate those in remote villages and communities. She's also, as she puts it, "the accidental ambassador of the Burqa."

Born in Rajasthan, India, Masarat Daud now lives in London. A journalist since the age of thirteen, she covered IT and educational issues for print and broadcast. But in early 2009 she left to start the 8-Day Academy, which creates accessible courses with just eight days of teaching and training, aimed at those people with little access to education. The 8-Day Academy has empowered hundreds of villagers in Rajasthan and in the slums of Bangladesh. Daud is the curator of TEDxShekhavati, which is the largest TEDx gathering globally and one of a handful to target rural populations.
 
She has worn a Burqa for more than a dozen years, and speaks about it to counter misconceptions, stereotyping and lack of understanding.
Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Wade Davis image Wade Davis
Anthropologist, ethnobotanist

A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Wade Davis has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”

Wade Davis is perhaps the most articulate and influential western advocate for the world's indigenous cultures. A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” Trained in anthropology and botany at Harvard, he travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people, and document their cultural practices in books, photographs, and film. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer's imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing -- 50 percent of the world's 7,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language is much more than vocabulary and grammatical rules. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.  

Indigenous cultures are not failed attempts at modernity, let alone failed attempts to be us. They are unique expressions of the human imagination and heart, unique answers to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? When asked this question, the peoples of the world respond in 7,000 different voices, and these collectively comprise our human repertoire for dealing with all the challenges that will confront us as a species over the coming centuries.

Davis is the author of 15 books including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, and The Wayfinders. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced for the National Geographic. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, and he is the 2011 recipient of the Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers’ Club, and the 2012 recipient of the Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. His latest books are Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest and The Sacred Headwaters: the Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena and the Nass.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Dan Dennett image Dan Dennett
Philosopher, cognitive scientist

Dan Dennett argues that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes. His latest book is "Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking,"

One of our most important living philosophers, Dan Dennett is best known for his provocative and controversial arguments that human consciousness and free will are the result of physical processes in the brain. He argues that the brain's computational circuitry fools us into thinking we know more than we do, and that what we call consciousness — isn't. His 2003 book "Freedom Evolves" explores how our brains evolved to give us -- and only us -- the kind of freedom that matters, while 2006's "Breaking the Spell" examines belief through the lens of biology.

This mind-shifting perspective on the mind itself has distinguished Dennett's career as a philosopher and cognitive scientist. And while the philosophy community has never quite known what to make of Dennett (he defies easy categorization, and refuses to affiliate himself with accepted schools of thought), his computational approach to understanding the brain has made him, as Edge's John Brockman writes, “the philosopher of choice of the AI community.”

“It's tempting to say that Dennett has never met a robot he didn't like, and that what he likes most about them is that they are philosophical experiments,” Harry Blume wrote in the Atlantic Monthly in 1998. “To the question of whether machines can attain high-order intelligence, Dennett makes this provocative answer: ‘The best reason for believing that robots might some day become conscious is that we human beings are conscious, and we are a sort of robot ourselves.'"

In recent years, Dennett has become outspoken in his atheism, and his 2006 book Breaking the Spell calls for religion to be studied through the scientific lens of evolutionary biology. Dennett regards religion as a natural -- rather than supernatural -- phenomenon, and urges schools to break the taboo against empirical examination of religion. He argues that religion's influence over human behavior is precisely what makes gaining a rational understanding of it so necessary: “If we don't understand religion, we're going to miss our chance to improve the world in the 21st century.”

Dennett's landmark books include The Mind's I, co-edited with Douglas Hofstaedter, Consciousness Explained, and Darwin's Dangerous Idea. Read an excerpt from his 2013 book, Intuition Pumps, in the Guardian >>

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Peter Diamandis image Peter Diamandis
Space activist

Peter Diamandis runs the X Prize Foundation, which offers large cash incentive prizes to inventors who can solve grand challenges like space flight, low-cost mobile medical diagnostics and oil spill cleanup. He is the chair of Singularity University, which teaches executives and grad students about exponentially growing technologies.

Watch the live onstage debate with Paul Gilding that followed Peter Diamandis' 2012 TEDTalk >>

Peter Diamandis is the founder and chair of the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is simply "to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity." By offering a big cash prize for a specific accomplishment, the X Prize stimulates competition and excitement around some of the planet's most important goals. Diamandis is also co-founder and chairman of Singularity University which runs Exponential Technologies Executive and Graduate Student Programs.

Diamandis' background is in space exploration -- before the X Prize, he ran a company that studied low-cost launching technologies and Zero-G which offers the public the chance to train like an astronaut and experience weightlessness. But though the X Prize's first $10 million went to a space-themed challenge, Diamandis' goal now is to extend the prize into health care, social policy, education and many other fields that could use a dose of competitive innovation.

Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
George Dyson image George Dyson
Historian of science

In telling stories of technologies and the individuals who created them, George Dyson takes a clear-eyed view of our scientific past -- while illuminating what lies ahead.

The development of the Aleutian kayak, its adaptation by Russians in the 18th and 19th centuries, and his own redevelopment of the craft in the 1970s was chronicled in George Dyson’s Baidarka: The Kayak of 1986. His 1997 Darwin Among the Machines: The Evolution of Global Intelligence (“the last book about the Internet written without the Internet”) explored the history and prehistory of digital computing and telecommunications as a manifestation of the convergent destiny of organisms and machines.

Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship, published in 2002, assembled first-person interviews and recently declassified documents to tell the story of a path not taken into space: a nuclear-powered spaceship whose objective was to land a party of 100 people on Mars four years before we landed two people on the Moon. Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe, published in 2012, illuminated the transition from numbers that mean things to numbers that do things in the aftermath of World War II.

Dyson’s current project, Analogia, is a semi-autobiographical reflection on how analog computation is re-establishing control over the digital world.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
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Sylvia Earle image Sylvia Earle
Oceanographer

Sylvia Earle has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades. She's led more than 50 undersea expeditions, and she's been an equally tireless advocate for our oceans and the creatures who live in them.

Sylvia Earle, called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress and "Hero for the Planet" by Time, is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with a deep commitment to research through personal exploration.

Earle's work has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades. Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. As captain of the first all-female team to live underwater, she and her fellow scientists received a ticker-tape parade and White House reception upon their return to the surface. In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since. In the 1980s she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies with engineer Graham Hawkes to design and build undersea vehicles that allow scientists to work at previously inaccessible depths. In the early 1990s, Dr. Earle served as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. At present she is explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society.

Sylvia Earle is a dedicated advocate for the world's oceans and the creatures that live in them. Her voice speaks with wonder and amazement at the glory of the oceans and with urgency to awaken the public from its ignorance about the role the oceans plays in all of our lives and the importance of maintaining their health.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Zak Ebrahim image Zak Ebrahim
Peace activist

Groomed for terror, Zak Ebrahim chose a different life. The author of The Terrorist's Son, he hopes his story will inspire others to reject a path of violence.

When Zak Ebrahim was seven, his family went on the run. His father, El Sayyid Nosair, had hoped Zak would follow in his footsteps -- and become a jihadist. Instead, Zak was at the beginning of a long journey to comprehend his past.

Zak Ebrahim kept his family history a secret as they moved through a long succession of towns. In 2010, he realized his experience as a terrorist’s son not only gave him a unique perspective, but also a unique chance to show that if he could escape a violent heritage, anyone could. As he told Truthdig.com, “We must embrace tolerance and nonviolence. Who knows this better than the son of a terrorist?”

In 2014 Ebrahim published the TED Book The Terrorist's Son, a memoir written with Jeff Giles about the path he took to turn away from hate.

Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Keren Elazari image Keren Elazari
Cybersecurity expert

Keren Elazari charts the transformation of hackers from cyberpunk protagonists to powerful hacktivists, lone rangers and digital robin hoods who are the unsung heroes of the digital frontier.

A GigaOM analyst and Israeli hacking scene insider, Keren Elazari moves through business, academic and security circles, researching new technologies and emerging security threats. Inspired by science fiction in her teenage years and fuelled by insatiable curiosity, Elazari spent years investigating the darker corners of cyberspace.

Today, she emerges with a new understanding of the hacker underworld. Information is the new currency of our digital society, and those who can control it have become powerful actors -- whether they choose to be heroes or villains. As she says, "Hacking has become a superpower that can positively impact millions worldwide – if we learn how to harness it.”

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
Juan Enriquez image Juan Enriquez
Futurist

Juan Enriquez thinks and writes about profound changes that genomics will bring in business, technology, and society.

A broad thinker who studies the intersection of science, business and society, Juan Enriquez has a talent for bridging disciplines to build a coherent look ahead. Enriquez was the founding director of the Harvard Business School Life Sciences Project, and has published widely on topics from the technical (global nucleotide data flow) to the sociological (gene research and national competitiveness), and was a member of Celera Genomics founder Craig Venter's marine-based team to collect genetic data from the world's oceans.

Formerly CEO of Mexico City's Urban Development Corporation and chief of staff for Mexico's secretary of state, Enriquez played a role in reforming Mexico's domestic policy and helped negotiate a cease-fire with Zapatista rebels. He is a Managing Director at Excel Medical Ventures, a life sciences venture capital firm, and the chair and CEO of Biotechonomy, a research and investment firm helping to fund new genomics firms. The Untied States of America looks at the forces threatening America's future as a unified country.

In his TED Book Homo Evolutis (written with Steve Gullens), Enriquez explores the far reaches of human change, and asks: Are we done evolving?

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
David Epstein image David Epstein
Sports science reporter

David Epstein is an investigative reporter who covers the wide-open space where sports, science and medicine overlap.

David Epstein writes about the developing science around sport -- from performance-enhancing drugs to the lucky genetics that separate a professional athlete from a duffer. A science writer and longtime contributor to Sports Illustrated, he's helped break stories on steroids in baseball, fraudulently marketed health remedies, and big-money irregularities in "amateur" college football. In 2007, inspired by the death of a childhood friend, he wrote a moving exploration of the most common cause of sudden death in young athletes, a hard-to-diagnose heart irregularity known as HCM.
 
Now an investigative reporter at ProPublica, Epstein is the author of The Sports Gene, a book that explores the complex factors that make up a championship athlete. Is there such a thing as natural greatness, or can even extreme skills -- like the freaky-fast reaction of a hockey great -- be learned? Conversely, is the desire and will to master extreme skills something you're born with?
Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
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Bran Ferren image Bran Ferren
Technology designer

Once known for entertaining millions by creating special effects for Hollywood, theme parks and Broadway, Applied Minds cofounder Bran Ferren now solves impossible tech challenges with previously unimaginable inventions.

After dropping out of MIT in 1970, Bran Ferren became a designer and engineer for theater, touring rock bands, and dozens of movies, including Altered States and Little Shop of Horrors, before joining Disney as a lead Imagineer, then becoming president of R&D for the Walt Disney Company.

In 2000, Ferren and partner Danny Hillis left Disney to found Applied Minds, a playful design and invention firm dedicated to distilling game-changing inventions from an eclectic stew of the brightest creative minds culled from every imaginable discipline.

Session 2: Retrospect
Tues Mar 18, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Helen Fisher image Helen Fisher
Anthropologist; expert on love

Anthropologist Helen Fisher studies gender differences and the evolution of human emotions. She's best known as an expert on romantic love, and her beautifully penned books -- including Anatomy of Love and Why We Love -- lay bare the mysteries of our most treasured emotion.

Helen Fisher's courageous investigations of romantic love -- its evolution, its biochemical foundations and its vital importance to human society -- are informing and transforming the way we understand ourselves. Fisher describes love as a universal human drive (stronger than the sex drive; stronger than thirst or hunger; stronger perhaps than the will to live), and her many areas of inquiry shed light on timeless human mysteries, like why we choose one partner over another.

Almost unique among scientists, Fisher explores the science of love without losing a sense of romance: Her work frequently invokes poetry, literature and art -- along with scientific findings -- helping us appreciate our love affair with love itself. In her research, and in books such as Anatomy of Love, Why We Love, and her latest work Why Him? Why Her?: How to Find and Keep Lasting Love, Fisher looks at questions with real impact on modern life. Her latest research raises serious concerns about the widespread, long-term use of antidepressants, which may undermine our natural process of attachment by tampering with hormone levels in the brain.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Ze Frank image Ze Frank
Humorist, web artist

Ze Frank rose to fame on a viral video -- in 2001! He has been making online comedy, web toys and massively shared experiences (like the addictive Young Me Now Me) ever since.

Ever since his "How to Dance Properly" viral video -- born as a party invite for 17 friends -- hit the Web in 2001, Ze Frank has been making people giggle, guffaw and gasp out loud whilst procrastinating at work. He defines, in many ways, the genre of online comedy, and continues to innovate madly on the form. 

In 2006 he launched a year-long daily video blog called The Show with Ze Frank, which Slate.com called "the best sustained comedy run in the history of the Web." His rapid-fire delivery and absurd explorations in audience participation (like Earth Sandwich) has influenced a generation of digital native YouTubers. Perhap his most brilliant move: calling on fans to write the show for him. Using collaborative tools, online viewers collectively put words in his mouth (and props in his lap); he faithfully performed this wiki-comedy each week for his "Fabuloso Friday" show.

In 2008, along with Erik Kastner, Frank launched Colowars, the first massively multiplayer game on Twitter, which featured two months of sponsored online events and competitions. Recently he has worked with his audience to create a series of projects based on shared emotions such as pain, fear and the pang of nostalgia. Frank works as a consultant to range of industries on audience engagement and is a public speaker on the subject of the virtual life.

In 2012 he returned to the internet airwaves with "A Show." About which a MetaFilter commenter wrote:

If this were a cult, I would join.

If this were a religion, I would attend services.

If this were a band, I would not torrent the albums, but buy them, full price, from a local independent record store.

If this were a telethon, I would buy multiple tote bags.

Welcome back, Ze.

Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Stephen Friend image Stephen Friend
Open-science advocate

Inspired by open-source software models, Sage Bionetworks co-founder Stephen Friend builds tools that facilitate research sharing on a massive and revolutionary scale.

While working for Merck, Stephen Friend became frustrated by the slow pace at which big pharma created new treatments for desperate patients. Studying shared models like Wikipedia, Friend realized that the complexities of disease could only be understood -- and combated -- with collaboration and transparency, not by isolated scientists working in secret with proprietary data

In his quest for a solution, Friend co-founded Sage Bionetworks, an organization dedicated to creating strategies and platforms that empower researchers to share and interpret data on a colossal scale -- as well as crowdsource tests for new hypotheses.

As he wrote on CreativeCommons.org, "Our goal is ambitious. We want to take biology from a place where enclosure and privacy are the norm, where biologists see themselves as lone hunter-gatherers working to get papers written, to one where the knowledge is created specifically to fit into an open model where it can be openly queried and transformed."

Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Robert Full image Robert Full
Biologist

Robert Full studies cockroach legs and gecko feet. His research is helping build tomorrow's robots, based on evolution's ancient engineering.

UC Berkeley biologist Robert Full is fascinated by the motion of creatures like cockroaches, crabs and geckos having many legs, unusual feet or talented tails. He has led an effort to demonstrate the value of learning from Nature by the creating interdisciplinary collaborations of biologists, engineers, mathematicians and computer scientists from academia and industry. He founded CiBER, the Center for interdisciplinary Bio-inspiration in Education and Research, and the Poly-PEDAL Laboratory, which studies the Performance, Energetics and Dynamics of Animal Locomotion (PEDAL) in many-footed creatures (Poly).

His research shows how studying a diversity of animals leads to the discovery of general principles which inspire the design of novel circuits, artificial muscles, exoskeletons, versatile scampering legged search-and-rescue robots and synthetic self-cleaning dry adhesives based on gecko feet. He is passionate about discovery-based education leading to innovation -- and he even helped Pixar’s insect animations in the film A Bug's Life.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
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Ziyah Gafić image Ziyah Gafić
Photographer + storyteller

To help him come to terms with the tragedy of his own homeland, Bosnian photographer Ziyah Gafić turns his camera on the aftermath of conflict, showing his images in galleries, in books and on Instagram.

Ziyah Gafić uses his camera to capture the aftermath of war. He has traveled to Pakistan, Iraq and Chechnya to capture beautiful portraits of people carrying on with their lives in the face of destruction; he has photographed the everyday lives of children in Rwanda, a generation born from the widespread use of rape as a weapon during the Rwandan genocide. A moving question runs through his work: After war, how do people manage to keep the fabric of society together?

Gafić's interest in this subject comes from his own biography. Born in Sarajevo, he was a teenager during the Bosnian War of the 1990s. Through photography, he parses what happened in his homeland. For his book Quest for Identity, Gafić photographed the watches, keys, shoes, combs and glasses exhumed from mass graves 20 years after the Bosnian War. These objects are cleaned, catalogued and used to help identify the bodies found with them, but afterwards, they become what Gafić calls “orphans of the narrative,” either destroyed or stored away out of sight and out of mind. His quest is to keep them in view as a last testament to the fact that these people existed, preserving them as an easily accessible visual archive that tells the story of what happened—integrating an objective forensic perspective with human compassion.

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
David Gallo image David Gallo
Oceanographer

A pioneer in ocean exploration, David Gallo is an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land.

David Gallo works to push the bounds of oceanic discovery. Active in undersea exploration (sometimes in partnership with legendary Titanic-hunter Robert Ballard), he was one of the first oceanographers to use a combination of manned submersibles and robots to map the ocean world with unprecedented clarity and detail. He was a co-expedition leader during an exploration of the RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, using Russian Mir subs.

On behalf of the Woods Hole labs, he appears around the country speaking on ocean and water issues. Most recently he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and he co-led the successful international effort to locate the wreck site of Air France flight 447. He is involved in planning an international Antarctic expedition to locate and document the wreckage of Ernest Shackleton’s ship, HMS Endurance.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Melinda Gates (with Bill) image Melinda Gates (with Bill)
Philanthropist

Melinda French Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she puts into practice the idea that every life has equal value.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. As co-chair, Melinda French Gates helps shape and approve strategies, review results, advocate for foundation issues and set the overall direction. In developing countries, the foundation focuses on improving people's health with vaccines and other life-saving tools and giving them a chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to dramatically improve education so that all young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

In recent years, Melinda French Gates has become a vocal advocate for access to contraception, advancing the idea that empowering women to decide whether and when to have children can have transformational effects on societies. In 2012, Gates spearheaded the London Summit on Family Planning, with the goal of delivering contraceptives to 120 million women in developing countries by 2020. When asked why she got involved in this issue, Gates said, "We knew that 210 million women were saying they wanted access to the contraceptives we have here in the United States and we weren't providing them because of political controversy in our country. To me, that was just a crime. I kept looking around trying to find the person to get this back on the global stage. I realized I just had to do it."

 

Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Bill Gates (with Melinda) image Bill Gates (with Melinda)
Philanthropist

A passionate techie and a shrewd businessman, Bill Gates changed the world while leading Microsoft to dizzying success. Now he's doing it again with his own style of philanthropy and passion for innovation.

Bill Gates is the founder and former CEO of Microsoft. A geek icon, tech visionary and business trailblazer, Gates' leadership -- fueled by his long-held dream that millions might realize their potential through great software -- made Microsoft a personal computing powerhouse and a trendsetter in the Internet dawn. Whether you're a suit, chef, quant, artist, media maven, nurse or gamer, you've probably used a Microsoft product today.

In summer of 2008, Gates left his day-to-day role with Microsoft to focus on philanthropy. Holding that all lives have equal value (no matter where they're being lived), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has now donated staggering sums to HIV/AIDS programs, libraries, agriculture research and disaster relief -- and offered vital guidance and creative funding to programs in global health and education. Gates believes his tech-centric strategy for giving will prove the killer app of planet Earth's next big upgrade.

Read a collection of Bill and Melinda Gates' annual letters, where they take stock of the Gates Foundation and the world. And follow his ongoing thinking on his personal website, The Gates Notes.

Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly image Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly
Former U.S. Representative and NASA astronaut; survivors

After Rep. Gabby Giffords was wounded by a would-be assassin’s bullet in January 2011, she and her husband, Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut, retired US Navy captain and combat veteran, have become known around the world for their story of hope and resilience.

For nearly 15 years, Gabby Giffords has dedicated herself to public service. As the youngest woman ever elected to the Arizona State Senate, she represented her community in the Arizona Legislature from 2000-2005, and then in US Congress from 2006-2012. In Congress, Gabby represented a diverse area that covers 9,000 square miles including a 114-mile border with Mexico. She quickly became a leading champion of border security, energy independence, and the needs of military families and veterans. She was consistently ranked as one of the most centrist legislators in Congress. 

In 2007, Giffords married Mark Kelly, a Naval aviator who flew 39 combat missions in Operation Desert Storm and NASA astronaut. Mark flew his first of four missions in 2001 aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the same space shuttle that he commanded on its final flight in May 2011. He has also commanded Space Shuttle Discovery and is one of only two individuals who have visited the International Space Station on four different occasions.

On January 8, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona, an assassination attempt at an event with constituents left Giffords severely wounded, and six others dead. Since that day, Gabby and Mark have become known for their story of hope and resilience in the wake of tragedy.

Session 12: Onward
Fri Mar 21, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Dan Gilbert image Dan Gilbert
Psychologist; happiness expert

Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong -- a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.

Dan Gilbert believes that, in our ardent, lifelong pursuit of happiness, most of us have the wrong map. In the same way that optical illusions fool our eyes -- and fool everyone's eyes in the same way -- Gilbert argues that our brains systematically misjudge what will make us happy. And these quirks in our cognition make humans very poor predictors of our own bliss.

The premise of his current research -- that our assumptions about what will make us happy are often wrong -- is supported with clinical research drawn from psychology and neuroscience. But his delivery is what sets him apart. His engaging -- and often hilarious -- style pokes fun at typical human behavior and invokes pop-culture references everyone can relate to. This winning style translates also to Gilbert's writing, which is lucid, approachable and laugh-out-loud funny. The immensely readable Stumbling on Happiness, published in 2006, became a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 20 languages.

In fact, the title of his book could be drawn from his own life. At 19, he was a high school dropout with dreams of writing science fiction. When a creative writing class at his community college was full, he enrolled in the only available course: psychology. He found his passion there, earned a doctorate in social psychology in 1985 at Princeton, and has since won a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Phi Beta Kappa teaching prize for his work at Harvard. He has written essays and articles for The New York Times, Time and even Starbucks, while continuing his research into happiness at his Hedonic Psychology Laboratory.

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Elizabeth Gilbert image Elizabeth Gilbert
Writer

The author of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some big topics. Her fascinations: genius, creativity and how we get in our own way when it comes to both.

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a premidlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of -- running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home.

She's a longtime magazine writer -- covering music and politics for Spin and GQ -- as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for two movies so far (Coyote Ugly, based on her own tale of working at the famously raunchy bar in New York City), and Eat, Pray, Love, with the part of Gilbert played by Julia Roberts. Not bad for a year off.

In 2010, Elizabeth published Committed, a memoir exploring her ambivalent feelings about the institution of marriage. And her 2013 novel, The Signature of All Things, is "a sprawling tale of 19th century botanical exploration."

Gilbert also owns and runs the import shop Two Buttons in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

Session 7: Why?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Seth Godin image Seth Godin
Marketer and author

Seth Godin is an entrepreneur and blogger who thinks about the marketing of ideas in the digital age. His newest interest: the tribes we lead.

"Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age," Mary Kuntz wrote in Business Week nearly a decade ago. "Instead of widgets or car parts, he specializes in ideas -- usually, but not always, his own." In fact, he's as focused on spreading ideas as he is on the ideas themselves.

After working as a software brand manager in the mid-1980s, Godin started Yoyodyne, one of the first Internet-based direct-marketing firms, with the notion that companies needed to rethink how they reached customers. His efforts caught the attention of Yahoo!, which bought the company in 1998 and kept Godin on as a vice president of permission marketing. Godin has produced several critically acclaimed and attention-grabbing books, including Permission Marketing, All Marketers Are Liars, and Purple Cow (which was distributed in a milk carton). In 2005, Godin founded Squidoo.com, a Web site where users can share links and information about an idea or topic important to them.

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
Gabriella Gomez-Mont image Gabriella Gomez-Mont
Creativity Officer, Guest Host

TED Senior Fellow Gabriella Gomez-Mont directs "Laboratorio para la Ciudad", Mexico City´s new creative think tank and experimental space.

As director of the "Laboratorio para la Ciudad," Gabriella Gomez-Mont is the Chief Creativity Officer of one of the world's largest and most complex cities. This novel initiative by mayor Miguel Angel Mangera is designed as a multidisciplinary think tank tasked with placing imagination at the center of community discourse and with searching for new solutions to social issues. It will function as an experimental space bringing together people from different sectors and disciplines and inducing conversation through multiple platforms.

In addition to directing the new lab, Gomez-Mort is a writer, visual artist and the director of the 2012 documentary film El Hombre que Vivió en un Zapato (The Man Who Lived in a Shoe). She is also a City 2.0 TED Prize awardee. Previously, she was the head of art salon Tóxico Cultura. As she says: "I am fascinated by finding those places and ways in which reality becomes malleable; art has has much to say about fiction and narrative creating space for fact and reality."

At TEDGlobal 2013 she will guest-curate, together with Nassim Assefi, the session “World on Its Head.”

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
Charmian Gooch image Charmian Gooch
Anti-corruption activist

Global Witness co-founder Charmian Gooch is the 2014 TED Prize winner. At her NGO she exposes how a global architecture of corruption is woven into the extraction and exploitation of natural resources.

Charmian Gooch co-founded watchdog NGO Global Witness with colleagues Simon Taylor and Patrick Alley in 1993 in response to growing concerns over covert warfare funded by illicit trade in timber and other industries.

Since then, Global Witness has captured headlines for their exposé of “blood diamonds” in Uganda, minerals in the Congo and illegal timber trade between Cambodia and Thailand, and more. With unique expertise on the shadowy threads connecting corrupt businesses and governments, Global Witness continues their quest to uncover and root out the sources of exploitation and conflict. As they said to the Daily Telegraph: "Consumers have a right to know what they're buying, and what was done to obtain it." 

In 2014 Gooch was awarded the TED Prize (as well as the $1 million Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship). Her Prize wish: to know who owns and controls companies, to change the law, and to launch a new era of openness in business.

Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Deborah Gordon image Deborah Gordon
Ecologist

By studying how ant colonies work without any one leader, Deborah Gordon has identified striking similarities in how ant colonies, brains, cells and computer networks regulate themselves.

Ecologist Deborah M. Gordon has learned that ant colonies can work without central control by using simple interactions like how often the insects touch antennae. Contrary to the notion that colonies are organized by efficient ants, she has instead discovered that evolution has produced “noisy” systems that tolerate accident and respond flexibly to the environment. When conditions are tough, natural selection favors colonies that conserve resources.

Her studies of ant colonies have led her and her Stanford colleagues to the discovery of the “Anternet,” which regulates foraging in ants in the same way the internet regulates data traffic. But as she said to Wired in 2013, "Insect behavior mimicking human networks ... is actually not what’s most interesting about ant networks. What’s far more interesting are the parallels in the other direction: What have the ants worked out that we humans haven’t thought of yet?" Her latest exploration: How do ants behave in space?

Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Helder Guimarães image Helder Guimarães
Magician

Using a deck of cards and other simple props, Helder Guimarães gets up close to play with your perceptions and preconceptions.

Helder Guimarães slips and slides cards on a table, silently plotting to blow your mind with invisible technique, unorthodox psychology and fresh humor. As a close-up magician, he's won international awards for his elegantly thought-through performances, which merge a nuanced stagecraft with good old how-does-he-do-it sleight of hand. He is the world's youngest-ever World Champion of Card Magic. He reflects on his craft in the out-of-print, enigmatic book Reflections.

His appearances at LA's Magic Castle led him to be awarded the title of Parlour Magician of The Year, in 2011 and 2012, recognition that drew hours-long queues as audiences (and fellow magicians) flocked to the simple and astonishing act. Also, in 2012, he co-created a show called Nothing to Hide, with Derek DelGaudio, which opened at the Geffen Playhouse, directed by magic superfan Neil Patrick Harris. In 2013, the show was taken to Off-Broadway where it stayed for a very successful held-over run of 110 performances.
Session 7: Why?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
H
Chris Hadfield image Chris Hadfield
Astronaut

Tweeting (and covering Bowie) from the International Space Station last year, Colonel Chris Hadfield reminded the world how much we love space.

“Good morning, Earth.” That is how Colonel Chris Hadfield, writing on Twitter, woke up the world every day while living aboard the International Space Station. In his five months on the ISS (including three as commander) Hadfield became a worldwide sensation, using social media to make outer space accessible and infusing a sense of wonder into the collective consciousness. Check out his cover version of David Bowie's "Space Oddity," sung while floating in his tin can, far above the world ...
 
Now back on our home planet, he continues to share the excitement of science and space travel. He's the author of the 2014 book An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth. As he says, "There are no wishy-washy astronauts. You don't get up there by being uncaring and blasé. And whatever gave you the sense of tenacity and purpose to get that far in life is absolutely reaffirmed and deepened by the experience itself." A photography geek, in 2014 he also published an album of his photos from the shuttle: You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes.

Hadfield is also a font of Canadian firsts: He was Canada’s first shuttle mission specialist, and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft (he helped build the Mir), do a spacewalk (he's done two), and of course, to command the International Space Station.

 

Session 1: Liftoff!
Mon Mar 17, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Del Harvey image Del Harvey
Security maven

Del Harvey is the VP of Trust & Safety at Twitter.

At Twitter, Del Harvey works to ensure user safety and security, balancing Twitter's wide-open spaces against spammers, harassers and worse, to create a workable policy that lets the tweets flow. Prior to joining the booming social media site, she spent five years as the law enforcement liaison for a group fighting child exploitation, where she worked with agencies ranging from local police departments to the FBI, US Marshals and the Secret Service.

As Twitter grows, its ever inventive users (who famously came up with many of its key features by themselves) are finding ever new ways to overshare, offend and pick on others. Harvey and team's challenge is to weed out the worst while keeping the site feeling like a safe place to have this new kind of conversation we're all having there now.

Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Adrianne Haslet-Davis image Adrianne Haslet-Davis
Ballroom dancer

When Adrianne Haslet-Davis lost her left foot in the Boston Marathon bombing, her left leg was amputated to the knee. Less than a year later, she's back on her feet and dancing again.

To ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, dancing was everything. So when she lost her left foot in the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, she vowed — from her hospital bed — that she would dance again. Two hundred days later, standing on the TED2014 stage, she did just that. With the help of MIT prostheticist Hugh Herr, Haslet-Davis performed in Vancouver for the first time since the bombing. 

Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Imogen Heap image Imogen Heap
Musician

Imogen Heap's aching voice and surprising electronics infuse countless videos and iPods with bone-chilling atmospherics.

Classically trained composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer Imogen Heap finds her muse in unlikely places. She's mined sonic mystery from sources ranging from cardboard tubes to cheap samplers to the data gloves--not to mention her own vocal cords.

A relentless experimenter, Heap's latest song cycle is built around some 900 fan-submitted "sound seeds," or samples of everyday sounds. The first six of these "Heapsongs" have been released via her website, and include the lovely "Propeller Seeds," inspired by a chance meeting at a past TEDGlobal. During 2012's TEDGlobal she recorded a song in various locations around Edinburgh, "anywhere that has a piano and they let me turn up with a microphone." She has also composed the orchestral score for the crowdsourced nature film "Love the Earth."

Heap's last album Ellipse earned her a Grammy and Ivor Novello award. This summer marks the release of Sparks, her fifth and most ambitious album to date. Sparks' songs have taken Imogen all over the world from her North East London home studio to the Himalayas via China. This year Imogen is the guest artist-curator for the iconic London Roundhouse venue’s new music festival, Reverb. The eagerly awaited Sparks world tour will begin at Reverb in August 2014. Meanwhile, Imogen will be celebrating her tenth TED anniversary this year.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Imogen Heap image Imogen Heap
Musician

Imogen Heap's aching voice and surprising electronics infuse countless videos and iPods with bone-chilling atmospherics.

Classically trained composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer Imogen Heap finds her muse in unlikely places. She's mined sonic mystery from sources ranging from cardboard tubes to cheap samplers to the data gloves--not to mention her own vocal cords.

A relentless experimenter, Heap's latest song cycle is built around some 900 fan-submitted "sound seeds," or samples of everyday sounds. The first six of these "Heapsongs" have been released via her website, and include the lovely "Propeller Seeds," inspired by a chance meeting at a past TEDGlobal. During 2012's TEDGlobal she recorded a song in various locations around Edinburgh, "anywhere that has a piano and they let me turn up with a microphone." She has also composed the orchestral score for the crowdsourced nature film "Love the Earth."

Heap's last album Ellipse earned her a Grammy and Ivor Novello award. This summer marks the release of Sparks, her fifth and most ambitious album to date. Sparks' songs have taken Imogen all over the world from her North East London home studio to the Himalayas via China. This year Imogen is the guest artist-curator for the iconic London Roundhouse venue’s new music festival, Reverb. The eagerly awaited Sparks world tour will begin at Reverb in August 2014. Meanwhile, Imogen will be celebrating her tenth TED anniversary this year.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Hugh Herr image Hugh Herr
Bionics designer

At MIT, Hugh Herr builds prosthetic knees, legs and ankles that fuse biomechanics with microprocessors to restore normal gait, balance, speed -- and perhaps to enhance.

Hugh Herr directs the Biomechatronics research group at the MIT Media Lab, where he is pioneering a new class of biohybrid smart prostheses and exoskeletons to improve the quality of life for thousands of people with physical challenges. A computer-controlled prosthesis called the Rheo Knee, for instance, is outfitted with a microprocessor that continually senses the joint's position and the loads applied to the limb. A powered ankle-foot prosthesis called the BiOM emulates the action of a biological leg to create a natural gait, allowing amputees to walk with normal levels of speed and metabolism as if their legs were biological.

Herr is the founder and chief technology officer of BiOM Inc., which markets the BiOM as the first in a series of products that will emulate or even augment physiological function through electromechanical replacement. You can call it (as they do) "personal bionics."

Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Mellody Hobson image Mellody Hobson
Investment expert

Mellody Hobson is president of Ariel Investments, a value-driven money management firm -- and an advocate for financial literacy and investor education.

Mellody Hobson handles strategic planning for the Chicago-based Ariel Investments, one of the largest African-American-owned money management firms in the United States. Beyond her work at Ariel, Hobson has become a nationally recognized voice on financial literacy and investor education. She is a regular contributor and analyst on finance, the markets and economic trends for CBS News, contributes weekly money tips on the Tom Joyner Morning Show and writes a column for Black Enterprise magazine. As a passionate advocate for investor education, she is a spokesperson for the Ariel/Hewitt study, 401(k) Plans in Living Color and the Ariel Black Investor Survey, both of which examine investing patterns among minorities.

Hobson is chair of the board for DreamWorks Animation. Her community outreach includes serving as chairman of After School Matters, providing Chicago teens with high quality out-of-school-time programs.

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Jim Holt image Jim Holt
Writer and philosopher

Why is there something rather than nothing? In his book "Why Does the World Exist?" Jim Holt dares to ask.

In his 2012 book Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story, Jim Holt creates a narrative out of one of the biggest questions we can ask -- and how modern scientists and philosophers are asking it. Can answers be found in many-worlds theory, in quantum mechanics, in a theology? Traveling around North America and Europe, he talks to physicists, including David Deutsch; philosophers, including Richard Swinburne; and the novelist John Updike. Why? Because as he tells Vanity Fair, "To me it’s the most sublime and awesome question in all of philosophy and all of human inquiry."

A longtime contributor to the New York Times, Slate and the New Yorker, Holt has written on string theory, time, infinity, numbers, humor, logic, truth and bullshit, among other topics. Holt studied mathematics at the University of Virginia, and was a faculty fellow in the philosophy department at Columbia. He is now at work on a book about free will, weakness of will, self-knowledge and happiness.

Session 7: Why?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Shih Chieh Huang image Shih Chieh Huang
Artist

Shih Chieh Huang doesn’t make art that’s meant to be admired from afar. He dissects and disassembles the detritus of our lives—household appliances, lights, computer parts, toys—and transforms them into surreal experiences.

Shih Chieh Huang has one goal with his art: to create experiences for people to explore. He finds inspiration for his work from some highly unusual sources: a bioluminescent fish, a garbage bag, even his belly button.

A TED Fellow, Shih Chieh Huang grew up in Taiwan, where he enjoyed discovering strange objects in his local night market. He developed a passion for taking apart everyday objects and transforming them into something new. These experiences—as well as a  fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute studying bioluminescent organisms—deeply inform his work. 

Shih Chieh Huang has created a helmet that records the movement of the eye, and then uses the blinks to turn on and off a nightlight. He’s also used similar mechanisms to send glowing water pumping through tubes. His most recent work, however, takes plastic bottles, garbage bags and other everyday items and transforms them into gigantic sculptures that move and light up—as if they were actual sea creatures.  

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
John Hunter image John Hunter
Educator

Teacher and musician John Hunter is the inventor of the World Peace Game (and the star of the documentary "World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements").

Musician, teacher, filmmaker and game designer, John Hunter has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. His own life story is one of a never-ending quest for harmony. As a student, he studied comparative religions and philosophy while traveling through Japan, China and India. In India, inspired by Ghandi's philosophy, he began to think about the role of the schoolteacher in creating a more peaceful world.

As his online biography says: "Accepting the reality of violence, he would seek to incorporate ways to explore harmony in various situations. This exploration would take form in the framework of a game – something that students would enjoy. Within the game data space, they would be challenged, while enhancing collaborative and communication skills."

In 1978, at the Richmond Community High School, Hunter led the first sessions of his World Peace Game, a hands-on political simulation. The game has now been played around the world, on a four-tiered board. It's the subject of the new film World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements.

Read John Hunter's note to the community following the publication of his TEDTalk >>

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
I
Joi Ito image Joi Ito
Relentless mind

Joi Ito is the director of the MIT Media Lab.

Joichi "Joi" Ito is one of those names threaded through the history of the Internet. From his days kickstarting Internet culture in Japan at Digital Garage, his restless curiosity led him to be an early-stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Flickr, Last.fm, Kickstarter and other Internet companies, and to serve on countless boards and advisory committees around digital culture and Internet freedom.
 
He leads the legendary MIT Media Lab as it heads toward its third decade, and is working on a book with Jeff Howe about nine principles for navigating whatever the changing culture throws at us next. As he told Wired, "The amount of money and the amount of permission that you need to create an idea has decreased dramatically." So: aim for resilience, not strength; seek risk, not safety. The book is meant to be a compass for a world without maps.

Session 12: Onward
Fri Mar 21, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
J
JR image JR
Street artist

With a camera, a dedicated wheatpasting crew and the help of whole villages and favelas, 2011 TED Prize winner JR shows the world its true face.

Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains, bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places -- the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil -- he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitants and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the sprits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces – the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops -- confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.

JR's most recent project, "Women Are Heroes," depicts women "dealing with the effects of war, poverty, violence, and oppression” from Rio de Janeiro, Phnom Penh, Delhi and several African cities. And his TED Prize wish opens an even wider lens on the world -- asking us all to turn the world inside out. Visit insideoutproject.net ...

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Steven Johnson image Steven Johnson
Writer

Steven Berlin Johnson examines the intersection of science, technology and personal experience.

A dynamic writer and speaker, Johnson crafts captivating theories that draw on a dizzying array of disciplines, without ever leaving his audience behind. Author Kurt Anderson described Johnson's book Emergence as "thoughtful and lucid and charming and staggeringly smart." The same could be said for Johnson himself. His big-brained, multi-disciplinary theories make him one of his generation's more intriguing thinkers. His books take the reader on a journey -- following the twists and turns his own mind makes as he connects seemingly disparate ideas: ants and cities, interface design and Victorian novels.

Johnson's breakout 2005 title, Everything Bad Is Good for You , took the provocative stance that our fear and loathing of popular culture is misplaced; video games and TV shows, he argues, are actually making us smarter. His appearances on The Daily Show and Charlie Rose cemented his reputation as a cogent thinker who could also pull more than his share of laughs. His most recent work, The Ghost Map, goes in another direction entirely: It tells the story of a cholera outbreak in 1854 London, from the perspective of the city residents, the doctors chasing the disease, and the pathogen itself. The book shows how the epidemic brought about profound changes in science, cities and modern society. His upcoming work, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, tells the fascinating stories of great ideas and great thinkers across disciplines. 

No mere chronicler of technology, Johnson is himself a longtime innovator in the web world: He was founder and Editor in Chief of FEED, one of the earliest and most interesting online magazines. He cofounded Patch, an intriguing website that maps online conversations to real-world neighborhoods, and outside.in -- and is an advisor to many other startups, including Medium and Jelly. He is the host and co-creator of the new PBS and BBC television series How We Got to Now, airing in the fall of 2014.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Sarah Jones image Sarah Jones
Polymorphic playwright

Tony Award-winning monologist, UNICEF ambassador, firebrand and FCC-fighting poet -- Sarah Jones assumes as many roles offstage as on.

"Chameleon-like" barely describes the astonishing ease with which Sarah Jones slips in and out of the characters in her solo performances -- as many as fourteen personae in her Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel. Critics marvel not only at her ability to perfectly mimic accents and mannerisms, but also to seemingly reshape her body, down to pupils and dimples, in the blink of an eye.

Jones' performances showcase a biting political awareness, and she has received commissions from Equality Now, the Kellogg Foundation and the National Immigration Forum to address issues of injustice and inequality. She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has given multiple performances at the White House at the invitation of President and First Lady Obama. Jones is now at work on a new solo show commissioned by the Novo Foundation, as well as a commission for Lincoln Center Theater, and a television project based on her characters.

Session 11: Unstress
Fri Mar 21, 2014
9:00 – 10:30
K
Maira Kalman image Maira Kalman
Illustrator, author

Maira Kalman's wise, witty drawings have appeared on numberless New Yorker covers, in a dozen children's books, and throughout the pages of the Elements of Style. Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is the result of a year-long illustrated blog she kept for the New York Times.

Children know Maira Kalman for her series of Max storybooks, adults for her New Yorker covers and the gotta-have-it illustrated version of the Elements of Style -- simple proof that her sensibility blends a childlike delight with a grownup's wry take on the world.

With her husband, the legendary designer and art director Tibor Kalman, Maira spent several decades designing objets and assembling books like (un)FASHION. But after Tibor's untimely death in 1999, Maira herself became a cultural force. Her colorful, faux-naif illustrations -- and her very perspective -- tap a desire in all of us to look at the world the way she does.

Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is perhaps the most complete expression of Maira's worldview. Based on a monthly blog she kept for the New York Times website for one year, it is filled with carefully observed moments and briskly captured thoughts, an omnivore's view of life in the modern world.

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
William Kamkwamba image William Kamkwamba
Inventor

To power his family's home, young William Kamkwamba built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap -- starting him on a journey detailed in the book and film "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind."

William Kamkwamba, from Malawi, is a born inventor. When he was 14, he built an electricity-producing windmill from spare parts and scrap, working from rough plans he found in a library book called Using Energy and modifying them to fit his needs. The windmill he built powers four lights and two radios in his family home.

After reading about Kamkwamba on Mike McKay's blog Hactivate (which picked up the story from a local Malawi newspaper), TEDGlobal Conference Director Emeka Okafor spent several weeks tracking him down at his home in Masitala Village, Wimbe, and invited him to attend TEDGlobal on a fellowship. Onstage, Kamkwamba talked about his invention and shared his dreams: to build a larger windmill to help with irrigation for his entire village, and to go back to school.

Following Kamkwamba's moving talk, there was an outpouring of support for him and his promising work. Members of the TED community got together to help him improve his power system (by incorporating solar energy), and further his education through school and mentorships. Subsequent projects have included clean water, malaria prevention, solar power and lighting for the six homes in his family compound; a deep-water well with a solar-powered pump for clean water; and a drip irrigation system. Kamkwamba himself returned to school, and is now attending the African Leadership Academy, a new pan-African prep school outside Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kamkwamba's story is documented in his autobiography, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope. A  documentary about Kamkwamba, called William and the Windmill, won the Documentary Feature Grand Jury award at SXSW in 2013 (watch a trailer ). You can support his work and other young inventors at MovingWindmills.org.


All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Nancy Kanwisher image Nancy Kanwisher
Brain researcher

Using fMRI imaging to watch the human brain at work, Nancy Kanwisher’s team has discovered cortical regions responsible for some surprisingly specific elements of cognition.

Does the brain use specialized processors to solve complex problems, or does it rely instead on more general-purpose systems?

This question has been at the crux of brain research for centuries. MIT researcher Nancy Kanwisher seeks to answer this question by discovering a “parts list” for the human mind and brain. "Understanding the nature of the human mind," she says, "is arguably the greatest intellectual quest of all time."

Kanwisher and her colleagues have used fMRI to identify distinct sites in the brain for face recognition, knowing where you are, and thinking about other people’s thoughts. Yet these discoveries are a prelude to bigger questions: How do these brain regions develop and function? What are the actual computations that go on in each region, and how are these computations implemented in circuits of neurons? And how do these work together to produce human intelligence?

To learn more, see Kanwisher's collection of short talks on how scientists actually study the human mind and brain and what they have learned so far.

Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Jeremy Kasdin image Jeremy Kasdin
Planet finder

Using innovative orbiting instruments, aerospace engineer Jeremy Kasdin hunts for the universe’s most elusive objects — potentially habitable worlds.

At Princeton’s High Contrast Imaging Laboratory, Jeremy Kasdin is collaborating on a revolutionary space-based observatory that will unveil previously unseen (and possibly Earth-like) planets in other solar systems.

One of the observatory’s startling innovations is the starshade, an orbiting "occulter" that blocks light from distant stars that ordinarily outshine their dim planets, making a clear view impossible. When paired with a space telescope, the starshade adds a new and powerful instrument to NASA’s cosmic detection toolkit.
Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Sarah Kay image Sarah Kay
Poet

A performing poet since she was 14 years old, Sarah Kay is the founder of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool.

Plenty of 14-year-old girls write poetry. But few hide under the bar of the famous Bowery Poetry Club in Manhattan’s East Village absorbing the talents of New York’s most exciting poets. Not only did Sarah Kay do that -- she also had the guts to take its stage and hold her own against performers at least a decade her senior. Her talent for weaving words into poignant, funny, and powerful performances paid off.

Sarah holds a Masters degree in the art of teaching from Brown University and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Grinnell College. Her first book, B, was ranked the number one poetry book on Amazon.com. Her second book, No Matter the Wreckage, is available from Write Bloody Publishing.

Sarah also founded Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool. Project VOICE runs performances and workshops to encourage people to engage in creative self-expression in schools and communities around the world.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Salman Khan image Salman Khan
Educator

In 2004, Salman Khan, a hedge fund analyst, began posting math tutorials on YouTube. Six years later, he has posted more than 2,000 tutorials, which are viewed nearly 100,000 times around the world each day.

Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org)-- a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere.  It now consists of self-paced software and, with over 1 million unique students per month, the most-used educational video repository on the Internet (over 30 million lessons delivered to-date).  All 2000+ video tutorials, covering everything from basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, have been made by Salman. 

Prior to the Khan Academy, Salman was a senior analyst at a hedge fund and had also worked in technology and venture capital.  He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Eng and B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a B.S. in mathematics from MIT.

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Chris Kluwe image Chris Kluwe
Punter and author

As a punter, most recently for the Minnesota Vikings, Chris Kluwe consistently set team records. As an advocate for equality, he proudly and profanely broke the NFL's code of omertà around locker-room politics. He tweets a lot about World of Warcraft.

The following dispatch was received in response to TED's request for a proper biography:
 
"Chris Kluwe grew up in Southern California among a colony of wild chinchillas and didn't learn how to communicate outside of barking and howling until he was 14 years old. He has played football in the NFL, once wrestled a bear for a pot of gold, and lies occasionally. He is also the eternal disappointment of his mother, who just can't understand why he hasn't cured cancer yet."
 
TED has no further questions.
Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Rob Knight image Rob Knight
Microbial ecologist

Rob Knight explores the unseen microbial world that exists literally right under our noses -- and everywhere else on (and in) our bodies.

Using scatological research methods that might repel the squeamish, microbial researcher Rob Knight uncovers the secret ecosystem (or "microbiome") of microbes that inhabit our bodies -- and the bodies of every creature on earth. In the process, he’s discovered a complex internal ecology that affects everything from weight loss to our susceptibility to disease. As he said to Nature in 2012, "What motivates me, from a pragmatic standpoint, is how understanding the microbial world might help us improve human and environmental health.”
 
Knight’s recent projects include the American Gut: an attempt to map the unique microbiome of the United States using open-access data mining tools and citizen-scientists to discover how lifestyle and diet affect our internal flora and fauna, and our overall health.
Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Ray Kurzweil image Ray Kurzweil
Inventor, futurist

Ray Kurzweil is an engineer who has radically advanced the fields of speech, text and audio technology. He's revered for his dizzying -- yet convincing -- writing on the advance of technology, the limits of biology and the future of the human species.

Inventor, entrepreneur, visionary, Ray Kurzweil's accomplishments read as a startling series of firsts -- a litany of technological breakthroughs we've come to take for granted. Kurzweil invented the first optical character recognition (OCR) software for transforming the written word into data, the first print-to-speech software for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, and the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.

Yet his impact as a futurist and philosopher is no less significant. In his best-selling books, which include How to Create a Mind, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Kurzweil depicts in detail a portrait of the human condition over the next few decades, as accelerating technologies forever blur the line between human and machine.

In 2009, he unveiled Singularity University, an institution that aims to "assemble, educate and inspire leaders who strive to understand and facilitate the development of exponentially advancing technologies." He is a Director of Engineering at Google, where he heads up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language comprehension.

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
Marc Kushner image Marc Kushner
Architect

With Architizer, an online hub for architecture, Marc Kushner is breaking architecture out of its insular echo chamber and reconnecting the public with buildings.

Marc Kushner is a practicing architect who splits his time between designing buildings at HWKN, the architecture firm he cofounded, and amassing the world’s architecture on the website he runs, Architizer.com. Both have the same mission: to reconnect the public with architecture.
 
Kushner’s core belief is that architecture touches everyone -- and everyone is a fan of architecture, even if they don’t know it yet. New forms of media empower people to shape the built environment, and that means better buildings, which make better cities, which make a better world.
Session 2: Retrospect
Tues Mar 18, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
David Kwong image David Kwong
Cruciverbalist

David Kwong creates illusions for films and TV, and makes verbal magic as a crossword puzzle maker for the New York Times.

As a magician and crossword puzzle constructor, David Kwong mixes puzzles and prestidigitation. With a background in film (and a Harvard degree in the history of magic), he's the founder of the Misdirectors Guild, an elite group of magicians that specialize in illusion for film, television and theater (they're working right now on Marvel's upcoming Ant-Man). Kwong created the illusions for the 2013 hit film Now You See Me, about a gang of street magicians caught up in a crime caper.
 
He is a frequent crossword writer for the New York Times, often collaborating with his friend Kevan Choset. His puzzles are marked by clever, outside-the-grid thinking -- and sometimes a dash of magic.

Session 3: Reshape
Tues Mar 18, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
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Michel Laberge image Michel Laberge
Plasma physicist

In a lab near Vancouver, Michel Laberge and his team at General Fusion are building a prototype fusion reactor that mimics the processes of the sun to produce cheap, clean and abundant energy.

Fusion, putting it briefly, is what happens inside the sun: intense heat and pressure combine to convert hydrogen into helium, releasing heat and energy in a self-sustaining reaction. Harnessing that same kind of reaction could someday solve the energy crisis here on Earth, and the US (at the National Ignition Facility in California, using the world's most powerful laser), Europe (at ITER) and China are all working on fusion in multi-billion-dollar labs. Meanwhile, just outside Vancouver, a private-government collaboration spending millions-with-an-m is keeping pace.
 
At General Fusion, plasma physicist Michel Laberge hopes to start a fusion reaction by combining several techniques in one reactor. Inside a spherical chamber, molten lead-lithium is spun up into a vortex, then shot with a pulse of magnetically contained plasma -- meanwhile, around the edge of the sphere, an array of pistons will drive a pressure wave into the center of the sphere, compressing the plasma to fusion conditions. General Fusion is designing and protoyping each piece of this system.
Session 3: Reshape
Tues Mar 18, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Frans Lanting image Frans Lanting
Nature photographer

Frans Lanting is one of the greatest nature photographers of our time. His work has been featured in National Geographic, Audubon and Time, as well as numerous award-winning books. Lanting's recent exhibition, The LIFE Project, offers a lyrical interpretation of the history of life on Earth.

In the pursuit of his work, Frans Lanting has lived in the trees with wild macaws, camped with giant tortoises inside a volcanic crater, and documented never-before-photographed wildlife and tribal traditions in Madagascar. The Dutch-born, California-based photographer has traveled to Botswana's Okavango Delta, the rain forests of Borneo and the home of emperor penguins in Antarctica.

The resulting photographs -- staggering in their beauty, startling in their originality -- have brought much-needed attention to endangered species and ecological crises throughout the world. In 2001, HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands inducted Lanting as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, the country's highest conservation honor -- just one of many honors he has received throughout his illustrious career.

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Richard Ledgett image Richard Ledgett
Deputy director, NSA

Richard Ledgett is deputy director and senior civilian leader of the National Security Agency. He acts as the agency’s chief operating officer, responsible for guiding and directing studies, operations and policy.

Richard Ledgett began his NSA career in 1988 and has served in operational, management, and technical leadership positions at the branch, division, office, and group levels. Now, think of him as the COO of the NSA, guiding and directing studies, operations and policy. From 2012 to 2013 he was the Director of the NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center, responsible for round-the-clock cryptologic activities to discover and counter adversary cyber efforts. Prior to NTOC he served in several positions from 2010 to 2012 in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in both the collection and cyber mission areas. He was the first National Intelligence Manager for Cyber, serving as principal advisor to the Director of National Intelligence on all cyber matters, leading development of the Unified Intelligence Strategy for Cyber, and coordinating cyber activities across the Intelligence Community (IC). Previous positions at NSA include Deputy Director for Analysis and Production (2009-2010), Deputy Director for Data Acquisition (2006-2009), Assistant Deputy Director for Data Acquisition (2005-2006), and Chief, NSA/CSS Pacific (2002-2005). He also served in a joint IC operational activity, and as an instructor and course developer at the National Cryptologic School.

He led the NSA Media Leaks Task Force from June 2013 to January 2014, and was responsible for integrating and overseeing the totality of NSA’s efforts surrounding the unauthorized disclosures of classified information by a former NSA affiliate.

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
Lawrence Lessig image Lawrence Lessig
Legal activist

Lawrence Lessig has already transformed intellectual-property law with his Creative Commons innovation. Now he's focused on an even bigger problem: The US' broken political system.

Lawyer and activist Lawrence Lessig spent a decade arguing for sensible intellectual property law, updated for the digital age. He was a founding board member of Creative Commons, an organization that builds better copyright practices through principles established first by the open-source software community.

In 2007, just after his last TED Talk, Lessig announced he was leaving the field of IP and Internet policy, and moving on to a more fundamental problem that blocks all types of sensible policy -- the corrupting influence of money in American politics.

In 2011, Lessig founded Rootstrikers, an organization dedicated to changing the influence of money in Congress. In his latest book, Republic, Lost, he shows just how far the U.S. has spun off course -- and how citizens can regain control. As The New York Times wrote about him, “Mr. Lessig’s vision is at once profoundly pessimistic -- the integrity of the nation is collapsing under the best of intentions --and deeply optimistic. Simple legislative surgery, he says, can put the nation back on the path to greatness.”

Read an excerpt of Lessig's new book, Lesterland >>

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Emily Levine image Emily Levine
Philosopher-comic

Humorist, writer and trickster Emily Levine riffs on science and the human condition.

Humorist Emily Levine works a heady vein of humor, cerebral and thoughtful as well as very, very amusing. Oh, she's got plenty of jokes. But her work, at its core, makes serious connections -- between hard science and pop culture, between what we say and what we secretly assume ... She plumbs the hidden oppositions, the untouchable not-quite-truths of the modern mind.

Her background in improv theater, with its requirement to always say "yes" to the other actor's reality, has helped shape her worldview. Always suspicious of sharp either/or distinctions, she proposes "the quantum logic of and/and" -- a thoroughly postmodern, scientifically informed take on life that allows for complicated states of being. Like the one we're in right now.

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Sara Lewis image Sara Lewis
Firefly specialist

Evolutionary ecologist Sara Lewis digs deep into firefly mating rituals to uncover a world of secret languages and strange gifts in these silent sparks.

Before Sara Lewis lifted the lid on the unexplored lives of fireflies, much of the sexual intrigue behind their flashing displays was a mystery. Although initially focused on sea creatures, Lewis became hooked on these enigmatic insects, realizing that when it came to firefly mating habits, "we had no idea what went on once the lights went out," as she told the New York Times.

Her fascination has led Lewis, a professor at Tufts University, to pursue field and laboratory studies of fireflies around the world. In the course of her groundbreaking research, she’s illuminated many surprising twists of firefly behavior: including elaborate flash dances, predatory eavesdropping and deceit, and “wedding gift” delivery services (video).
Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Sarah Lewis image Sarah Lewis
Writer

Art historian and critic Sarah Lewis celebrates creativity and shows how it can lead us through fear and failure to ultimate success.

Curator and critic Sarah Lewis has emerged as a cultural powerhouse for her fresh perspectives on the dialogue between culture, history, and identity. In 2010, she co-curated the groundbreaking SITE Santa Fe biennial, a platform celebrating artists melding the “homespun and the high-tech.” She has served on Obama’s National Arts Policy Committee, and as a curatorial advisor for Brooklyn’s high-profile Barclays Center. 

Her debut book The Rise analyzes the idea of failure, focusing on case studies that reveal how setbacks can become a tool enabling us to master our destinies. As she says: “The creative process is actually how we fashion our lives and follow other pursuits. Failure is not something that might be helpful; it actually is the process.” -- Art21.org,

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Peggy Liu image Peggy Liu
Sustainability catalyst

As one of the leading green voices in China, Peggy Liu is a key player in the race for green growth and for fostering international collaboration with China.

In 2007, Liu founded the non-profit Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) as a collaborative platform for Chinese leaders, environmental solutions providers, and key societal influencers. JUCCCE is building a sustainable future for China and the world by creating systemic changes in clean energy delivery, the urbanization of China, and the changing lifestyles of the emerging middle class.

JUCCCE is noted for holding the first public dialogues between US & China on clean energy, introducing Smart Grid to China, educating hundreds of Chinese government leaders on how to build sustainable cities, creating the China Dream initiative to reimagine prosperity and transform consumer desire for everyday Chinese.

With a background in computer engineering, management consulting, entrepreneurship, Liu is bringing together unique and effective cross-border and cross-sector partnerships to transform the sustainability landscape.

Session 3: Reshape
Tues Mar 18, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Bjorn Lomborg image Bjorn Lomborg
Global prioritizer

Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg heads the Copenhagen Consensus, which has prioritized the world's greatest problems -- global warming, world poverty, disease -- based on how effective our solutions might be. It's a thought-provoking, even provocative list.

Bjorn Lomborg isn't afraid to voice an unpopular opinion. In 2007, he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine after the publication of his controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist, which challenged widely held beliefs that the environment is getting worse. This year, he was named on of the "50 people who cold save the planet" by the Guardian newspaper. In 2007 he published Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming, further analyzes what today's science tells us about global warming and its risks. That same year, his next book Solutions for the World's Biggest Problems was released, which provided a summary of the greatest challenges facing humanity. 

In 2004, he convened the Copenhagen Consensus, which tries to prioritize the world's greatest challenges based on the impact we can make, a sort of bang-for-the-buck breakdown for attacking problems such as global warming, world poverty and disease.

It begins from the premise that we can't solve every problem in the world, and asks: Which ones should we fix first?
The Copenhagen Consensus 2004 tapped the expertise of world-leading economists, as well as a diverse forum of young participants; collectively, they determined that control of HIV/AIDS was the best investment -- and mitigating global warming was the worst. Lomborg summarized these findings in How to Spend $50 Billion to Make the World a Better Place. In spring of 2008, Copenhagen Consensus convened again, assembling over 55 international economists, including 4 Nobel laureates, to assess, prioritize and brainstorm solutions for the major global challenges of today, including conflicts, malnutrition, health, education and terrorism. In 2013, he published How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the Wolrd a Better Place.


All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Amory Lovins image Amory Lovins
Physicist, energy guru

In his new book, "Reinventing Fire," Amory Lovins shares ingenious ideas for the next era of energy.

Amory Lovins was worried (and writing) about energy long before global warming was making the front -- or even back -- page of newspapers. Since studying at Harvard and Oxford in the 1960s, he's written dozens of books, and initiated ambitious projects -- cofounding the influential, environment-focused Rocky Mountain Institute; prototyping the ultra-efficient Hypercar -- to focus the world's attention on alternative approaches to energy and transportation.

His critical thinking has driven people around the globe -- from world leaders to the average Joe -- to think differently about energy and its role in some of our biggest problems: climate change, oil dependency, national security, economic health, and depletion of natural resources.

Lovins offers solutions as well. His new book and site, Reinventing Fire, offers actionable solutions for four energy-intensive sectors of the economy: transportation, buildings, industry and electricity. Lovins has always focused on solutions that conserve natural resources while also promoting economic growth; Texas Instruments and Wal-Mart are just two of the mega-corporations he has advised on improving energy efficiency.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Sergei Lupashin image Sergei Lupashin
Aerial robotics researcher

Sergei Lupashin imagines new uses for flying robots. He's a 2014 TED Fellow.

When Sergei Lupashin saw how an aerial photograph of massive protests around the 2011 Russian federal elections changed the media silence around the subject, the aerial robotics engineer realized the truth-telling value of the bird’s-eye view. Yet aerial photographs, even those taken by unmanned aerial vehicles, are tricky to produce: it’s difficult to pilot a UAV safely, and government regulations restrict their use.

Lupashin gets around both obstacles with his new invention, the Fotokite – a lightweight, camera-equipped quadricopter controlled with a tether (for the purposes of this demo, a dog leash). He turns one on, points it in a direction, and it flies out, hovering at a consistent angle. Then he launches a second, and a third. While the Fotokite would have a huge impact on journalism, it should also prove useful for archeologists, architects, wildlife biologists, emergency responders and more. The possibilities are endless. If you had one, Lupashin asks, what would you do with it?

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
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John Maeda image John Maeda
Artist

John Maeda, the former president of the Rhode Island School of Design, is dedicated to linking design and technology. Through the software tools, web pages and books he creates, he spreads his philosophy of elegant simplicity.

When John Maeda became president of the legendary Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2008, he told the Wall Street Journal, "Everyone asks me, 'Are you bringing technology to RISD?' I tell them, no, I'm bringing RISD to technology."

In his fascinating career as a programmer and an artist, he's always been committed to blurring the lines between the two disciplines. As a student at MIT, studying computer programming, the legendary Muriel Cooper persuaded him to follow his parallel passion for fine art and design. And when computer-aided design began to explode in the mid-1990s, Maeda was in a perfect position at the MIT Media Lab to influence and shape the form, helping typographers and page designers explore the freedom of the web.

Maeda is leading the "STEAM" movement--adding an "A" for Art to the education acronym STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)--and experiencing firsthand the transformation brought by social media. After leaving his post as RISD's president, Maeda is turning his attention to Silicon Valley, where is is working as a Design Partner for Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers. He is also consulting for eBay, where he is the chair of the Design Advisory Board.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Pattie Maes image Pattie Maes
Researcher

As head of the MIT Media Lab's Fluid Interfaces Group, Pattie Maes researches the tools we use to work with information and connect with one another.

Pattie Maes was the key architect behind what was once called "collaborative filtering" and has become a key to Web 2.0: the immense engine of recommendations -- or "things like this" -- fueled by other users. In the 1990s, Maes' Software Agents program at MIT created Firefly, a technology (and then a startup sold to Microsoft) that let users choose songs they liked, and find similar songs they'd never heard of, by taking cues from others with similar taste. This brought a sea change in the way we interact with software, with culture and with one another.

Now Maes is working on a similarly boundary-breaking initiative. She founded Fluid Interfaces Group, also part of the MIT Media Lab, to rethink the ways in which humans and computers interact, partially by redefining both human and computer. In Maes' world (and really, in all of ours), the computer is no longer a distinct object, but a source of intelligence that's embedded in our environment. By outfitting ourselves with digital accessories, we can continually learn from (and teach) our surroundings. The uses of this tech -- from healthcare to home furnishings, warfare to supermarkets -- are powerful and increasingly real.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Will Marshall image Will Marshall
Space scientist

At Planet Labs, Will Marshall is helping share near-real-time images of our planet, from a constellation of earth-observing satellites.

In his Twitter bio, William Marshall calls himself a "quantum physicist cum space scientist in search of world peace and harmony." And when you hear about his job, it falls into place: He and his cofounders at Planet Labs want to show the earth what it looks like, in almost real time, via a new network of compact, capable satellites. They hope that up-to-date images will inform future humanitarian and commercial projects all over our planet and will help to enable people to make the best decisions for earth.

Before cofounding Planet Labs, Marshall was a scientist at NASA/USRA, where he helped to formulate the Small Spacecraft Office at NASA Ames Research Center. He worked on lunar orbiter mission LADEE, lunar impactor mission LCROSS and the groundbreaking PhoneSat project, building satellites out of consumer parts.

Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Stanley McChrystal image Stanley McChrystal
Military leader

General Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan. A four-star general, he is credited for creating a revolution in warfare that fuses intelligence and operations.

With a remarkable record of achievement, General Stanley McChrystal has been praised for creating a revolution in warfare that fused intelligence and operations. A four-star general, he is the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which oversees the military’s most sensitive forces. McChrystal’s leadership of JSOC is credited with the December 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein and the June 2006 location and killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. McChrystal, a former Green Beret, is known for his candor.

After McChrystal graduated from West Point, he was commissioned as an infantry officer, and spent much of his career commanding special operations and airborne infantry units. During the Persian Gulf War, McChrystal served in a Joint Special Operations Task Force and later commanded the 75th Ranger Regiment. He completed year-long fellowships at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997 and in 2000 at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2002, he was appointed chief of staff of military operations in Afghanistan. Two years later, McChrystal was selected to deliver nationally televised Pentagon briefings about military operations in Iraq. From 2003 to 2008, McChrystal commanded JSOC and was responsible for leading the nation’s deployed military counter-terrorism efforts around the globe. He assumed command of all International Forces in Afghanistan in June 2009. President Obama’s order for an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan was based on McChrystal’s assessment of the war there. McChrystal retired from the military in August 2010.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Jane McGonigal image Jane McGonigal
Game Designer

Reality is broken, says Jane McGonigal, and we need to make it work more like a game. Her work shows us how.

Jane McGonigal asks: Why doesn't the real world work more like an online game? In the best-designed games, our human experience is optimized: We have important work to do, we're surrounded by potential collaborators, and we learn quickly and in a low-risk environment. In her work as a game designer, she creates games that use mobile and digital technologies to turn everyday spaces into playing fields, and everyday people into teammates. Her game-world insights can explain--and improve--the way we learn, work, solve problems, and lead our real lives. She served as the director of game R&D at the Institute for the Future, and she is the founder of Gameful, which she describes as "a secret headquarters for worldchanging game developers."

Several years ago she suffered a serious concussion, and she created a multiplayer game to get through it, opening it up to anyone to play. In “Superbetter,” players set a goal (health or wellness) and invite others to play with them--and to keep them on track. While most games, and most videogames, have traditionally been about winning, we are now seeing increasing collaboration and games played together to solve problems.

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Eman Mohammed image Eman Mohammed
Photojournalist

Saudi-born Eman Mohammed is a photojournalist in Gaza.

Eman Mohammed has worked as a reporter and photojournalist in Gaza since the age of nineteen. Since she began reporting in 2006, the Saudi-born TED Fellow has shifted her focus from the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to women's issues in the Gaza Strip. As one of the few female photojournalists based in the region, Mohammed regularly faces discrimination, sexual harassment and open spite for what's seen as her audacity to join a men's field. Mohammed believes this can change for future generations of Gazan women. She says of raising her daughters, "Everything comes with a reason. They have the right to ask questions and do with whatever they wish or like, as long as it’s not hurting them or others."
TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Jon Mooallem image Jon Mooallem
Writer

Jon Mooallem is the author of "Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America."

What do we see when we look at wild animals -- do we respond to human-like traits, or thrill to the idea of their utter unfamiliarity? Jon Mooallem's book, Wild Ones , examines our relationship with wild animals both familiar and feral, telling stories of the North American environmental movement from its unlikely birth, and following three species who've come to symbolize our complicated relationship with whatever "nature" even means anymore.

Mooallem has written about everything from the murder of Hawaiian monk seals, to Idahoan utopians, to the world’s most famous ventriloquist, to the sad, secret history of the invention of the high five. A recent piece, "American Hippopotamus," was an Atavist story on, really, a plan in 1910 to jumpstart the hippopotamus ranching industry in America.

Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Aimee Mullins image Aimee Mullins
Athlete and actor

A record-breaker at the Paralympic Games in 1996, Aimee Mullins has built a career as a model, actor and advocate for women, sports and the next generation of prosthetics.

Aimee Mullins was born without fibular bones, and had both of her legs amputated below the knee when she was an infant. She learned to walk on prosthetics, then to run -- competing at the national and international level as a champion sprinter, and setting world records at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta. At Georgetown, where she double-majored in history and diplomacy, she became the first double amputee to compete in NCAA Division 1 track and field.

After school, Mullins did some modeling -- including a legendary runway show for Alexander McQueen -- and then turned to acting, appearing as the Leopard Queen in Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle. In 2008 she was the official Ambassador for the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.

She's a passionate advocate for a new kind of thinking about prosthetics, and recently mentioned to an interviewer that she's been looking closely at MIT's in-development powered robotic ankle, "which I fully plan on having."

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Randall Munroe image Randall Munroe
Cartoonist

Randall Munroe sketches elegant and illuminating explanations of the weird science and math questions that keep geeks awake at night.

One of a small group of professional web cartoonists, math obsessive and chronic explainer Randall Munroe dazzles the online world (and racks up millions of monthly page views) with the meaninglessly-named (and occasionally heartbreaking) webcomic xkcd.
 
Munroe’s blog What If? specializes in cunning answers to, as the Atlantic put it, "the kinds of of wonderful and fanciful hypotheticals that might arise when the nerdily inclined get together in bars," like “How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and live?” or “What would happen if a hair dryer with continuous power was turned on and put in an airtight 1x1x1 meter box?” As he told Math Horizons, I really enjoy solving these kinds of things, and it’s a bonus if I realize that I can put boxes around it and make it a comic."

Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
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Nicholas Negroponte image Nicholas Negroponte
Tech visionary

The founder of the MIT Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte pushed the edge of the information revolution as an inventor, thinker and angel investor. He's the driving force behind One Laptop per Child, building computers for children in the developing world.

A pioneer in the field of computer-aided design, Negroponte founded (and was the first director of) MIT's Media Lab, which helped drive the multimedia revolution and now houses more than 500 researchers and staff across a broad range of disciplines. An original investor in Wired (and the magazine's "patron saint"), for five years he penned a column exploring the frontiers of technology -- ideas that he expanded into his 1995 best-selling book Being Digital. An angel investor extraordinaire, he's funded more than 40 startups, and served on the boards of companies such as Motorola and Ambient Devices.

But his latest effort, the One Laptop per Child project, may prove his most ambitious. The organization is designing, manufacturing and distributing low-cost, wireless Internet-enabled computers costing roughly $100 and aimed at children. Negroponte hopes to put millions of these devices in the hands of children in the developing world.

Session 1: Liftoff!
Mon Mar 17, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Jehane Noujaim image Jehane Noujaim
Filmmaker

2006 TED Prize winner Jehane Noujaim is the gutsy filmmaker responsible for Control Room, an astonishing documentary about Al Jazeera's coverage of the Iraq war and the contrasting notions of truth expressed in the US media.

Two weeks before the US invaded Iraq in 2003, Jehane Noujaim gained access to both Al Jazeera and the US military's Central Command offices in Qatar. By being in the right place at that very wrong time, she caught the onset and outbreak of the Iraq war on film. The resulting documentary, Control Room, exposed the very divergent ways the Arabs and the West covered the war.

Being raised between Egypt and the US, the exploration of culture is one of Jehane's driving forces. Her reason for making the film: "It’s important for everyone, simply as individuals, to try to understand different people and different cultures, but it’s especially important for people in the United States because we affect so much of the world beyond our borders."

Noujaim's TED Prize wish -- for a world-uniting Pangea Day of film -- happened in May 2008 in more than 100 cities and online, in a worldwide festival of film, art, music, performance and speakers.

Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala image Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Economist

As the first female Finance Minister in Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala attacks corruption to make the country more desirable for investment and jobs. As a managing director of the World Bank, she worked for change in all of Africa.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a director of the World Bank, was Nigeria's Finance Minister and then briefly Foreign Affairs Minister from 2003 to 2006, the first woman to hold either position. In 2011, she was again named Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Between those terms, from 2007 to 2011 she was a managing director of the World Bank.

During her two stints as Finance Minister, she has worked to combat corruption, make Nigeria's finances more transparent, and institute reforms to make the nation's economy more hospitable to foreign investment. The government unlinked its budget from the price of oil, its main export, to lessen perennial cashflow crises, and got oil companies to publish how much they pay the government.

Since 2003 -- when watchdog group Transparency International rated Nigeria "the most corrupt place on Earth" -- the nation has made headway recovering stolen assets and jailing hundreds of people engaged in international Internet 419 scams.

All-Stars Session 1: Planet Dearth
Tues Mar 18, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Kevin Olusola image Kevin Olusola
Cellist and beatboxer

Kevin Olusola combines his beatboxing talents with his cello training to create a fresh, unique sound.

Kevin Olusola lays down the beat for the instrument-free band Pentatonix. Through a unique combination of cello and beatboxing, he creates layered rhythms that take on a life of their own. Don't miss his 2011 performance of "Julie-O," which was featured by CBS, AOL, the Huffington Post and the Washington Post. Olusola has performed at Carnegie Hall and has apeared on NPR's "From the Top." 

Session 1: Liftoff!
Mon Mar 17, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
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Larry Page image Larry Page
CEO of Google

Larry Page is the CEO and cofounder of Google, making him one of the ruling minds of the web.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin met in grad school at Stanford in the mid-'90s, and in 1996 started working on a search technology based on a new idea: that relevant results come from context. Their technology analyzed the number of times a given website was linked to by other sites — assuming that the more links, the more relevant the site — and ranked sites accordingly. In 1998, they opened Google in a garage-office in Menlo Park. In 1999 their software left beta and started its steady rise to web domination.

Beyond the company's ubiquitous search, including AdSense/AdWords, Google Maps, Google Earth and the mighty Gmail. In 2011, Page stepped back into his original role of chief executive officer. He now leads Google with high aims and big thinking, and finds time to devote to his projects like Google X, the idea lab for the out-there experiments that keep Google pushing the limits.

Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Amanda Palmer image Amanda Palmer
Musician, blogger

Alt-rock icon Amanda Fucking Palmer believes we shouldn't fight the fact that digital content is freely shareable -- and suggests that artists can and should be directly supported by fans.

Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
 
But the former street performer, then Dresden Dolls frontwoman, now solo artist hit a bump the week her world tour kicked off. She revealed plans to crowdsource additional local backup musicians in each tour stop, offering to pay them in hugs, merchandise and beer per her custom. Bitter and angry criticism ensued (she eventually promised to pay her local collaborators in cash). And it's interesting to consider why. As Laurie Coots suggests: "The idea was heckled because we didn't understand the value exchange -- the whole idea of asking the crowd for what you need when you need it and not asking for more or less."

Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”

Amanda is currently working on a nonfiction book, due out in November with Hachette, that will dig deeply into the topics she addressed in her TED Talk, and she is touching base with her one million Twitter followers on a daily basis to figure out how to write it.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Amanda Palmer image Amanda Palmer
Musician, blogger

Alt-rock icon Amanda Fucking Palmer believes we shouldn't fight the fact that digital content is freely shareable -- and suggests that artists can and should be directly supported by fans.

Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
 
But the former street performer, then Dresden Dolls frontwoman, now solo artist hit a bump the week her world tour kicked off. She revealed plans to crowdsource additional local backup musicians in each tour stop, offering to pay them in hugs, merchandise and beer per her custom. Bitter and angry criticism ensued (she eventually promised to pay her local collaborators in cash). And it's interesting to consider why. As Laurie Coots suggests: "The idea was heckled because we didn't understand the value exchange -- the whole idea of asking the crowd for what you need when you need it and not asking for more or less."

Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”

Amanda is currently working on a nonfiction book, due out in November with Hachette, that will dig deeply into the topics she addressed in her TED Talk, and she is touching base with her one million Twitter followers on a daily basis to figure out how to write it.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Sarah Parcak image Sarah Parcak
Space archaeologist, TED Fellow

Sarah Parcak, a TED Fellow, uses satellite imagery to discover ancient, previously unknown archeological sites.

Sarah Parcak is an archaeologist and Egyptologist, and specializes in making the invisible past visible using 21st-century satellite technology. She co-directs the Survey and Excavation Projects in the Fayoum, Sinai, and Egypt's East Delta with her husband, Dr. Greg Mumford. Parcak is the author of Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology, the first methods book on satellite archaeology, and her work has seeded several TV documentaries and specials on the BBC, CNN, the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. She founded and directs the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is a National Geographic Explorer, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a TED Fellow.

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
Elizabeth Pisani image Elizabeth Pisani
Author

In Elizabeth Pisani's latest book, she explores the "improbable nation" of Indonesia.

In fast-emerging Asia there is one nation that, despite being the world's fourth most-populous (and the third most-populous democracy) and the largest Muslim country (with 210 million people who identify themselves as such), is also, as Elizabeth Pisani writes, "probably the most invisible country in the world". Indonesia. An archipelago of over 17,000 islands that span a distance like that from New York to Alaska, with over 700 languages and a dynamic economy -- but which, puzzingly, doesn't really feature in the global imagination.

Pisani spent two years travelling 23,000 kilometers by boat, bus and motorbike through Indonesia, a place that has fascinated and maddened her since she first lived there over two decades ago. Her portrait of the country, the recent Indonesia Etc.: Exploring the Improbable Nation, reveals the archipelago's complexity and contradictions, a fascinating diversity that "is not just geographic and cultural: different groups are essentially living at different points in human history, all at the same time."

An alumna of various government health agencies, Pisani became an assumption-busting independent researcher and analyst, polling transgendered sex workers, drug addicts and others to illuminate the surprising (and often ignored) demographics that belie traditional studies.

Pisani is fearlessly outspoken on the global failure to understand and manage the realities of AIDS, decrying the tangled roles that money, votes, and media play in the public health landscape. She shows how politics and "morality" have hogtied funding, and advocates for putting dollars where they can actually make a difference. As the Globe and Mail wrote: “Pisani is lucid, colourful, insightful and impatient.”

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Will Potter image Will Potter
Investigative journalist

Award-winning journalist and author, Will Potter focuses on the animal rights and environmental movements, and civil liberties in the post-9/11 era.

Independent journalist and TED Fellow Will Potter is based in Washington, D.C.; his current work examines how whistleblowers and non-violent protesters are being treated as terrorists.

The author of Green Is The New Red: An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege, Potter has extensively documented how non-violent protest is slowly being criminalized. His reporting and commentary have been featured in the world's top media outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR, Rolling Stone, El Pais, and Le Monde. He has testified before the U.S. Congress about his reporting, as the only witness opposing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act -- and he is a plaintiff in the first lawsuits challenging so-called "ag-gag" laws as unconstitutional.

Will has also lectured at many universities and public forums about his work, including Georgetown University, Harvard Law School, and the House of Democracy and Human Rights in Berlin. International speaking tours have included Germany, Austria, Switzerland, New Zealand, and Spain, and he was the international guest lecturer for Australia's 2014 animal law lecture series.

His reporting has overturned criminal prosecutions, and it has both been praised in Congressional reports and monitored by the Counter-Terrorism Unit.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
R
Raspyni Brothers image Raspyni Brothers
Jugglers

Unapologetic vaudevillians Barry Friedman and Dan Holzman -- the Raspyni Brothers -- have been international juggling champions, Guinness record holders, recurring guests on "The Tonight Show" and, recently, preeminent entertainers on the corporate seminar circuit.

The Raspyni Brothers' inventory of international championships, TV appearances and national tours may seem a lot to juggle, but then, Dan Holzman and Barry Friedman are jugglers by trade. Their waggish humor, irresistible stage presence and "panther-like reflexes" have turned these jesters from openers into the headline act.

While the Raspynis sling their share of unique props, their trademark maneuver is (perhaps) the strategic interlude: stalling difficult, dangerous stunts with quips, asides and even deliberate mistakes. The duo's arch brand of onstage chemistry often steals the spotlight from conventional juggling showstoppers. (Though, we should mention, they won't hesitate to use torches, sickles and machetes.)

In recent years Friedman and Holzman have carved a niche on the business seminar circuit, electrifying corporate audiences with lessons on teamwork, balance, trust and -- if you happen to be the CEO -- mortal peril. Sergey Brin has remarked, "They're the Google of comedy." So, welcome to Vaudeville 2.0.

Session 11: Unstress
Fri Mar 21, 2014
9:00 – 10:30
Martin Rees image Martin Rees
Astrophysicist

Lord Martin Rees, one of the world's most eminent astronomers, is an emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge and the UK's Astronomer Royal. He is one of our key thinkers on the future of humanity in the cosmos.

Lord Martin Rees has issued a clarion call for humanity. His 2004 book, ominously titled Our Final Hour, catalogues the threats facing the human race in a 21st century dominated by unprecedented and accelerating scientific change. He calls on scientists and nonscientists alike to take steps that will ensure our survival as a species.

One of the world's leading astronomers, Rees is an emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics at Cambridge, and UK Astronomer Royal. Author of more than 500 research papers on cosmological topics ranging from black holes to quantum physics to the Big Bang, Rees has received countless awards for his scientific contributions. But equally significant has been his devotion to explaining the complexities of science for a general audience, in books like Before the Beginning and Our Cosmic Habitat.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Avi Reichental image Avi Reichental
3D printer

At 3D Systems, Avi Reichental is helping to imagine a future where 3D scanning-and-printing is an everyday act, and food, clothing, objects are routinely output at home.

Avi Reichental is the CEO of 3D Systems, which has been a major force in the field of rapid prototyping, turning a design from a CAD file into a solid object. But now, he's thinking about the idea of a 3D printer in every house. It's coming, he says, and we should think about what our lives will be like when we can design everything in our lives, then make it.
 
Lately, he's been demo-ing the Cube, a tabletop 3D printer that can print a basketball-sized object, and the ChefJet, a food-grade machine that prints in sugar and chocolate. His company is also rolling out consumer-grade 3D scanning cameras that clip to a tablet to capture three-dimensional objects for printing out later. He's an instructor at Singularity University (watch his 4-minute intro to 3D printing).

More amazing video from 3D Systems' video library

"The Things We Make " (1:40)

"In Her Own Words: Amanda Boxtel and the 3D Printed Exoskeleton " (2:30)
Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Shai Reshef image Shai Reshef
Education entrepreneur

By offering a tuition-free university education in business or computers, Shai Reshef hopes to transform disadvantaged communities -- and disrupt higher education as we know it.

Shai Reshef wants to democratize higher education. At University of the People, he runs a tuition-free online school that offers tuition-free college-level studies to students across the globe, offering bachelor's and associate's degrees in two specialized areas where the jobs are: computer science and business administration. The university, which is partnered with New York University and accredited by DETC, has admitted several thousand students from more than one hundred countries. 

In 2010, the Huffington Post named Reshef the "Ultimate Game Changer in education," and WIRED included him in its list of the 50 people who will change the world. 

Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT learning, the first online university in Europe.

Session 12: Onward
Fri Mar 21, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Usman Riaz image Usman Riaz
Percussive guitarist

Young guitarist Usman Riaz pulls a rich, swirling sound out of the acoustic guitar.

TEDGlobal Fellow Usman Riaz is a young Pakistani musician making a worldwide mark with his astonishing and fun-to-listen-to technique. Influenced by percussive guitarists--who move beyond strumming to striking, treating their fretboard like the soundboard of a piano--Riaz makes a sound that feels larger than the instrument itself, with a compelling pattern of repetition and variation that harkens to mystical music traditions.

In 2011, a viral video for his song "Fire Fly" helped bring his sound from the small-but-thriving Pakistani music community to a global audience. He's now collaborating with other musicians in Pakistan and working on a new album of original music.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Usman Riaz image Usman Riaz
Percussive guitarist

Young guitarist Usman Riaz pulls a rich, swirling sound out of the acoustic guitar.

TEDGlobal Fellow Usman Riaz is a young Pakistani musician making a worldwide mark with his astonishing and fun-to-listen-to technique. Influenced by percussive guitarists--who move beyond strumming to striking, treating their fretboard like the soundboard of a piano--Riaz makes a sound that feels larger than the instrument itself, with a compelling pattern of repetition and variation that harkens to mystical music traditions.

In 2011, a viral video for his song "Fire Fly" helped bring his sound from the small-but-thriving Pakistani music community to a global audience. He's now collaborating with other musicians in Pakistan and working on a new album of original music.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Yoruba Richen image Yoruba Richen
Documentary filmmaker

In her documentary films, Yoruba Richen unites African-American, feminist and LGBTQ voices in a renewed cry for civil rights for all.

With her documentary film The New Black, Yoruba Richen celebrates the successes of the struggle for LGBTQ rights, while seeking to find common ground in all corners of the African-American community on this complex and contentious issue.
 
Raised in Harlem, Richen developed an early fascination with the disconnect between the worlds of poverty and wealth, and an awareness of how voices outside of the mainstream are often marginalized -- or excised completely -- from the democratic discourse.
Session 2: Retrospect
Tues Mar 18, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Tom Rielly image Tom Rielly
Satirist

Traditionally, Tom Rielly closes the TED Conference with a merciless 18-minute monologue, skewering all the speakers with his deadpan delivery, spot-on satire and boundary-less performance (complete with PowerPoint, pratfalls and partial nudity).

Talk a walk back through the history of digital media, and you'll find our colleague Tom Rielly every step along the way. He entered the mediasphere with a memorable turn in the 1980 film My Bodyguard. A lifelong performer, he soon found a second love in personal computing. He recognized early on the incredible power of Macs, CD-ROMs and the Web, founding Yale's Macintosh User Group in 1984, then working at SuperMac, Farallon and Voyager, among other pioneering companies.

Rielly is perhaps best-known for co-founding PlanetOut, the first digital home for gays and lesbians, which went public in 2004. He also co-founded the influential nonprofit Digital Queers. As TED's Director of Partnerships, Tom now choreographs the wide range of collaborations that help bring TED to life, at the conference and online. But he's found his true vocation as TED's resident satirist, a role he's played for more than a decade.

Since 1995, Rielly has been hijacking the final session of the conference with his whip-smart satire of all the speakers who came before him -- skewering the egos, mocking the flights of fancy, parroting the doomsday predictions, and imagining a world where Al Gore tells him "I can't quit you."

Fearless and unfailingly funny, Tom's lightning performances bring a flash of brilliance to the closing session and draw a standing ovation every time.

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
Ken Robinson image Ken Robinson
Author/educator

Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence.

Why don't we get the best out of people? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it's because we've been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers. Students with restless minds and bodies -- far from being cultivated for their energy and curiosity -- are ignored or even stigmatized, with terrible consequences. "We are educating people out of their creativity," Robinson says. It's a message with deep resonance. Robinson's TEDTalk has been distributed widely around the Web since its release in June 2006. The most popular words framing blog posts on his talk? "Everyone should watch this."

A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government's 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. His 2009 book, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, is a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into 21 languages. A 10th anniversary edition of his classic work on creativity and innovation, Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, was published in 2011. His latest book, Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life, will be published by Viking in May 2013. 

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Geena Rocero image Geena Rocero
Model and activist

Geena Rocero is a professional model for fashion and beauty companies around the world. And she uses her platform to share a powerful story.

As Cameron Russell puts it, professional models are people who have won the genetic lottery, born with the DNA for long legs, great skin and dazzling smiles. The advertising industry presents these gorgeous folks as idealized versions of ourselves to sell us clothes, makeup, cars. But behind the fabulousness, there's always an interesting story.

Born in Manila, Geena Rocero moved to New York in 2005 to pursue a modeling career. Signed to Next Models, she has worked with Rimmel Cosmetics, Hanes, and many other fashion and beauty companies. Through her own experience into womanhood, she realized her bigger purpose in life was to share her journey and work towards justice and beauty.

Session 5: Us
Wed Mar 19, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Mark Ronson image Mark Ronson
Music producer and DJ

His production credits range from Amy Winehouse to Paul McCartney -- ace DJ, musician and producer Mark Ronson has lived recent music history from the inside out.

Mark Ronson’s unusual path into the music world has led to an eclectic and multifaceted resume. Ronson began his career DJing hip New York City nightclubs in the heady 1990s. Since then, he’s scored his own hits with the help of Ghostface Killah and Amy Winehouse via his own first two albums Here Comes The Fuzz and Version, winning the Brit Award for best British male sole artist in 2008.

As a producer, Mark has helped create chart-topping albums for Adele, Lily Allen and Bruno Mars (nominated for 2014 Record of the Year for Locked out of Heaven), and won three Grammys for his work on Amy Winehouse's album Back to Black. 2010’s Record Collection featured collaborations with Duran Duran, Boy George, D'Angelo, Q-Tip and MNDR. Mark is the Global Ambassador for Arms Around The Child. 


Session 1: Liftoff!
Mon Mar 17, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Charlie Rose image Charlie Rose
Conversationalist

Each weeknight, Charlie Rose creates television programs that introduce new people, explore fresh ideas and illuminate difficult issues.

Charlie Rose is anchor and executive editor of Charlie Rose, the nightly one-hour TV program that engages in one-on-one, in-depth conversations and round-table discussions, and the newly launched Charlie Rose: The Week, chronicling the best stories and interviews of the past seven days. He also co-anchors CBS This Morning and is a contributing correspondent to 60 Minutes. Clearly, as he has said, "I'm never happier than I am when I'm on the set."
 
Since 1991, seated at a round oak table on his signature show, Charlie Rose has provoked intelligent conversation with extraordinary men and women of science, politics, art, business, sports, technology, literature and entertainment. Special series on science, education and Islam have probed even deeper.  A search of archives on charlierose.com is like a montage of the past two decades of what matters.
Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
S
Moshe Safdie image Moshe Safdie
Architect

Moshe Safdie's buildings -- from grand libraries to intimate apartment complexes -- explore the qualities of light and the nature of private and public space.

Moshe Safdie's master's thesis quickly became a cult building: his modular "Habitat '67" apartments for Montreal Expo '67. Within a dizzying pile of concrete, each apartment was carefully sited to have natural light and a tiny, private outdoor space for gardening. These themes have carried forward throughout Safdie's career -- his buildings tend to soak in the light, and to hold cozy, user-friendly spaces inside larger gestures.

He's a triple citizen of Canada, Israel and the United States, three places where the bulk of his buildings can be found: in Canada, the National Gallery in Ottawa, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Vancouver public library. For Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, he designed the Children's Memorial and the Memorial to the Deportees; he's also built airport terminals in Tel Aviv. In the US, he designed the elegant and understated Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Masachusetts, and the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Stefan Sagmeister image Stefan Sagmeister
Graphic designer

Renowned for album covers, posters and his recent book of life lessons, designer Stefan Sagmeister invariably has a slightly different way of looking at things.

Stefan Sagmeister is no mere commercial gun for hire. Sure, he's created eye-catching graphics for clients including the Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, but he pours his heart and soul into every piece of work. His design work is at once timeless and of the moment, and his painstaking attention to the smallest details creates work that offers something new every time you look at it.

While a sense of humor invariably surfaces in his designs, Sagmeister is nonetheless very serious about his work; his intimate approach and sincere thoughtfulness elevate his design. A genuine maverick, Sagmeister achieved notoriety in the 1990s as the designer who self-harmed in the name of craft: He created a poster advertising a speaking engagement by carving the salient details onto his torso.

All-Stars Session 4: I Heart Design
Wed Mar 19, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Ben Saunders image Ben Saunders
Arctic explorer

In 2004, Ben Saunders became the youngest person ever to ski solo to the North Pole. In 2013, he set out on another record-breaking expedition, this time to retrace Captain Scott’s ill-fated journey to the South Pole on foot.

Although most of the planet's surface was mapped long ago, there's still a place for explorers in the modern world. And Ben Saunders' stories of arctic exploration -- as impressive for their technical ingenuity as their derring-do -- are decidedly modern. In 2004, at age 26, he skied solo to the North Pole, updating his blog each day of the trip. Humble and self-effacing, Saunders is an explorer of limits, whether it's how far a human can be pushed physically and psychologically, or how technology works hundreds of miles from civilization. His message is one of inspiration, empowerment and boundless potential.

He urges audiences to consider carefully how to spend the “tiny amount of time we each have on this planet.” Saunders is also a powerful advocate for the natural world. He's seen first-hand the effects of climate change, and his expeditions are raising awareness for sustainable solutions. 

Being the youngest person to ski solo to the North Pole did not satiate Saunders' urge to explore and push the boundaries. In 2008, he attempted to break the speed record for a solo walk to the North Pole; however, his journey was ended abruptly both then and again in 2010 due to equipment failure. From October 2013 to February 2014, he led a two-man team to retrace Captain Scott’s ill-fated 1,800-mile expedition to the South Pole on foot.

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Allan Savory image Allan Savory
Grassland ecosystem pioneer

Allan Savory works to promote holistic management in the grasslands of the world.

Desertification of the world's grasslands, Allan Savory suggests, is the immediate cause of poverty, social breakdown, violence, cultural genocide -- and a significent contribution to climate change. In the 1960s, while working in Africa on the interrelated problems of increasing poverty and disappearing wildlife, Savory made a significant breakthrough in understanding the degradation and desertification of grassland ecosystems. After decades of study and collaboration, thousands of managers of land, livestock and wildlife on five continents today follow the methodology he calls "Holistic Management."

In 1992, Savory and his wife, Jody Butterfield, formed the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, a learning site for people all over Africa. In 2010, the Centre won the Buckminster Fuller Challenge for its work in reversing desertification. In that same year he and his wife, with others, founded the Savory Institute in Boulder, Colorado, to promote large-scale restoration of the world's grasslands.

Intrigued by this talk? Read Savory's papers and other publications »

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Gavin Schmidt image Gavin Schmidt
Climate scientist

What goes into a climate model? Gavin Schmidt looks at how we use past and present data to model potential futures.

Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist at Columbia University's Earth Institute and is Deputy Chief at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He works on understanding past, present and future climate change, using ever-more refined models and data sets to explore how the planet's climate behaves over time.
 
Schmidt is also deeply committed to communicating science to the general public. As a contributing editor at RealClimate.org, he helps make sure general readers have access to the basics of climate science, and works to bring the newest data and models into the public discussion around one of the most pressing issues of our time. He has worked with the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Academy of Sciences on education and public outreach, and he is the author of Climate Change: Picturing the Science, with Josh Wolfe.
Session 3: Reshape
Tues Mar 18, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Barry Schwartz image Barry Schwartz
Psychologist

Barry Schwartz studies the link between economics and psychology, offering startling insights into modern life. Lately, working with Ken Sharpe, he's studying wisdom.

In his 2004 book The Paradox of Choice , Barry Schwartz tackles one of the great mysteries of modern life: Why is it that societies of great abundance — where individuals are offered more freedom and choice (personal, professional, material) than ever before — are now witnessing a near-epidemic of depression? Conventional wisdom tells us that greater choice is for the greater good, but Schwartz argues the opposite: He makes a compelling case that the abundance of choice in today's western world is actually making us miserable.

Infinite choice is paralyzing, Schwartz argues, and exhausting to the human psyche. It leads us to set unreasonably high expectations, question our choices before we even make them and blame our failures entirely on ourselves. His relatable examples, from consumer products (jeans, TVs, salad dressings) to lifestyle choices (where to live, what job to take, who and when to marry), underscore this central point: Too much choice undermines happiness.

Schwartz's previous research has addressed morality, decision-making and the varied inter-relationships between science and society. Before Paradox he published The Costs of Living, which traces the impact of free-market thinking on the explosion of consumerism -- and the effect of the new capitalism on social and cultural institutions that once operated above the market, such as medicine, sports, and the law.

Both books level serious criticism of modern western society, illuminating the under-reported psychological plagues of our time. But they also offer concrete ideas on addressing the problems, from a personal and societal level.

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Louie Schwartzberg image Louie Schwartzberg
Filmmaker

Louie Schwartzberg is a cinematographer, director and producer who captures breathtaking images that celebrate life -- revealing connections, universal rhythms, patterns and beauty.

Louie Schwartzberg's  career spans feature films, television shows, commercials and documentaries. His film Wings of Life, narrated by Meryl Streep, was released by Disneynature in April 2013, and his most recent film, Mysteries of the Unseen World, is a National Geographic 3D Imax that journeys into invisible worlds that are too slow, too fast, too small and too vast for the human eye to see.

Schwartzberg founded Moving Art to use the power of media to inspire and entertain through television programming, DVD products, and full-length motion picture and Imax films. His art is about breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places. Several of his film shorts have gone viral, including “Gratitude” and “Beauty of Pollination” with 36MM+ web views, and spawned related media (books, webinars, and more). Custom Ultra HD Moving Art pieces created by Schwartzberg can also be found in high-end hospitality venues around the world starting in 2014.

For Schwartzberg, the greatest satisfaction is creating works that can have a positive effect on the future of the planet.  “I hope my films inspire and open people’s hearts.  Beauty is nature’s tool for survival – you protect what you love.  If I can move enough people on an emotional level, I hope we can achieve the shift in consciousness we need to sustain and celebrate life.”

Session 9: Signals
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
David Sengeh image David Sengeh
Biomechatronics engineer

Even the most advanced prosthetic isn't useful if it's hard to wear. This observation guides TED Fellow David Sengeh's work at the Biomechatronics group in the MIT Media Lab.

David Sengeh was born and raised in Sierra Leone, where more than 8,000 men, women and children had limbs amputated during a brutal civil war. He noticed that many people there opted not to wear a prosthesis because proper fit is such an issue.

Sengeh has pioneered a new system for creating prosthetic sockets, which fit a prothesis onto a patient's residual limb. Using MRI to map the shape, computer-assisted design to predict internal strains and 3D printing to allow for different materials to be used in different places, Sengeh is creating sockets that are far more comfortable than traditional models. These sockets can be produced cheaply and quickly, making them far more likely to help amputees across the globe. 

Sengeh was named one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in Technology in 2014, and in April 2014, Sengeh won the $15,000 "Cure it!" Lemelson-MIT National Collegiate Student Prize.

TED Fellows Session 2
Mon Mar 17, 2014
1:30 – 3:00
Shaka Senghor image Shaka Senghor
Author

Using literature as a lifeline, Shaka Senghor escaped a cycle of prison and desperation. Now his story kindles hope in those who have little.

At the age of 19, Shaka Senghor went to prison fuming with anger and despair. Senghor was a drug dealer in Detroit, and one night, he shot and killed a man who showed up on his doorstep. While serving his sentence for second-degree murder, Senghor discovered redemption and responsibility through literature -- starting with The Autobiography of Malcolm X -- and through his own writing.

Upon his release at the age of 38, Senghor reached out to young men following his same troubled path, and published Live in Peace as part of an outreach program bringing hope to kids in Detroit and across the Midwest. His activism attracted the attention of the MIT Media Lab, and as a Director’s Fellow, Senghor has collaborated on imagining creative solutions for the problems plaguing distressed communities. His memoir, Writing My Wrongs, was published in 2013.

Session 10: Passion
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
5:00 – 6:45
Jennifer Senior image Jennifer Senior
Writer

In her new book "All Joy and No Fun," Jennifer Senior explores how children reshape their parents' lives -- for better and worse.

Jennifer Senior is a contributing editor at New York Magazine, where she writes profiles and cover stories about politics, social science and mental health. In a groundbreaking 2010 story for the magazine, called "All Joy and No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting," she examined the social science around modern parenting, looking at happiness research from Dan Gilbert, Danny Kahneman and others, as well as anthropological research (she was an anthro major) around how families behave. Her conclusion: Hey, parents, it's okay not to feel blissfully happy all the time.

She expanded the piece into a book that dives deeper into the research and paradoxes of modern American parenting styles -- including parents' sometimes inflated expectations of constant awesomeness, meaningfulness and bliss. As she says, "I think of this book as a series of mini-ethnographies -- portraits of how American families live now."

 

Session 11: Unstress
Fri Mar 21, 2014
9:00 – 10:30
Shubhendu Sharma image Shubhendu Sharma
Reforestation expert

Eco-entrepreneur Shubhendu Sharma — and his company, Afforestt — create afforestation methods that make it easy to plant maintenance-free, wild and biodiverse forests.

Industrial engineer Shubhendu Sharma was working at Toyota in India when he met Japanese forest expert Akira Miyawaki, who’d arrived to plant a forest at the factory, using a methodology he’d developed to make a forest grow ten times faster that normal. Fascinated, Sharma interned with Miyawaki, and grew his first successful forest on a small plot behind a house. Today, his company Afforest promotes a standardized method for seeding dense, fast-growing, native forests in barren lands, using his car-manufacturing acumen to create a system allowing a multilayer forest of 300 trees to grow on an area as small as the parking spaces of six cars — for less than the price of an iPhone. Afforest has helped grow forests at homes, schools and factories. He’s seen improvement in air quality, an increase in biodiversity — and the forests even generate fresh fruit. Afforest is at work on a platform that will offer hardware probes to analyze soil quality — allowing the company to offer step-by-step instructions for anyone who wants to grow a native forest anywhere in the world.
TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
Michael Shermer image Michael Shermer
Skeptic

Michael Shermer debunks myths, superstitions and urban legends -- and explains why we believe them. Along with publishing Skeptic Magazine, he's author of Why People Believe Weird Things and The Mind of the Market.

As founder and publisher of Skeptic Magazine, Michael Shermer has exposed fallacies behind intelligent design, 9/11 conspiracies, the low-carb craze, alien sightings and other popular beliefs and paranoias. But it's not about debunking for debunking's sake. Shermer defends the notion that we can understand our world better only by matching good theory with good science.

Shermer's work offers cognitive context for our often misguided beliefs: In the absence of sound science, incomplete information can powerfully combine with the power of suggestion (helping us hear Satanic lyrics when "Stairway to Heaven" plays backwards, for example). In fact, a common thread that runs through beliefs of all sorts, he says, is our tendency to convince ourselves: We overvalue the shreds of evidence that support our preferred outcome, and ignore the facts we aren't looking for.

He writes a monthly column for Scientific American, and is an adjunct at Claremont Graduate University and Chapman University. His latest book is The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. He is also the author of The Mind of the Market, on evolutionary economics, Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design, and The Science of Good and Evil. And his next book is titled The Moral Arc of Science.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Clay Shirky image Clay Shirky
Social Media Theorist

Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible -- with deep social and political implications.

Clay Shirky's work focuses on the rising usefulness of networks -- using decentralized technologies such as peer-to-peer sharing, wireless, software for social creation, and open-source development. New technologies are enabling new kinds of cooperative structures to flourish as a way of getting things done in business, science, the arts and elsewhere, as an alternative to centralized and institutional structures, which he sees as self-limiting. In his writings and speeches he has argued that "a group is its own worst enemy."

Shirky is an adjunct professor in New York Universityʼs graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he teaches a course named “Social Weather.” Heʼs the author of several books. This spring at the TED headquarters in New York, he gave an impassioned talk against SOPA/PIPA that saw 1 million views in 48 hours.

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Simon Sinek image Simon Sinek
Leadership expert

Simon Sinek explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change. He's the author of the classic "Start With Why"; his latest book is "Leaders Eat Last."

Fascinated by the leaders who make impact in the world, companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Simon Sinek has discovered some remarkable patterns in how they think, act and communicate. He wrote Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action to explore his idea of the Golden Circle, what he calls "a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others." His newest work explores "circles of safety," exploring how to enhance feelings of trust and confidence in making bold decisions. It's the subject of his latest book, Leaders Eat Last.

An ethnographer by training, Sinek is an adjunct of the RAND Corporation. He writes and comments regularly for major publications and teaches graduate-level strategic communications at Columbia University.

Session 11: Unstress
Fri Mar 21, 2014
9:00 – 10:30
Edward Snowden image Edward Snowden
Whistleblower

In 2013 Edward Snowden leaked thousands of classified American National Security Agency documents, sparking a global conversation about citizens' rights to privacy on the Internet.

Edward Snowden was just about to turn 28 when his face was suddenly splashed across every major newspaper in the US. In the summer of 2013 The Guardian published a series of leaked documents about the American National Security Agency (NSA), starting with an article about a secret court order demanding American phone records from Verizon, followed by an article on the NSA's top-secret Prism program, said to be accessing user data from Google, Apple and Facebook.

It wasn't long before Snowden came forward as the source, revealing that he had carefully planned the leak, copying documents when he was working as a contractor for the NSA. "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," he said at the time, but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." Snowden's actions have led to a global debate on the relationship between national security and online privacy. His leaks continue to have a lasting impact on the American public's view of the government, and has encouraged media scrutiny on the NSA.

Snowden had coordinated the leak with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras from Hong Kong; after he revealed his identity, he fled and ended up in Moscow. Under charges of espionage by the American government, Snowden remains in Russia in temporary asylum.

Session 2: Retrospect
Tues Mar 18, 2014
8:30 – 10:15
Andrew Solomon image Andrew Solomon
Writer

Andrew Solomon is a writer on politics, culture and psychology.

Andrew Solomon's 2012 book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. Their struggles toward compassion and the triumphs of love -- so very different, yet sharing profound common links -- are documented in every chapter.

Woven into these courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent. Solomon’s previous book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for nonfiction.

Session 12: Onward
Fri Mar 21, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
Bryan Stevenson image Bryan Stevenson
Public-interest lawyer

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Bryan Stevenson is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

EJI recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees

All-Stars Session 3: Where Are We Now?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
2:00 – 3:15
Margaret Gould Stewart image Margaret Gould Stewart
User experience master

At Facebook (and previously at YouTube), Margaret Gould Stewart designs experiences that touch the lives of a large percentage of the world's population.

Margaret Gould Stewart has spent her career asking, “How do we design user experiences that change the world in fundamental ways?” It's a powerful question that has led her to manage user experiences for six of the ten most visited websites in the world, including Facebook, where she serves as Director of Product Design.

Before joining Facebook, Margaret managed the User Experience Team for YouTube, where she oversaw the largest redesign in the company's history, including the YouTube player page. She came to YouTube after two years leading Search and Consumer Products UX at Google. She approaches her work with a combined appreciation for timeless great design and transient digital technologies, and always with the end goal of improving people's lives. As she says: "Design is creativity in service of others."

Session 6: Wired
Wed Mar 19, 2014
11:00 – 12:45
Sting image Sting
Composer, singer, author, actor, activist

He’s sold more than 100 million albums and earned 16 Grammy Awards, yet Sting continues to surprise. His fourteenth solo album, The Last Ship, features songs from his Broadway-bound musical of the same name.

Premiering in 2014, The Last Ship—with direction by Joe Mantello, music and lyrics by Sting and book by John Logan and Brian Yorkey—is inspired by Sting's memories of the English seafaring community of Wallsend where he was born and raised. The story is set against the demise of the local shipbuilding industry and is anchored by a group of unemployed workers who take back the shipyard to build one last ship.

The constant throughout Sting's enduring career has been his propensity to evolve. From his tenure as lead singer and bassist with The Police, producing classic hits like "Every Breath You Take" and "Message In A Bottle," to his acclaimed ventures as a solo artist, Sting is one of the world's most renowned and distinctive musicians.

An actor, composer, author and committed activist, Sting, along with wife Trudie Styler, founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect the world's rainforests and the indigenous people living there. This year, the organization celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Session 4: Wish
Tues Mar 18, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Julia Sweeney image Julia Sweeney
Actor, comedian, playwright

Julia Sweeney creates comedic works that tackle deep issues: cancer, family, faith. Her latest book is "If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother," on parenting and being parented. She performs often with Jill Sobule, telling stories alongside Jill's songs, in their "Jill & Julia Show."

Known for her four-year run on Saturday Night Live and her powerful solo shows, Julia Sweeney is carving out her own territory in entertainment, one that moves between the personal and the political, the controversial and the comical. Her piece Letting Go of God traces a spiritual journey that takes an unexpected turn toward science (a turn that, incidentally, also led her to TED) and ends with atheism. Her latest book is If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother, on parenting and being parented.

In this, as in all her performances, Sweeney projects a warmth and sincerity on stage that's unmatched in today's theater; you immediately feel you're chatting with an old friend. And this gift of intimacy allows her to achieve the impossible: an utterly disarming show that honestly confronts the most controversial topic of our times. Her earlier shows God Said “Ha!” and In the Family Way also garnered praise and prizes for their pairings of humor and poignant truth.

Session 12: Onward
Fri Mar 21, 2014
11:30 – 1:00
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Jill Bolte Taylor image Jill Bolte Taylor
Neuroanatomist

Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.

One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor's brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness ...

Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the "Singin' Scientist."

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Marco Tempest image Marco Tempest
Techno-illusionist

A magician and illusionist for the 21st century, Marco Tempest blends cutting-edge technology with the flair and showmanship of Houdini.

Marco Tempest’s imaginative combination of computer-generated imagery, quick-cut video and enthusiastic stage presence has earned him a place in the pantheon of great illusionists. At 22, the Swiss magician won the New York World Cup of Magic, launching him into international prominence. His lively phonecam postings on YouTube , done without post-production and video-editing tricks to astonished people on the street, get millions of views. At the MIT Media Lab, Tempest is researching the link between magic and technology as a Director's Fellow.  

Through his art, Tempest creates a highly entertaining way to be entranced by the reality-bending tech magic that surrounds us all every day. Watch more Marco magic courtesy of Scobleizer ... or see Marco profiled on CNN.com's Next List.

He says: "I blend the line between what is incredibly real and what is incredibly not."

Watch a video on the making of his augmented-reality illusion >>

Watch a video on the making of his Nikola Tesla pop-up book >>

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
Tierney Thys image Tierney Thys
Marine biologist

Tierney Thys is a marine biologist and science educator. She studies the behavior of the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish -- and works with other scientists to make films that share the wonders they see.

Marine biologist Tierney Thys has fallen head over heels for a big, goofy fish: the Mola mola, or giant ocean sunfish. In studying the mola -- where they go, what they eat, what eats them -- she's also hunting for clues to the behavior of all life in the open ocean. With their enormous, odd bodies, peaceful habits and lust for jellyfish, these giants can be key to understanding life in the open ocean. Thys and her team are tagging and tracking molas worldwide to learn about how they live, and how climate change may be affecting all ocean life.

Thys is a National Geographic Explorer with a passion for marine education. She was also past director of research at the Sea Studios Foundation, a team of scientists and filmmakers that makes media to raise awareness of environmental issues -- including the PBS series Strange Days on Planet Earth and targeted videos that influence policymakers and businesspeople. Sea Studios was also instrumental in helping eBay stop the trading of invasive species.

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
Neil Turok image Neil Turok
Physicist, education activist

Neil Turok is working on a model of the universe that explains the big bang -- while, closer to home, he's founded a network of math and science academies across Africa.

Neil Turok works on understanding the universe's very beginnings. With Stephen Hawking, he developed the Hawking-Turok instanton solutions, describing the birth of an inflationary universe -- positing that, big bang or no, the universe came from something, not from utter nothingness.

Recently, with Paul Steinhardt at Princeton, Turok has been working on a cyclic model for the universe in which the big bang is explained as a collision between two “brane-worlds.” The two physicists cowrote the popular-science book Endless Universe.

In 2003, Turok, who was born in South Africa, founded the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Muizenberg, a postgraduate center supporting math and science. His TED Prize wish: Help him grow AIMS and promote the study and math and science in Africa, so that the world's next Einstein may be African.

Turok is the Director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Ontario, Canada. In 2010, the Canadian government funded a $20million expansion of the AIMS schools, working with the Perimeter Institute to start five new AIMS schools in different African nations.

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
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Jimmy Wales image Jimmy Wales
Founder of Wikipedia

With a vision for a free online encyclopedia, Wales assembled legions of volunteer contributors, gave them tools for collaborating, and created the self-organizing, self-correcting, ever-expanding, multilingual encyclopedia of the future.

Jimmy Wales went from betting on interest rates and foreign-currency fluctuations (as an option trader) to betting on the willingness of people to share their knowledge. That's how Wikipedia, imagined in 2001, became one of the most-referenced, most-used repositories of knowledge on the planet, with more than four and a half million articles in English (compared with the Britannica's 80,000) and millions in dozens of other languages, all freely available.

The "wiki" in the name refers to software that allows anyone with Internet access to add, delete or edit entries. This has led to controversies about the reliability of the information, prompting the Wikimedia Foundation to set tighter rules for editors, while still keeping Wikipedia open-source. One thing is certain: Wikipedia will never be finished. In the meantime Wales has started working on Wikiasari, a wiki-style search engine.

All-Stars Session 5: The Future Is Ours
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
2:30 – 4:00
Jason Webley image Jason Webley
Musician

Jason Webley is a Seattle-based troubadour who has built a small following around the globe with his passionate uninhibited performances.

Since his beginnings as a street performer, Seattle-based accordion troubadour Jason Webley has built a loyal following around the globe with his energetic, uninhibited live performances. Known for his passionate delivery, his soul-wrenching lyrics and an infectious sense of fun, Webley's relentless touring schedule has taken him to dozens countries, most concerts ending with the entire crowd locked arm-in-arm, swaying and singing.  Webley has released six albums and numerous collaborations on his own Eleven Records label. He organizes the annual Monsters of Accordion tour and is one half of the duo Evelyn Evelyn (with Amanda Palmer of The Dresden Dolls.)  He has performed everywhere from Tasmania to Siberia.
Session 7: Why?
Wed Mar 19, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
Taylor Wilson image Taylor Wilson
Nuclear scientist

At 14, Taylor Wilson became the youngest person to achieve fusion -- with a reactor born in his garage. Now he wants to save our seaports from nuclear terror.

Physics wunderkind Taylor Wilson astounded the science world when, at age 14, he became the youngest person in history to produce fusion. The University of Nevada-Reno offered a home for his early experiments when Wilson’s worried parents realized he had every intention of building his reactor in the garage.

Wilson now intends to fight nuclear terror in the nation's ports, with a homemade radiation detector priced an order of magnitude lower than most current devices. In 2012, Wilson's dreams received a boost when he became a recipient of the $100,000 Thiel Prize. Wilson now intends revolutionize the way we produce energy, fight cancer, and combat terrorism using nuclear technology.

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00
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Ed Yong image Ed Yong
Science writer

Ed Yong blogs with a mission: to ignite excitement for science in everyone, regardless of their education or background.

Whether he's exploring a possible resurrection for extinct mouth-birthing amphibians or skewering media misunderstandings of hyped hormones like oxytocin, Ed Yong has a gift for illuminating the beauty (or controversy) in difficult and complex topics.

The award-winning blog Not Exactly Rocket Science (hosted by National Geographic) is the epicenter of Yong’s formidable web and social media presence. In its posts, he tackles the hottest and most bizarre topics in science journalism. As he says, “The only one that matters to me, as far as my blog is concerned, is that something interests me. That is, excites or inspires or amuses me.” When not blogging, he also finds time to contribute to Nature, Wired, Scientific American and many other web and print outlets.

Session 8: Hacked
Thurs Mar 20, 2014
8:30 – 10:30
Bora Yoon image Bora Yoon
Experimental musician

For Bora Yoon, cell phones, electronics, water, whispering and even the venue itself are all agents for building highly textured soundscapes.

Most performers consider ringing cell phones a disturbance, but multi-instrumentalist Bora Yoon welcomes the sound as a participant -- an added layer to the ambiance.

Yoon explores where sound connects to the subliminal and the performance environment through the use of traditional music makers like chamber instruments, voice and Tibetan singing bowls, as well as more modern sound apparatus: music boxes, gramophones, radios. Among her work is 51st (Dream) State, a collaboration with poet Sekou Sundiata and a contemplation on America’s national identity

TED Fellows Session 1
Mon Mar 17, 2014
10:30 – 12:15
Ziauddin Yousafzai image Ziauddin Yousafzai
Education activist

Despite an attack on his daughter Malala in 2012, Ziauddin Yousafzai continues his fight to educate children in the developing world.

Ziauddin Yousafzai is an educator, human rights campaigner and social activist. He hails from Pakistan's Swat Valley where, at great personal risk among grave political violence, he peacefully resisted the Taliban's efforts to shut down schools and kept open his own school. He also inspired his daughter, Malala Yousafzai, to raise her voice to promote the rights of children to an education. Ziauddin is the co-founder and serves as the Chairman of the Board for the Malala Fund. 

He also serves as the United Nations Special Advisor on Global Education and also the educational attaché to the Pakistani Consulate in Birmingham, UK.

Session 1: Liftoff!
Mon Mar 17, 2014
6:00 – 7:45
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Philip Zimbardo image Philip Zimbardo
Psychologist

Philip Zimbardo was the leader of the notorious 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment -- and an expert witness at Abu Ghraib. His book The Lucifer Effect explores the nature of evil; now, in his new work, he studies the nature of heroism.

Philip Zimbardo knows what evil looks like. After serving as an expert witness during the Abu Ghraib trials, he wrote The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. From Nazi comic books to the tactics of used-car salesmen, he explores a wealth of sources in trying to explain the psychology of evil.

A past president of the American Psychological Association and a professor emeritus at Stanford, Zimbardo retired in 2008 from lecturing, after 50 years of teaching his legendary introductory course in psychology. In addition to his work on evil and heroism, Zimbardo recently published The Time Paradox, exploring different cultural and personal perspectives on time.

Still well-known for his controversial Stanford Prison Experiment, Zimbardo in his new research looks at the psychology of heroism. He asks, "What pushes some people to become perpetrators of evil, while others act heroically on behalf of those in need?"

All-Stars Session 2: Beauty and the Brain
Tues Mar 18, 2014
3:45 – 5:00