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Sandra Aamodt image Sandra Aamodt
Neuroscientist and science writer

Sandra Aamodt explores the neuroscience of everyday life, examining new research and its impact on our understanding of ourselves.

Sandra Aamodt is a neuroscientist and science writer, who takes the complexities of neuroscience research and whips them into fun reads that give people a better understanding of their minds and behavior. Her books Welcome to Your Brain and Welcome to Your Child's Brain (both written with Sam Wang) are designed to bring neuroscience to a general audience, and they've both been widely translated. Aamodt's science writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, El Mundo and the Times of London.

From 2003 to 2008, Aamodt was the editor-in-chief of Nature Neuroscience, a leading scientific journal in the field of brain research. She brings a significant scientific background to the task of explaining new research without creating neurobunk. During her career, she has read over five thousand neuroscience papers, and written many editorials on science policy.

Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us
Tues Jun 11, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Mustafa Abushagur image Mustafa Abushagur
Former Prime Minister-Elect of Libya

Following the fall of Gaddafi, Mustafa Abushagur served as Libya's first Deputy Prime Minister and briefly as the Prime Minister-Elect.

How do you lead a country recovering from 40 years of a brutal dictatorship? Mustafa Abushagur is no stranger to the challenge. He is an engineer-turned-politician who arrived on the global scene during Libya’s volatile transition in 2011. After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime and his death in October 2011, Abushagur served as Libya’s first Deputy Prime Minister. The following year he was elected by the General National Congress to serve as Prime Minister; however, after the GNC rejected two of Abushagur’s cabinet proposals, they dismissed him from his post. Abushagur’s experience speaks to the struggle of building responsive and accountable governmental institutions from the ground up in a still fractious region.
 
Outside his political career, Abushagur has been an electrical and computer engineering professor specializing in micro-optical systems in the U.S. since the 1980s, founding two startups. He teaches at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he helped launch the satellite university RIT Dubai.
Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Alessandro Acquisti image Alessandro Acquisti
Privacy economist

What motivates you to share your personal information online? Alessandro Acquisti studies the behavioral economics of privacy (and information security) in social networks.

Online, we humans are paradoxical: We cherish privacy, but freely disclose our personal information in certain contexts. Privacy economics offers a powerful lens to understand this paradox, and the field has been spearheaded by Alessandro Acquisti and his colleagues' analyses of how we decide what to share online and what we get in return.

His team's surprising studies on facial recognition software showed that it can connect an anonymous human face to an online name -- and then to a Facebook account -- in about 3 seconds. Other work shows how easy it can be to find a US citizen's Social Security number using basic pattern matching on public data. Work like this earned him an invitation to testify before a US Senate committee on the impact technology has on civil liberties.

Read about his work in the New York Times »

Session 11: Tech Impact
Fri Jun 14, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Anant Agarwal image Anant Agarwal
Education innovator

Through blended courses Anant Agarwal is pairing online education with face-to-face student-faculty interactions, reshaping the university campus experience.

In the spring of 2012, Anant Agarwal, a professor of computer science at MIT, taught a course called “Circuits and Electronics.” As usual, it was MIT-level challenging, requiring knowledge of differential equations and calculus. Unlike in the past, though, the course enrolled 155,000 students from 162 countries around the world.
 
It was the inaugural offering of what is now edX , an online learning venture of MIT and Harvard, which Agarwal helms. Through this nonprofit -- one of the leading forces of the massive open online course (MOOC) movement -- Agarwal aims to make higher education globally available, for free.
 
Which does not preclude in-person education. On campus, Agarwal is pushing for what he calls blended courses, which interweave digital content and face-to-face interactions. "I see online learning as a rising tide that will lift all boats,” Agarwal says.

Agarwal holds the Guinness World Record for the largest microphone array, and was named one of Forbes' top education innovators in 2012. Find him on Twitter at @agarwaledu.

Session 11: Tech Impact
Fri Jun 14, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Blaise Aguera y Arcas image Blaise Aguera y Arcas
Software architect

Blaise Agüera y Arcas works on machine learning at Google. Previously a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, he has worked on augmented reality, mapping, wearable computing and natural user interfaces. He was the co-creator of Photosynth, software that assembles photos into 3D environments.

Blaise Aguera y Arcas' background is as multidimensional as the visions he helps create. In the 1990s, he authored patents on both video compression and 3D visualization techniques, and in 2001, he made an influential computational discovery that cast doubt on Gutenberg's role as the father of movable type.

He also created Seadragon (acquired by Microsoft in 2006), the visualization technology that gives Photosynth its amazingly smooth digital rendering and zoom capabilities. Photosynth itself is a vastly powerful piece of software capable of taking a wide variety of images, analyzing them for similarities, and grafting them together into an interactive three-dimensional space. This seamless patchwork of images can be viewed via multiple angles and magnifications, allowing us to look around corners or “fly” in for a (much) closer look. Simply put, it could utterly transform the way we experience digital images.

He joined Microsoft when Seadragon was acquired by Live Labs in 2006. Shortly after the acquisition of Seadragon, Blaise directed his team in a collaboration with Microsoft Research and the University of Washington, leading to the first public previews of Photosynth several months later. His TED Talk on Seadragon and Photosynth in 2007 is rated one of TED's "most jaw-dropping." He returned to TED in 2010 to demo Bing’s augmented reality maps. As a Distinguished Engineer at Microsoft, he led a team of researchers and engineers with strengths in wearable computing, interaction design, digital maps, computer vision and graphics. At the end of 2013, he left Microsoft to work on machine learning at Google.

Fun fact: According to the author, Blaise is the inspiration for the character Elgin in the 2012 best-selling novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Uri Alon image Uri Alon
Systems biologist

Uri Alon studies how cells work, using an array of tools (including improv theater) to understand the biological circuits that perform the functions of life.

First trained as a physicist, Uri Alon found a passion for biological systems. At the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, he and his lab investigate the protein circuits within a cell (they focus on E. coli), looking for basic interaction patterns that recur throughout biological networks. It's a field full of cross-disciplinary thinking habits and interesting problems. And in fact, Alon is the author of a classic paper on lab behavior called "How to Choose a Good Scientific Problem," which takes a step back from the rush to get grants and publish papers to ask: How can a good lab foster growth and self-motivated research?
 
In Alon's lab, students use tools from physics, neurobiology and computer science -- and concepts from improv theatre -- to study basic principles of interactions. Using a theater practice called the "mirror game," they showed that two people can create complex novel motion together without a designated leader or follower. He also works on an addicting site called BioNumbers -- all the measurements you need to know about biology. The characteristic heart rate of a pond mussel? Why it's 4-6 beats per minute.
Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Greg Asner image Greg Asner
Airborne ecologist

Greg Asner’s mapping technology produces detailed, complex pictures of how humans’ activities affect our ecosystems.

The remote sensing techniques developed by Greg Asner and his team are viewed as among the most advanced in the world for exploring Earth’s changing ecosystems in unprecedented detail and richness. Using airborne and satellite technologies such as laser scanning and hyperspectral imaging, combined with field work and computer modeling, Asner measures and qualifies humans’ impact on regions from the American Southwest to the Brazilian Amazon.

“We’re able to see, if you will, the forest and the trees at the same time,” Asner says. “We’re able to now understand an image, map and measure huge expanses of the environment while maintaining the detail. Not just the spatial resolution, but the biological resolution—the actual organisms that live in these places.” For Asner, who is on the faculty at the Carnegie Institution and Stanford and leads the Carnegie Airborne Observatory project, this is science with a mission: to influence climate change treaties and save the forests he studies.

Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Nassim Assefi image Nassim Assefi
Doctor, novelist, Guest Host

Physician-novelist and activist writer Nassim Assefi confronts health and human rights challenges around the globe.

Nassim Assefi's remarkable life fuses activism with creativity. As a global health worker she amassed profound stories that infuse into her novels Aria and Say I Am You. While conducting a scientific trial of Eastern medicine for chronic pain, she employed actors to investigate the nature of healing, and her work on maternal mortality reduction in Afghanistan was accompanied by an underground stint as a salsa dance instructor.

Assefi became a TEDGlobal Fellow in 2009 and founded TEDxRainier in 2010. She is a practicing physician and healthcare consultant and continues to advance women’s reproductive rights in local and global communities.
 
At TEDGlobal 2013 she guest-curates, together with Gabriella Gomez-Mont, the session “World on Its Head.”

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
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Benjamin Barber image Benjamin Barber
Political theorist

Benjamin Barber believes that the future of the world may lie with the politicians who implement practical change every day: mayors.

Benjamin Barber burst into the media spotlight on September 11, 2001, when his book Jihad Vs. McWorld, published several years earlier, assumed newly horrific relevance. With his prophetic analysis of the emerging collision of tribalism and globalism, Barber established the parameters for 21st Century political debate.

A passionate advocate of democracy’s power, Barber continues to explore solutions for dysfunctional systems and political paralysis. In his forthcoming new work What if Mayors Ruled the World, Barber plans to show how decentralized local governments can be more flexible - and more in tune with their constituents - than their federal counterparts.

Session 8: State of the Nations
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Natasha Bedingfield image Natasha Bedingfield
Singer, songwriter

Natasha Bedingfield writes and sings heartfelt, dynamic pop anthems, like 2008's smash "Pocketful of Sunshine.”

With a powerfully soulful voice, Natasha Bedingfield sings her own deeply felt and passionate lyrics about the basic emotions we share -- with the kind of emotional knockout-punch lines that Taylor Swift writes on her arm; that coming-of-age movies like Easy A use to underscore that perfect moment.

Bedingfield's 2004 debut won awards in the US and UK; she followed up with her 2008 smash Pocketful of Sunshine, then with late 2010's Strip Me, and now she's in the studio working on her next. In the meantime she's all over Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook, building a beautiful rapport with fans one on one. As she sings: "I'm only one voice in a million, but you ain't taking that from me."

Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us
Tues Jun 11, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Arthur Benjamin image Arthur Benjamin
Mathemagician

Using daring displays of algorithmic trickery, lightning calculator and number wizard Arthur Benjamin mesmerizes audiences with mathematical mystery and beauty.

Arthur Benjamin makes numbers dance. In his day job, he's a professor of math at Harvey Mudd College; in his other day job, he's a "Mathemagician," taking the stage in his tuxedo to perform high-speed mental calculations, memorizations and other astounding math stunts. It's part of his drive to teach math and mental agility in interesting ways, following in the footsteps of such heroes as Martin Gardner.

Benjamin is the co-author, with Michael Shermer, of Secrets of Mental Math (which shares his secrets for rapid mental calculation), as well as the co-author of the MAA award-winning Proofs That Really Count: The Art of Combinatorial Proof. For a glimpse of his broad approach to math, see the list of research talks on his website, which seesaws between high-level math (such as his "Vandermonde's Determinant and Fibonacci SAWs," presented at MIT in 2004) and engaging math talks for the rest of us ("An Amazing Mathematical Card Trick").

Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Carin Bondar image Carin Bondar
Wild sex biologist

Carin Bondar is an expert on the sexual life of animals -- and loves to tell their wild sex stories.

Group sex, prostitution, masturbation -— every sexy thing we humans do, says Carin Bondar, animals do too, and a whole lot more we, thank goodness, can't (see topic: chastity belts). Bondar, a biologist, hosts the truly astonishing Wild Sex video series on earthtouch.tv , where over two seasons she's been using science and uberwatchable storytelling to tell surprising tales of animal mating. As she says: "We hit topics hard, and not just for the quirk factor, but because there is a lot of cool science behind so many strange mating rituals."

For contrast, her first book, The Nature of Human Nature, examines the unique behaviors of the human species in the context of Darwin's Survival of the Fittest. Bondar is also the host and producer of SciAm Cinema, a monthly series of the best stories from the Scientific American blog network, and the co-host (with Phil Plait) of TwiST, a weekly series about science and tech on the Science Alert YouTube channel, as well as a TV host for Discovery International and National Geographic Wild.

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Tania Bruguera image Tania Bruguera
Performance artist

With provocative actions that erase the lines between performance and politics, Tania Bruguera transforms passive audiences into engaged citizens.

Cuban artist Tania Bruguera built her controversial reputation with headline-grabbing performances and installations exploring ways in which art can be applied to the everyday political life. Whether ingesting dirt and salt water during hours-long endurance tests, or using mounted policemen to herd unsuspecting Tate Modern visitors, master provocateur Bruguera tramples boundaries between viewers and artworks, engaging spectators directly with the politics of power.
 
Her recent long-term work Immigrant Movement International focuses on the political representation of migrants. In it, Bruguera attempts nothing less than to construct a social movement through direct engagement with immigrant populations, spending a year sharing housing and living conditions with undocumented workers in Queens, New York.
Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Stephen Burt image Stephen Burt
Poetry critic

In his influential poetry criticism, Stephen Burt links the contemporary with the classical, pinpoints new poetry movements, and promotes outstanding little-known poets.

Stephen Burt is a serious fan of science fiction, indie music and women’s basketball, but what he’s known for is his highly influential poetry criticism. That list of passions, though, hints at Burt’s mission as a critic: he aims not only to describe new movements in the form, but also to champion under-the-radar writers whose work he admires.
 
Burt, a professor of English at Harvard, is passionate about both the classics and the contemporary, and his poetry criticism bridges those two worlds. He is also a poet in his own right, with two full-length books under his belt, and a cross-dresser who mines his feminine persona in his own writing. “I am a literary critic and a writer of verse, a parent and husband and friend, before and after I am a guy in a skirt, or a guy in blue jeans, or a fictional girl,” he has written. His books include The Art of the Sonnet (with David Mikics); Close Calls With Nonsense: Reading New Poetry; and Parallel Play: Poems.
Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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Siddharthan Chandran image Siddharthan Chandran
Regenerative neurologist

Siddharthan Chandran explores how to heal damage from degenerative disorders such as MS and motor neuron disease (ALS).

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects the nervous system by chewing up the axons that connect neurons to one another, which slows, stops or simply randomizes the transmission of nerve impulses. At the Centre for clinical brain sciences at the University of Edinburgh, Siddharthan Chandran works in the emerging discipline of regenerative neurology -- exploring how injured or damaged neurons in the brain might actually be repaired.
 
His research strategy uses MS and motor neuron disease (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's diesease) as primary disease models, combining laboratory and clinical activity to study  brain injury, neurodegeneration and repair, using stem cells to model and test. His work, he says, "reflects the complexity of the brain. You can replace a kidney, but not a brain. One must remain careful and humble in the face of current knowledge." He is also director of the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic.

Session 7: Regeneration
Wed Jun 12, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Grégoire Courtine image Grégoire Courtine
Spinal cord researcher

Grégoire Courtine and his interdisciplinary lab imagine new ways to recover after devastating, mobility-impairing injury to the spinal cord.

In a lab in Switzerland, a little white rat is re-learning how to walk. In research dubbed Project Rewalk, Grégoire Courtine and his collaborators are figuring out how a spinal cord with a severe lesion might repair itself, to the point that voluntary locomotion could happen again -- not just reactive movement but brain-directed walking and running. The treatment involves a re-awakening cocktail of chemicals released onto the spinal cord, combined with electrical stimulation -- plus repeated exercise that rehearses the walking movement. As part of the experiment, Courtine's team developed a robot that gently supports the rat vertically but does not push it forward; the rat has to decide to move on its own. And eventually, it does. As Courtine explains, "the training forces the brain to recruit what is left of the neural system to get the job done."
 
Courtine holds the International Paraplegic Foundation chair in spinal cord repair at the Center for Neuroprosthetics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne.

Session 7: Regeneration
Wed Jun 12, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Teddy Cruz image Teddy Cruz
Architect and urbanist

Teddy Cruz looks for clues to the "city of the future" in the emerging urban areas of today.

Teddy Cruz works at the crossroads of architecture, urbanism, policy and art. He has looked deeply, over many years, at the Tijuana-San Diego area spanning the US-Mexico border -- a thriving, high-density, high-activity zone of trade and urban relationships -- and at other southern cities. And he suggests that the modern, highly planned cities of the developed world have much to learn from these developments. The informal shops, garages and neighborhoods of a boomtown are built to maximize "social flow" -- because buildings are easy to put up and modify, they can respond exactly to the inhabitant's needs, connecting them to the community and the city.  

In collaboration with community-based nonprofits such as Casa Familiar, Cruz and his team also explore new visions for affordable housing, in relationship to an urban policy more inclusive of social and cultural programs for the city. In 1991, Cruz received the Rome Prize in Architecture; in 2005 he was the first recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture On The City Prize. Born in Guatemala, he is a professor in public culture and urbanism in the Visual Arts Department at University of California, San Diego.

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Jamie Cullum image Jamie Cullum
Jazz-pop singer

Wrestling with inspiration, Jamie Cullum has been ripping up the jazz rulebook.

Jamie Cullum's self-penned new record, Momentum, is a dizzying mix of beats, big band and funky swings dragging jazz into the 21st century. Primarily a vocalist/pianist, thorugh his career the British multi-instrumentalist has accompanied himself on guitars, drums, ukeleles and smartphone apps.

He has collaborated with stars across the musical spectrum, from Pharrell Williams to Roots Manuva to Clint Eastwood -- with whom he co-wrote the title track to the Grammy-nominated movie Gran Torino. Since 2010 Cullum has also presented numerous radio documentaries. He hosts a weekly jazz show on BBC Radio 2

Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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Raffaello D'Andrea image Raffaello D'Andrea
Autonomous systems visionary

Roboticist Raffaello D'Andrea explores the possibilities of autonomous technology by collaborating with artists, architects and engineers.

Raffaello D'Andrea combines academics, business and the arts to explore the capabilities of autonomous systems. As part of his research as professor of dynamic systems and control at the Swiss federal institute of technology, he and his collaborators created works such as the self-destructing, self-assembling Robotic Chair, and designed a system that allowed quadrirotor drones to construct a 6-meter tower, brick by brick.
 
The Flying Machine Arena he and his team created features airborne robots performing acrobatics, juggling balls and more, while the Distributed Flight Array is a flying platform consisting of multiple autonomous vehicles that are able to dock with their peers and fly in a coordinated fashion. His explorations also have practical business applications. He co-founded Kiva Systems, a robotics company that develops intelligent automated warehouse systems, and which was recently acquired by Amazon.

Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Abha Dawesar image Abha Dawesar
Novelist

Abha Dawesar writes to make sense of the world -- herself included.

Abha Dawesar began her writing career as an attempt to understand herself -- at age 7. It’s a goal that remains at the center of her work: Sensorium, her most recent novel, explores the nature of time, self, and uncertainty, using Hindu mythology and modern science as prisms. “At a very basic level, writing was always my way of apprehending the world,” she has said.

Dawesar moved from India to the United States to study at Harvard, and Delhi appears at the center of her novels Family Values and Babyji. But the oversimplified genres of immigrant fiction or ethnic fiction do not appeal to her. “Those looking for a constant South Asian theme or Diaspora theme or immigrant theme will just be disappointed in the long run from my work,” she has said. “The only label I can put up with is that of a writer. And my ideas come from everywhere.”

Session 11: Tech Impact
Fri Jun 14, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Peter Doolittle image Peter Doolittle
Educational psychology professor

Peter Doolittle is striving to understand the processes of human learning.

Peter Doolittle is a professor of educational psychology in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, where he is also the executive director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research. He teaches classes such as Cognition and Instruction, Constructivism and Education, Multimedia Cognition and College Teaching, but his research mainly focuses on learning in multimedia environments and the role of "working memory."

Doolittle has taught educational psychology around the world. He is the executive editor of the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and the co-executive editor of the International Journal of ePortfolio.

TED University, Session 1
Mon Jun 10, 2013
4:15 – 6:00
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Toby Eccles image Toby Eccles
Social investment visionary

Toby Eccles has created a radical financial instrument that helps private investors contribute to solving thorny public problems.

All too often, an ex-inmate walks out of prison with the exact same problems he or she walked in with: lack of skills, lack of support, no job. And they end up re-offending and back in jail. It's an expensive problem to fix, but it's a much more expensive one to ignore. A director at Social Finance in London, Toby Eccles explores the arbitrage between those two options.

In 2010, his pioneering Social Impact Bond allowed private investors to support a UK program targeting ex-prisoners who served short sentences (the limited government funding only goes to ex-inmates who served long terms). The £5m scheme, funded by 17 investors, supports training and support for 1,000 ex-inmates; if they re-offend less than a control group, the government will pay investors back, plus interest, through the savings accrued by achieving the program's targets.

More such bonds are now being tried across the world, including in New York City and Massachusetts (both addressing recidivism), and extended to new fields such as development. Eccles founded Social Finance in 2007, and he oversees all of the firm's social impact bond work, where, he says: "We are incentivised to work with the complicated and with those willing to change." "We are incentivised to work with the complicated and with those willing to change."

Session 4: Money Talks
Wed Jun 12, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Shereen El Feki image Shereen El Feki
Arab sexuality expert

Shereen El Feki works and writes on sexuality and social change in the Arab world.

Dividing her time between London and Cairo, TED Fellow Shereen El Feki works on issues related to health and social welfare in the Arab region -- including intimate attitudes toward sexual (and political) freedoms, as explored in her new book, Sex and the Citadel.

Half-Egyptian and half-Welsh, El Feki was brought up in Canada. She started her professional life in medical science, with a PhD in molecular immunology from the University of Cambridge, and later worked as healthcare correspondent at The Economist. She also is a former vice chair of the United Nations' Global Commission on HIV and Law. While she has worked in regional media as a presenter with the Al Jazeera Network, and continues to write on social issues in the Arab world, her passion lies in projects that aim to better understand, and surmount, the social challenges facing Arabs, particularly young people.

Read a Q&A with Sheeren El Feki on the TED Fellows site.

Session 8: State of the Nations
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Dina El Wedidi image Dina El Wedidi
Singer

Singled out for the originality of her voice and style, Egyptian singer Dina El Wedidi has made her mark on her country’s music scene in just a few years.

A charismatic singer, 25-year-old Dina El Wedidi was part of Cairo’s underground music scene until last year, when the Arab Spring allowed her to give a wider voice to her political views through her songs. El Wedidi started composing songs when studying Oriental Languages at Cairo University. From 2007 to 2010 she joined the El Warsha Theater Troupe as a singer and actress, exploring Egyptian folklore and performing in such unlikely places as a Cairo prison. During this period, she also performed classical Egyptian and Arab songs with the Habayebna band, before establishing her own band in 2011, fusing local and global styles of music. Wedidi caught the attention of a growing audience after her songs were posted on Youtube.

In 2012, El Wedidi was awarded a protegee role in the Rolex Arts Initiative, for a year of musical mentorship by legendary Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil. She is also taking part in the Nile Music Project, a musical and environmental initiative that brings together musicians and thinkers from all over the Nile Valley.
Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
May El-Khalil image May El-Khalil
Founder of the Beirut Marathon

The Beirut Marathon is the largest running event in the Middle East. May El-Khalil founded it as an instrument of peace.

The beautiful city of Beirut, Lebanon, has seen its share of tragedy, as a seat of Lebanon's long-running civil war (1975-1990) and the Israeli-Lebanese conflict that came to a head in 2006. But in 2003, May El-Khalil, a local sports official, decided: It's time to start a marathon, open to all, as an antidote to sectarianism. And despite ongoing political and security pressure, the Beirut Marathon, now entering its 11th year, has become not only the largest running event in the Middle East but a powerful force for peace.

El-Khalil was inspired to start the marathon after a personal tragedy: a near-fatal running accident. Doctors told her she would never run again. She was hospitalized for two years and had to undergo a long series of surgeries. But the resolve from this personal struggle created an event that, each year, draws runners and fans from opposing political and religious communities in a symbolic act of peace. Case in point: In 2012, on a rainy and windy November day, more than 33,000 runners turned out. Other countries around the region are now thinking of replicating this model.

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Elizaveta image Elizaveta
Musical alchemist

Mixing pure pop with opera, jazz and classic songcraft, Elizaveta transmutes musical forms into emotional auditory experiences.

As a young girl growing up in Moscow, playing on her grandparents' piano, Elizaveta was writing poems and songs by the age of 5. She pursued a general music course -- loving every kind of music from Bach to Queen -- until she got to the Prague Academy of Music and found that her lovely voice might actually be of operatic proportions. She dutifully studied opera at the University of Southern California, but the call of her eclectic tastes got the better of her. As she writes: "her true bliss was found in writing and performing original material, rather than interpreting someone else’s."

In 2007, she released two EPs of her own music, Breakfast with Chopin and Like Water, then went into the studio with producer Greg Wells, who helped Elizaveta hone her opera-pop vision. The two began recording her 2012 major-label debut Beatrix Runs, which features the iTunes Song of the Week single "Dreamer." Listen for evocative, cinematic songs, with the richness of opera and the directness of a heavenly three-minute pop hit.
Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Tim Exile image Tim Exile
Electromusician

Musician and software designer Tim Exile mixes interactivity into performance with his crowdsourced sonic creations.

Tim Exile is a classically trained performer and composer who chops and loops sound into unexpected electro-pop creations. In addition to his CD releases, Exile programs his own performance 
and improvisation tools, based on the Reaktor software, to expand on the live DJ format.

At Barcelona’s 2012 Sónar by Day festival, Exile showcased these tools as a member of Mostly Robot, an electronic supergroup blending instant computer composition with fluid improvisation. Two years earlier he toured North America with another TEDster adept at exploring the future of music: Imogen Heap.

Session 11: Tech Impact
Fri Jun 14, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
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Andras Forgacs image Andras Forgacs
Bioprinting entrepreneur

Andras Forgacs produces animal products -- meat and leather -- without the animal.

An entrepreneur in tissue engineering, Andras Forgacs is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Meadow, a company developing novel biomaterials. These include cultured meat and leather which, as they put it, "will require no animal slaughter and much lower inputs of land, water, energy and chemicals".  This approach involves sourcing cells from living animals, multiplying these cells into billions, and then assembling them into the tissue precursors of meat or leather. The products, for now, are at a prototype stage.

Previously, Andras co-founded Organovo, which uses 3D bioprinting to create human tissues for pharmaceutical research and medical applications, such as drug development and replacement tissues. Organovo’s bioprinting technology was recognized by MIT Technology Review on its TR50 list of most innovative companies for 2012.

Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Russell Foster image Russell Foster
Circadian neuroscientist

Russell Foster studies sleep and its role in our lives, examining how our perception of light influences our sleep-wake rhythms.

Much as your ear does double duty (balance plus hearing), Russell Foster posits that the eye has two jobs: creating vision, but also -- as a completely separate function -- managing our perception of light and dark, providing the clues that our circadian rhythms need to regulate sleep-wake cycles. He and his team at the University of Oxford are exploring a third kind of photoreceptor in the eye: not a rod or a cone but a photosensitive retinal ganglion cell (pRGC) that detects light/dark and feeds that information to the circadian system. As Foster explains: "Embedded within our genes, and almost all life on Earth, are the instructions for a biological clock that marks the passage of approximately 24 hours." Light and dark help us synchronize this inner clock with the outside world.
 
The research on light perception hits home as we age -- faced with fading vision, we also risk disrupted sleep cycles, which have very serious consequences, including lack of concentration, depression and cognitive decline. The more we learn about how our eyes and bodies create our sleep cycles, the more seriously we can begin to take sleep as a therapy.

Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us
Tues Jun 11, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Chrystia Freeland image Chrystia Freeland
Plutocracy chronicler

In "Plutocrats," Chrystia Freeland explores the growing gap between the working poor and the increasingly disconnected mega-rich.

Author Chrystia Freeland looks under the hood of global capitalism to expose the technological, economic and structural inequalities pushing society in unforeseen directions. Along the way, she takes the temperature of a rising caste -- the super rich -- and shows how the creation of vast fortunes at the top hollow out the middle class in western industrialised countries. This rising income inequality, she argues, has a structural character, and is becoming a cultural and social issue, with consequences for social cohesion and social mobility.

Freeland began her career as an “accidental journalist” with frontline bulletins from the Ukraine in the heat of the Soviet collapse. She is now an editor at Thomson Reuters, and is frequently featured on media outlets ranging from the International Herald Tribune to The Colbert Report.

Session 4: Money Talks
Wed Jun 12, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
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Greg Gage image Greg Gage
Neuroscientist

Greg Gage helps kids investigate the neuroscience in their own backyards.

As half of Backyard Brains, neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage builds the SpikerBox -- a small rig that helps kids understand the electrical impulses that control the nervous system. He's passionate about helping students understand (viscerally) how our brains and our neurons work, because, as he said onstage at TED2012, we still know very little about how the brain works -- and we need to start inspiring kids early to want to know more.

Before becoming a neuroscientist, Gage worked as an electrical engineer making touchscreens. As he told the Huffington Post: "Scientific equipment in general is pretty expensive, but it's silly because before [getting my PhD in neuroscience] I was an electrical engineer, and you could see that you could make it yourself. So we started as a way to have fun, to show off to our colleagues, but we were also going into classrooms around that time and we thought, wouldn't it be cool if you could bring these gadgets with us so the stuff we were doing in advanced Ph.D. programs in neuroscience, you could also do in fifth grade?" His latest pieces of gear: the Roboroach, a cockroach fitted with an electric backpack that makes it turn on command, and BYB SmartScope, a smartphone-powered microscope.

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
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.”

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
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 12: All Together Now
Fri Jun 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
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Tariq Harb image Tariq Harb
Classic guitar virtuoso

In record time, Tariq Harb’s masterful command of melody and emotion shot him into the upper ranks of classical guitarists.

Classically trained as a violinist, Harb slummed in the financial world for years before finally returning to music. After several more years of studying the violin, and inspired by one of his teachers, the Jordanian musician turned to the guitar and never looked back.
 
Harb’s mastery of the guitar was quick and unprecedented. After only a brief period of study, he took first prize in his first two competitions, building his reputation through concert performances at various guitar festivals in North America and Europe and an acclaimed series of YouTube videos and recordings. He is now pursuing his PhD.
Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Lesley Hazleton image Lesley Hazleton
Accidental theologist

Writer Lesley Hazleton is the author of 'The First Muslim,' a new look at the life of Muhammad.

A psychologist by training and Middle East reporter by experience, British-born Lesley Hazleton has spent the last ten years exploring the vast and often terrifying arena in which politics and religion, past and present, intersect. She's written about the history of the Sunni/Shi'a split, as well as books on two of the Bible's most compelling female figures: Mary and Jezebel.
 
Her latest book is The First Muslim, a new look at the life of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. In researching her book, she sat and read the full Koran again -- exploring the beauty and subtlety in this often-misquoted holy book. As she says: " I’m always asking questions — not to find “answers,” but to see where the questions lead. Dead ends sometimes? That’s fine. New directions? Interesting. Great insights? Over-ambitious. A glimpse here and there? Perfect."

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Margaret Heffernan image Margaret Heffernan
Management Thinker

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns -- like conflict avoidance and selective blindness -- that lead managers and organizations astray.

How do organizations think? In her book, Willful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan examines why businesses and the people who run them often ignore the obvious -- with consequences as dire as the global financial crisis and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Heffernan’s third book, Willful Blindness was shortlisted for the Financial Times/GoldmanSachs Best Business Book award in 2011.

Margaret Heffernan began her career in television production, building a track record at the BBC before going on to run the film and television producer trade association, IPPA. In the United States, Heffernan became a serial entrepreneur and CEO in the wild early days of web business and was named one of the Internet's Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999.

In addition to writing books, Heffernan blogs for the Huffington Post and BNET.com and is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Simmons College in Boston and the Executive in Residence at Babson College.

TED University, Session 2
Tues Jun 11, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Suzana Herculano-Houzel image Suzana Herculano-Houzel
Neuroscientist

Suzana Herculano-Houzel shrunk the human brain by 14 billion neurons -- by developing a new way to count them.

How many neurons make a human brain? For years, the answer has been (give or take) 100 billion. But neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel decided to count them herself. Her research approach involved dissolving four human brains (donated to science) into a homogeneous mixture -- in her lab at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Rio de Janeiro, they call it "brain soup." She then took a sample of the mix, counted the number of cell nuclei belonging to neurons, and scaled that up. Result: the human brain has about 86 billion neurons, 14 billion fewer than assumed -- but intriguingly, far more than other animals, relative to brain size.

She suggests that it was the invention of cooking by our ancestors -- which makes food yield much more metabolic energy -- that allowed humans to develop the largest primate brain. She's now working on elephant and whale brains to test her hypothesis.

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Yaron Herman image Yaron Herman
Jazz pianist

Reflective and precise, Yaron Herman plays piano jazz.

 Born in Tel Aviv, Yaron Herman seemed destined for a brilliant career as a junior basketball player on Israel's national team, but his dreams were interrupted when he badly injured his knee. He was just 16. So he turned to the piano, studying the instrument using a method based on philosophy, mathematics and psychology. Today, Herman is considered one of the best pianists of his generation, hailed by the public and media alike in Europe, Asia and the United States.

With his new record Alter Ego, a surprising, intimate album, Herman reveals an inner journey, and also a process which stems from long musical reflection. As he says: "The compositions on this record represent key moments in my life, emotions of joy or sadness that I want to share."

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Erik Hersman image Erik Hersman
Blogger, technologist, Guest Host

Erik Hersman nurtures the creativity springing from the African tech community, and helps spread its innovations throughout the world.

Erik Hersman harnesses Africa’s boundless spirit of innovation by creating platforms to improve daily lives both inside and outside the continent. Hersman facilitates a host of web and mobile projects via organizations like iHub, a Nairobi community center built around the vision of an epicenter for Kenya’s booming tech industry. The mobile app Ushahidi, which he co-developed, allows users to share breaking news through text messaging, and continues to revolutionize and empower journalists, watchdog groups, and everyday people around the world.

Hersman, a TED Senior Fellow, grew up in Kenya and Sudan and is, as he puts it, "one of those guys who's much more 'at home' in Africa." He keeps two influential blogs: WhiteAfrican, where he writes about technology on the African continent, and AfriGadget, a group blog that celebrates African ingenuity.

As he says: "The constant bridging of worlds (African and American) started at such a young age that it has become embedded in my character. I find it easy to switch between cultures and enjoy friends and associates on either side of the ocean."

At TEDGlobal 2013 he guest-curated, together with Adrian Hong, the session “Forces of Change."

Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Annette Heuser image Annette Heuser
Rating agency reformer

Annette Heuser proposes critical reforms to loosen the iron grip of rating agencies on national credit scores.

Credit rating agencies, with their power to downgrade credit ratings for entire nations, have come under intense scrutiny and recent events have put their acceptance and transparency into question. What if there was an alternative, free from the limitations and weakened legitimacy that encumbers the big three agencies?

Annette Heuser, executive director of the Washington branch of the German Bertelsmann Foundation, has created a blueprint for a new, non-profit solution to loosen the agencies’ iron grip. The International Nonprofit Credit Rating Agency (INCRA) would conduct unsolicited foreign-risk assessments, redefining sovereign ratings as a public good, and could dramatically shift the financial futures of the world.

Session 4: Money Talks
Wed Jun 12, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Adrian Hong image Adrian Hong
Advisor, strategist, Guest Host

Adrian Hong works to promote innovation and empower citizens with technology, smart government and an entrepreneurial approach to problems.

TED Senior Fellow Adrian Hong seeks to empower citizens and help create responsive, smarter organizations all over the world. Hong advises a number of city, state and national governments and agencies on strategic policy matters. In 2006, Hong was imprisoned then deported by Chinese authorities for his work helping North Korean refugees to escape to freedom. He also founded and curated the TEDxTripoli conference in 2012 after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

His current charitable projects include Indy Incubator, a pro bono effort aiding socially-conscious businesses and non-profits, Open Source Ecology, an open-source engineering effort with major implications for global development, and Lumoon Vision, an effort to bring vision care to underserved children in the developing world.

At TEDGlobal 2013 he has guest-curated, together with TED Senior Fellow Erik Hersman, the session “Forces of Change." 

Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Steve Howard image Steve Howard
Corporate innovator

Steve Howard leads the sustainability effort at Ikea, helping the low-price-furniture giant to bring sustainable products to millions of people.

More than 690 million people visited an Ikea store in 2012; the company sold €27 billion worth of low-priced sofas, lamps, bookshelves and other goods (including €1.3 billion just in food) from more than 1,000 suppliers. Steve Howard, the chief sustainability officer, is charged with making that supply chain, and the company's 298 stores and almost 3,000 products, live more lightly upon the earth.
 
Coming to Ikea from the nonprofit consultancy Climate Group, Howard has embraced the challenge of working with a single big company, and the improvements he's made so far include helping farmers grow more-sustainable cotton around the world, remaking classic products to use fewer parts, and investing €1.5 billion through 2015 in renewable energy sources, notably wind and solar. (Like the rollout in the UK of Ikea solar panel systems for the home.) And if you've been to an Ikea lately, you probably already know this, through signs and explainers posted all over the store. Telling the story of sustainability is key, Howard believes, as companies like his become agents of transformative change. As he says: "I don't think we've fully realized the extent to which sustainability is going to shape society and the business landscape over the next couple of decades."

Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
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Salvatore Iaconesi image Salvatore Iaconesi
Open-source engineer and artist

An artist, hacker and interaction designer, Salvatore Iaconesi embarked on a bold open-source project last fall. Subject: his own brain cancer

"I have a brain cancer.” Data artist and TED Fellow Salvatore Iaconesi posted these words on his website September 10, 2012. He wrote:
 
Yesterday I went to get my digital medical records: I have to show them to many doctors.
Sadly they were in a closed, proprietary format and, thus, I could not open them using my computer, or send them in this format to all the people who could have saved my life.
I cracked them.
I opened them and converted the contents into open formats, so that I could share them with everyone.
 
In cracking his scans, X-rays, lab notes and charts, and opening them to the world, he laid out a model for open-sourcing not only a support group, but a whole cure (he calls it, in his native Italian, "La cura"). And he means a cure of any kind: "There are cures for the body, for spirit, for communication." He had brain surgery in February 2013, "and everything went perfectly." Now he is working on sharing the benefits of his experience.
Session 12: All Together Now
Fri Jun 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Pico Iyer image Pico Iyer
Global author

Pico Iyer’s travel writing chronicles fascinating (and often jarring) examples of cultural mashups. Now he shows how travel can rescue us from our technological distractions.

Acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer began his career documenting a neglected aspect of travel -- the sometimes surreal disconnect between local tradition and imported global pop culture. Since then, he has written ten books, exploring also the cultural consequences of isolation, whether writing about the exiled spiritual leaders of Tibet or the embargoed society of Cuba.

Iyer’s latest focus is on yet another overlooked aspect of travel: how can it help us regain our sense of stillness and focus in a world where our devices and digital networks increasing distract us? As he says: "Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds. Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think. ... All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world."

Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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Just a Band image Just a Band
Funk band

Just a Band, the artists behind Kenya’s first viral video, burst out of obscurity with their exuberant fusion of African funk and electronica.

After being snubbed by media outlets all across Nairobi, Just a Band, three self-described computer and animation nerds, became an overnight sensation when their video featuring “Makmende” -- their superhero parody of ‘70s African American culture -- took off on YouTube.
 
The three visual artists bonded over casual jams and a love of global pop music at Kenyatta University. Enjoying mounting success over three albums, they drafted other musicians. The band today is made of Bill Sellanga, Daniel Muli, Mbithi Masya, Jim Chuchu, James Ireri, Joe Were and Richard Wandati. Their fourth release Sorry for the Delay further stretches traditional boundaries and continues Just a Band’s transformation into global superstars.
Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
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Paul Kemp-Robertson image Paul Kemp-Robertson
Advertising expert

Paul Kemp-Robertson is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Contagious Communications, a multi-platform marketing resource.

How do consumers get attached to, come to rely on and trust, the brands they use? How do brands find new ways to develop these relationships? These are the questions Paul Kemp-Robertson spends his time wondering about. Kemp-Robertson is the Editorial Director of Contagious Communications, which he cofounded with Gee Thomson in 2004. Contagious Communications is a multi-arm advertising resource that runs the quarterly magazine Contagious, an app that showcases videos of innovative marketing case studies and various other online resources.

Kemp-Robertson has previously served as editor of shots and Worldwide Director of Creative Resources at Leo Burnett Chicago. He lives in St. Albans, Hertfordshire.

TED University, Session 1
Mon Jun 10, 2013
4:15 – 6:00
Mark Kendall image Mark Kendall
Biomedical engineer

Mark Kendall aims to shake up how vaccines are delivered with the Nanopatch.

Looking a bit like a fuzzy computer chip, the Nanopatch uses tiny powder-coated spikes to deliver a small dose of vaccine just under the skin, immunizing a person in about a minute. Made for less than $1, it uses only a fraction of a vaccine dose delivered by traditional syringe method (which was invented in 1853), at the same time eliminating the risk of needle injuries. What’s more, a Nanopatch infused with vaccine is designed to be heat-stable, so it can be transported without refrigeration. And the process doesn't draw blood, reducing the risk of infections.

Mark Kendall, an Australian biomedical engineer, was part of a team at the University of Queensland that advanced the Nanopatch by vaccinating animals. Now his company, Vaxxas, is on a mission to commercialize the device for human use. He plans to run an international trial using the Nanopatch, starting with the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine to protect against cervical cancer.

Session 7: Regeneration
Wed Jun 12, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
John Kenny image John Kenny
Carnyx player

Musician John Kenny is the first person in hundreds of years to play the carnyx, an ancient bronze Celtic horn.

John Kenny is an internationally recognised trombonist with a reputation for performing and composing jazz and contemporary music. As a composer, he is particularly active in collaborations with dance and theatre. He has given recitals worldwide, both as a soloist and with ensembles including Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
 
In 1993 Kenny started playing the carnyx, an ancient Celtic horn that was used between approx 300 BC and AD 200. It is a type of bronze trumpet, held vertically, the bell shaped like a boar's head -- or that of other animals. It was probably both a peaceful, ceremonial instrument and used in warfare to incite troops. In 1816 a carnyx was found in Deskford, Scotland. In 1990 a reconstruction was made which, along with the original pieces found, are on show in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. Other well-preserved carnyx have been found more recently in France.
 
Kenny's performance at TEDGlobal 2013 was produced and made possible by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which commissioned a haunting score for the carnyx in 2012. Kenny will be accompanied by a piper.
Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Joseph Kim image Joseph Kim
North Korean refugee

Joseph Kim escaped alone from North Korea at the age of 16, first to China and then to the United States.

Joseph Kim is from the northern region of North Korea. Growing up during the great famine of the 1990s, at the age of 12 Joseph saw his father starve to death, his mother disappear and his sister flee to China to search for food. In 2006, when he was 16, he decided to make the dangerous escape alone out of North Korea to look for food -- and for his sister. While hiding in China, he met a Korean-Chinese grandmother who protected and fed him until he found help from Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), a NGO that provided more stabilized shelter and later helped him to escape to the United States.
 
Joseph arrived in the U.S. in 2007 as a refugee. He is now in college studying international business. He is still searching for his sister.

Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Lian Pin Koh image Lian Pin Koh
Drones ecologist

Lian Pin Koh expands conservation efforts by championing the use of low-cost autonomous aerial vehicles.

Lian Pin Koh is a relentless tinkerer and science fiction movie geek, though most know him as an environmental scientist. His dreams of combining these interests led him to cofound, with colleague Serge Wich, the site ConservationDrones.org, a project dedicated to gathering intelligence on forests and wildlife through the use of low-cost unmanned flying machines.

Ground surveys are expensive, and are not conducted at a sufficient frequency. Furthermore, some remote tropical forests have never been really surveyed for biodiversity. Koh's machines have already collected valuable information in Sumatra, Congo, Gabon, and Madagascar.

He is an assistant professor of applied ecology and conservation at the ETH Zurich.

Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Bernie Krause image Bernie Krause
Natural sounds expert

Bernie Krause's legendary soundscapes uncover nature’s rich sonic tapestry -- along with some unexpected results.

With a stellar electronic music resumé including work with The Byrds, Stevie Wonder and many others, Bernie Krause is assured a place in the pop culture canon. But Krause continues to make history by capturing the fading voices of nature: studying sonic interplay between species as they attract mates, hunt prey, and sound out their roles in the ecosystem.

Krause’s recordings are not merely travelogues or relaxation tools -- they are critical barometers of global environmental health. His documents of vanishing aural habitats are a chilling reminder of shrinking biodiversity. As he tells the Guardian: "The fragile weave of natural sound is being torn apart by our seemingly boundless need to conquer the environment rather than to find a way to abide in consonance with it."

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
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Eric X. Li image Eric X. Li
Investor and political scientist

A venture capitalist and political scientist, Eric X Li argues that the universality claim of Western democratic systems is going to be "morally challenged" by China.

A well-connected venture capitalist in Shanghai, where he was born, Eric X. Li studied in America (and even worked for Ross Perot's 1992 presidential campaign) before returning home, where he started doubting the idea that China's progress could only follow the path of the West's free-market principles.
 
In a much-discussed op-ed he wrote for the New York Times in February 2012 and in other writings, he has put forth the idea that China needed a different development framework, around a different idea of modernity. The Chinese system, he says, is meritocratic, highly adaptable despite the one-party rule, long term-oriented, pragmatic and non-individualistic. As he writes: "The Chinese political system ... comes close to the best formula for governing a large country: meritocracy at the top, democracy at the bottom, with room for experimentation in between.
 
While some criticize him as a cheerleader of the Chinese government and a champion of Chinese exceptionalism, Li is comfortable in the role of provocateur. He is the founder of Chengwei Capital in Shanghai, serves on the board of directors of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute.

Session 8: State of the Nations
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Lissie image Lissie
Singer and songwriter

Lissie writes finely etched songs and sings them with a big old rebellious voice.

Folk-rock artist Lissie -- her real name is Elisabeth Maurus -- was born in Illinois. At age 9, she played the title role of the musical Annie at her school. Nineteen years later, in 2010, Paste magazine called her the "best new solo artist" of the year. By then she had played as an opening act for Lenny Kravitz (and for other artists), recorded a Grammy-nominated track, released her EP Why You Runnin' and recorded her debut album, Catching a Tiger.
 
Lissie has just finished recording new material and will release an EP the week after TEDGlobal, with a full-length album following in the fall.
Session 8: State of the Nations
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Elizabeth Loftus image Elizabeth Loftus
False memories scholar

Memory-manipulation expert Elizabeth Loftus explains how our memories might not be what they seem -- and how implanted memories can have real-life repercussions.

Elizabeth Loftus altered the course of legal history by revealing that memory is not only unreliable, but also mutable. Since the 1970s, Loftus has created an impressive body of scholarly work and has appeared as an expert witness in hundreds of courtrooms, bolstering the cases of defendants facing criminal charges based on eyewitness testimony, and debunking “recovered memory” theories popular at the time, as in her book The Myth of Repressed Memory: False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse (with Katherine Ketcham).

Since then, Loftus has dedicated herself to discovering how false memories can affect our daily lives, leading her to surprising therapeutic applications for memory modification -- including controlling obesity by implanting patients with preferences for healthy foods.

Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us
Tues Jun 11, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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Mariana Mazzucato image Mariana Mazzucato
Innovation economist

Which actor in the economy is most responsible for making radical innovation happen? Mariana Mazzucato comes up with a surprising answer: the state.

States and governments are often depicted as slow, bureaucratic, risk-averse. That argument is used in support of making states smaller and the private sector bigger. In her latest book, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private vs. Public Myths in Innovation and in her research, Mariana Mazzucato offers a bold contrarian view: States aren't only market regulators and fixers, but "market makers" -- actively creating a vision for innovation and investing in risky and uncertain areas where private capital may not see the ROI. Yes: Private venture capital is much less risk-taking than generally thought. As an example, the technology behind the iPhone and Google exists because the U.S. government has been very interventionist in funding innovation. Private investors jumped in only later. The same is true today of what promises to be the next big thing after the Internet: the green revolution.

Mazzucato, a professor of economics at the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU, University of Sussex), argues that Europe needs today to rediscover that role -- that what the continent needs is not austerity but strategic investments (and new instruments such as public investments banks) towards an "innovation Union."

Session 4: Money Talks
Wed Jun 12, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
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.

TED University, Session 2
Tues Jun 11, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Kelly McGonigal image Kelly McGonigal
Health psychologist

Kelly McGonigal translates academic research into practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.

Stanford University psychologist Kelly McGonigal is a leader in the growing field of “science-help.” Through books, articles, courses and workshops, McGonigal works to help us understand and implement the latest scientific findings in psychology, neuroscience and medicine.

Straddling the worlds of research and practice, McGonigal holds positions in both the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Medicine. Her most recent book, The Willpower Instinct, explores the latest research on motivation, temptation and procrastination, as well as what it takes to transform habits, persevere at challenges and make a successful change.

She is now researching a new book about the "upside of stress," which will look at both why stress is good for us, and what makes us good at stress. In her words: "The old understanding of stress as a unhelpful relic of our animal instincts is being replaced by the understanding that stress actually makes us socially smart -- it's what allows us to be fully human."

Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us
Tues Jun 11, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Alexa Meade image Alexa Meade
Visual artist

Alexa Meade paints mesmerizing, illusionistic portraits directly on living subjects, subverting familiar visual cues with perspective and color.

Alexa Meade’s portraits spring from a long-term fascination with the illusions inherent in representational media. Rather than paint on canvas, she applies paint directly to her subjects -- the people, as well as the objects surrounding them and the background. She then photographs the ephemeral installation/painting. The resulting optically treacherous portraits collapse the subject, foreground and background into one continuous plane, challenging the perceptual boundaries between 2D and 3D.

Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
An Xiao Mina image An Xiao Mina
Creative technologist

An Xiao Mina studies how Internet culture and humor address political issues around the world.

An Xiao Mina is an artist, writer and technologist who makes her home in social media. Her research focuses on the significance of Internet culture and humor in tackling real-world social and political issues. She has postulated that memes are a leading form of political expression on the Chinese Internet, but there are also many similar phenomena in other countries -- such as Uganda and the United States -- arising independently of each other in different cultural contexts.

In 2009, An was central to kicking off the Brooklyn Museum's 1stfans program, the museum world's first socially networked membership. Featured as the inaugural artist on their new Twitter art feed, she used Morse code to explore the history of telecommunications technologies. She  helped edit a book about Ai Weiwei's work, Interlacing, and she assisted the artist and curator Brendan McGetrick in developing the award-winning 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, which he co-directed. In her art and essays, she explores the shifting and overlapping worlds of ethnographic research, coworking spaces and networked creativity.

Session 11: Tech Impact
Fri Jun 14, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
George Monbiot image George Monbiot
Rewilding campaigner

In his book "Feral," George Monbiot advocates the large-scale restoration of complex natural ecosystems.

In summer 2013, journalist and campaigner George Monbiot published Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life. Part personal journal, part essay on natural science and wildlife (and on our own wild side), the book follows Monbiot's efforts to re-engage with nature. He shows how, by restoring and rewilding our damaged ecosystems on land and at sea, we can bring wonder back into our lives, and lays out a new, positive environmental vision, in which nature is allowed to find its own way. 

After studying zoology at Oxford, Monbiot worked for the BBC’s natural history unit, making investigative environmental programs, one of which won a Sony Award. He left the BBC to spend six wild years in the tropics. Investigating the Indonesian transmigration program, he walked and canoed across West Papua, becoming lost in the forest, eating insects and rats to stay alive and being stung almost to death by hornets. Investigating evictions in Brazil, he was beaten up by gunmen and nearly shot by military police. The radio program he made about his encounter with a police torturer in Maranhão was used for several years on the BBC’s health and safety training course - as an example of what not to do. Back in Britain, he founded the landrights campaign The Land Is Ours and started writing columns for the Guardian. His other books include Amazon Watershed, Captive State, The Age of Consent and Heat.

Read a sample chapter from Feral >>

Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Holly Morris image Holly Morris
Explorer and filmmaker

Holly Morris tells the stories of women around the world through documentary, television, print and the web.

Holly Morris is an explorer, and she wants to take us with her. As a correspondent for television programs including Globe Trekker and National Geographic Today, Morris has lassoed reindeer in northern Norway, entered a camel race in Niger’s Sahara, and eaten rat in Arunachal Pradesh, India. (And much more.)

In her book Adventure Divas, Morris chronicles her transition from working a desk job in publishing to embracing a lifestyle of travel and adventure as founder of Adventure Divas, an organization bent on telling the stories of female heroines around the world. Morris is now collaborating with Anne Bogart on The Babushkas of Chernobyl, a documentary about the nearly 200 people, mostly elderly women, who still live in the Exclusion Zone in Ukraine where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded in 1986. One of Morris’s main questions is: “How is it that the pull of motherland was so strong that it made you return to some of the most contaminated land on earth?”

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Dambisa Moyo image Dambisa Moyo
Global economist

Dambisa Moyo is an international economist who analyzes the macroeconomy and global affairs.

Dambisa Moyo's work examines the interplay between rapidly developing countries, international business, and the global economy -- while highlighting opportunities for investment. She has travelled to more than 60 countries over the past decade, studying the political, economic and financial workings of emerging economies, in particular the BRICs and the frontier economies in Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Her latest book, Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World, looks at how commodities markets influence much more than the global economy -- and examines the possible consequences of China's unprecedented rush for commodities such as oil, minerals, water, and food, including the looming specter of commodity-driven conflict.

She is the author of the brilliantly argued Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa and How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly and the Stark Choices Ahead. Previously, she was an economist at Goldman Sachs, where she worked for nearly a decade, and was a consultant to the World Bank in Washington.

Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
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Fabian Oefner image Fabian Oefner
Photographer

Fabian Oefner creates stunning visual representations of natural forces.

Fabian Oefner is a photographer and artist who wants to blend the disciplines of art and science. His psychedelic images capture natural phenomena and present them in unique and eye-catching ways. To date, subjects have included sound waves, iridescence, even magnetic ferroliquids and fire. His aim: to create images that appeal to both a viewer's heart and brain.

Oefner's photographs have been exhibited in various countries and are part of private collections around the globe. Besides pursuing his own projects, he also works on ad campaigns. He works and lives in Switzerland.

Session 7: Regeneration
Wed Jun 12, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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George Papandreou image George Papandreou
Former Prime Minister of Greece

George Papandreou draws on lessons learned from the Greek debt crisis as he helps guide the EU through difficult waters.

George Papandreou, a third-generation scion of Greece’s defining political dynasty, entered the global spotlight with his attempts to re-invent his country during the darkest hours of the European debt crisis. Upon becoming Prime Minister in 2009, his government inherited a deficit that was much larger than had been reported. As PM, he implemented major changes and reforms, but was overtaken by events beyond his government's control.

Papandreou resigned his Prime Minister post in November 2011 as part of a deal to pave the way for a coalition government to restore Grecian stability, but remains a powerful figure as an MP and as President of the Socialist International.

As he says: “We do have a choice. Either we empower Europe and its citizens and become a catalyst for humanizing our global economy, or globalization will dehumanize our societies and undermine the European project. As a citizen of Europe, I vote for the first choice."

Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Juan Pardinas image Juan Pardinas
Economic policy innovator

Juan Pardinas works to increase prosperity in Mexico and Latin America by challenging conventional wisdom along with investors' preconceptions.

In Juan Pardinas’ view, “third-world” stereotypes perpetuated by politicians and the media hide the true economic face of Mexico -- a “stable, democratic political environment” brimming with innovation ripe for nurture by enlightened regulation and investment -- and of Latin America.
 
Juan Pardinas is an economics author and CEO of the Mexican Institute for Competiveness (IMCO), a pro-development think-tank seeking to create a favorable environment in Mexico for businesses and investors alike. He writes a weekly column for Reforma, Mexico City’s leading newspaper.
Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Trita Parsi image Trita Parsi
Political scientist

Trita Parsi delves into Middle Eastern history and politics, uncovering fresh perspectives on Iranian, Israeli, and U.S. relations -- and discovers potential solutions to brewing conflicts.

Writer and political scientist Trita Parsi is an expert observer of the labyrinthine relationships between the U.S. and the Middle East, cutting through conventional stereotypes to laying bare the often-contentious history of the region.
 
When Parsi was only 4, his family fled to Sweden from Iran to escape political repression. Parsi later relocated to the U.S., where he earned a PhD and founded the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), a grassroots organization promoting the interests of the U.S./ Iranian community.

Session 6: World on Its Head
Wed Jun 12, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Hetain Patel image Hetain Patel
Artist

In his compelling stage works, Hetain Patel uses powerful imagery and storytelling to examine questions of identity.

"What determines our identities anyway?" asks Hetain Patel. As a child, Patel wanted to be like Spider-Man or Bruce Lee; later, he aimed to be more like his father, who displays a much different kind of bravery. From these ambitions, Patel's new show Be Like Water examines shifting identities of all kinds, using dance and bold imagery to power a story of self-examination and self-creation. 

As a conceptual artist, Patel has used photography, sculpture, installation and performance to challenge cultural identity. For his work, he has grown a mustache exactly like the one his father wore when he emigrated from India to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, and remixed the practice henna tattooing to incorporate English words and comics books. Patel's conclusion about identity: that it is an ever-shifting game of imitation. 

 

Session 3: Exquisite Enigmatic Us
Tues Jun 11, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Michael Porter image Michael Porter
Business strategist

Michael E. Porter wrote the books on modern competitive strategy for business. Now he is thinking deeply about the intersection between society and corporate interests.

Fortune magazine calls Michael Porter simply "the most famous and influential business professor who has ever lived." His books are part of foundational coursework for business students around the world; he's applied sharp insight to health care systems, American competitiveness, development in rural areas. Now he's taking on a massive question: the perceived disconnect between corporations and society. He argues that companies must begin to take the lead in reconceiving the intersection between society and corporate interests -- and he suggests a framework, that of "shared value," which involves creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society.
 
Porter is a University Professor at Harvard Business School, where he leads the Institute on Strategy and Competitiveness, studying competitiveness for companies and nations -- and as a solution to social problems. He is the founder of numerous nonprofits, including The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit, private-sector organization to catalyze inner-city business development.

Session 12: All Together Now
Fri Jun 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Gavin Pretor-Pinney image Gavin Pretor-Pinney
Cloudspotter

Cloud Appreciation Society founder Gavin Pretor-Pinney shows how seemingly idle pursuits provide unexpected paths to appreciating overlooked wonders.

As co-founder of The Idler magazine, Gavin Pretor-Pinney is a longtime advocate of the joys of time ill-spent. In The Cloudspotter's Guide and The Cloud Collector's Handbook, he tackles the idlest pursuit of all: cloudwatching.

Pretor-Pinney’s blend of tranquil appreciation and hard science have floated his cloud books to the top of bestseller lists. For Pretor-Pinney, clouds illustrate how mundane phenomena reveal the complex vectors that connect the natural wonders around us.

Pretor-Pinney is also the author of The Wavewatcher's Companion.

Session 10: Imagined Beauty
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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Andreas Raptopoulos image Andreas Raptopoulos
Airborne logistics activist

Andreas Raptopoulos and his colleagues are building the flying internet of things, using drones to carry essential goods to otherwise inaccessible areas.

It's a modern-day truism that, in regions where the phone company never bothered to lay network cable, locals quickly adopted mobile phones -- and then innovated mobile services that go far beyond what so-called developed countries have. Could the same pattern hold true with roads?

Andreas Raptopoulos is hoping to find out with Matternet, a project that uses swarms of unmanned aerial vehicles to deliver urgent items -- think emergency and medical supplies -- to places where there are no driveable roads. Imagine a sort of flying bucket brigade or relay race, where autonomous quadricopters pass packages around a flexible network that behaves something like the internet -- but for real goods.

Raptopoulos is a designer, inventor and entrepreneur. Prior to Matternet, he founded FutureAcoustic, a music platform that adjusts to the listener's environment. 

Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Apollo Robbins image Apollo Robbins
Gentleman thief

Apollo Robbins will take the phone from your pocket and the ring off your finger, then hand them back to you and (maybe) show you how he did it.

Pickpocketing is a triumph of craft: a distracting touch with one hand, while the other hand gets to work, and the next thing you know ... where's my wallet? Apollo Robbins is a modern master of picking pockets, possessor of a subtle understanding of human attention, a taste for classic crime, and something he calls "grift sense" -- which, as he told the New Yorker , is “stepping outside yourself and seeing through the other person’s eyes, thinking through the other person’s mind, but it’s happening on a subconscious level.”
 
Robbins makes a living as an entertainer, speaker and television personality, and he also is the founder of Whizmob Inc., a collective of misdirection experts -- including reformed criminals -- that schools military and law enforcement leaders in fraud and scam tactics. Robbins has also collaborated with academics in his quest to understand how awareness and attention can be manipulated. He's co-author of a 2011 paper that explores something he noticed in his countless hours of practice: people's eyes are more easily misdirected to follow a curve than a straight line.

Session 4: Money Talks
Wed Jun 12, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Charles Robertson image Charles Robertson
Emerging-markets economist

In "The Fastest Billion," Charles Robertson re-examines the narrative of economic growth in African nations.

Checking one's assumptions about "Africa" has become a trope -- but it's still important to do, and still surprising. In The Fastest Billion, economist Charles Robertson and his co-authors suggest that behind the stereotyped narrative are some jawdropping indicators of extreme economic and social growth. He and colleagues make the case that Africa is moving away -- quickly -- from the "bottom billion" and  "will be the fastest continent to reach the fourth economic age ... of high-income, low-corruption and generally democratic norms." Rich in resources, and powered by young people who are holding leaders to account in new ways, Africa’s economies are now returning some of the highest growth rates on Earth. How will this trend play out?
 
Robertson, a leading emerging markets specialist, is the global chief economist and head of the macro-strategy unit at Renaissance Capital, where he covers the global economic themes having the greatest impact on emerging markets.

Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Johan Rockstrom image Johan Rockstrom
Sustainability expert

Johan Rockström works to redefine sustainable development, and figure out what needs to happen.

Johan Rockström leads the Stockholm Resilience Centre, focusing on a new approach to sustainability: the capacity to use change and crisis to spur renewal and innovative thinking. In 2009, working with an international team of scientists, he identified and quantified a set of nine planetary boundaries within which humanity can continue to develop and thrive for generations to come -- while crossing them could generate abrupt or irreversible environmental changes.

Since then, the boundaries research has spread among international organizations, governments, NGOs and companies and has been adopted as a new framework to guide the discussion about "sustainable growth". It is currently debated as a core part of setting the criteria that will follow the UN's Millennium Development Goals. Rockström also chairs Future Earth, an initiative to advance integrated science for global sustainability.

Session 8: State of the Nations
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Juliana Rotich image Juliana Rotich
Tech entrepreneur

Juliana Rotich is the co-founder of Ushahidi, open-source software for collecting and mapping information -- and of iHub, a collective tech space in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a TED Senior Fellow.

Juliana Rotich is co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi, a nonprofit tech company, born in Africa, that develops free and open-source software for information collection, interactive mapping and data curation. Ushahidi builds tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories. Through Crowdmap.com, Swiftly.org and accompanying mobile applications, Ushahidi is making crowdsourcing tools available and useful. Their latest product is BRCK, a tool for resilient connectivity -- anywhere.

Rotich is also a founder of iHub, a Nairobi tech space described as "part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator." She is a TED Senior Fellow and serves on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Information Communications Technology. She co-founded Mobisoko, a mobile marketplace for language and location relevant apps in Africa. She was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2011 by The World Economic Forum.

TED University, Session 2
Tues Jun 11, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
RuthAnne image RuthAnne
Singer and songwriter

RuthAnne is a stunning vocalist, has written songs for many stars, and she's now preparing her debut album.

Based between London and Los Angeles, RuthAnne Cunningham -- she goes by RuthAnne, or Rooty -- draws on the distinctive energy of those cities to create a dynamic, soulful blend of pop with a rich vocal like no other. Coming from a humble but musical family, she has eclectic taste inspired by classic auteurs like Aretha Franklin as well as by more recent musical explorers such as Daft Punk.
 
The 26-year-old Irish-born singer-songwriter has already an impressive list of credits behind her, including songs on three platinum albums in the US and Europe. After honing her skills over the past five years writing for, and collaborating with many stars in the UK and the US -- including Sugababes, Pixie Lott, Westlife and John Shanks and countless others -- she's now crafting her own pop selection, with release plans for 2013. As she says: "I love pop music, I'm definitely a pop singer, but I like to tell stories that are relatable and really resonate. To deliver them with soul and passion. To move, and to move people."
Session 12: All Together Now
Fri Jun 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
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Renata Salecl image Renata Salecl
Theorist

Sociologist and philosopher Renata Salecl scrutinizes our individual and societal neuroses, and suggests ways out of our current paralysis.

Why are we the way we are, as individuals and as larger societies? In her relentless effort to answer this question, theorist Renata Salecl mines law, sociology, criminology, philosophy, and psychoanalysis to arrive at some unsettling conclusions.

Salecl—who researches and teaches at universities in her native Slovenia, in New York, and in London—argues that the modern, capitalism-driven imperative to become masters of our own lives leads to personal and social paralysis. We are obsessed with the impossible ideal of perfection and with others’ regard for us to a point that's politically de-mobilizing: obsessed with the idea of personal betterment, we ignore social change. Constant anxiety, kept alive in more-or-less conscious ways by the political system and by the media, further numbs our social criticism. Many people opt to tune out and live in denial. These themes form the core of Salecl's most recent books, The Tyranny of Choice and On Anxiety.

Session 8: State of the Nations
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Michael Sandel image Michael Sandel
Political philosopher

Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard, exploring some of the most hotly contested moral and political issues of our time.

Michael Sandel is one of the best known American public intellectuals. The London Observer calls him "one of the most popular teachers in the world" and indeed his lectures at Harvard draw thousands of students eager to discuss big questions of modern political life: bioethics, torture, rights versus responsibilities, the value we put on things. Sandel's class is a primer on thinking through the hard choices we face as citizens. The course has been turned into a public TV series with companion website and book: Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? In his newest book, What Money Can't Buy, he challenges the idea that markets are morally neutral.
 
"To understand the importance of his purpose," a Guardian reviewer wrote of the book, "you first have to grasp the full extent of the triumph achieved by market thinking in economics, and the extent to which that thinking has spread to other domains. This school sees economics as a discipline that has nothing to do with morality, and is instead the study of incentives, considered in an ethical vacuum. Sandel's book is, in its calm way, an all-out assault on that idea, and on the influential doctrine that the economic approach to "utility maximisation" explains all human behaviour."

Read more about his thinking on markets and morality: "Lunch with Michael Sandel" on FT.com >>  

Session 12: All Together Now
Fri Jun 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Bastian Schaefer image Bastian Schaefer
Aircraft engineer

Bastian Schaefer and a team of designers at Airbus have been imagining the high-concept future of the jet airlplane -- in a future with less fuel and more passengers.

Bastian Schaefer is the Cabin and Cargo Innovation Manager at Airbus Operations -- and leads a group of far-thinking engineers who are building out a concept plane. Previously at Airbus, he worked on the development of A380 stairs and components for in-flight entertainment. Between 2006 and 2011 Bastian worked at Bertrand Ingenieurbüro GmbH working on projects with C&D Zodiac Development A350XWB Lavatories, AT Kearney and EADS Technology Watch Consulting. He considers himself a mechanical engineer and has a special interest in cars.

TED University, Session 2
Tues Jun 11, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Sonia Shah image Sonia Shah
Science writer

Science historian Sonia Shah explores the surprisingly fascinating story behind an ancient scourge: malaria.

Aided by economics, culture, its own resilience and that of the insect that carries it (the mosquito), the malaria parasite has determined for thousands of years the health and course not only of human lives, but also of whole civilizations. In her book The Fever, author Sonia Shah outlines the epic and devastating history of malaria and shows how it still infects 500 million people every year, and kills half a million, in a context where economic inequality collides with science and biology.

Shah’s previous book The Body Hunters established her as a heavy hitter in the field of investigative human rights reporting. She is a frequent contributor to publications such as Scientific American, The Nation and Foreign Affairs.

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Toby Shapshak image Toby Shapshak
Technology writer

The publisher and editor of Stuff magazine, Toby Shapshak is a South African writer focusing on innovation — and the role it plays in Africa.

Casual readers of Stuff magazine, with its smart and provocative gadget reviews, might not know the glossy comes from not London or New York but offices in South Africa. Toby Shapshak leads the magazine and news site; he's been called "the most high-profile technology journalist in the country" by GQ South Africa. Formerly a senior newspaper reporter covering everything from crime to politics, Shapshak shadowed Nelson Mandela when he was president, and covered the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the abolition of apartheid.  

He's been writing about innovation, telecommunications and the Internet — and the impact they have on people's lives — for more than 15 years. He's now working on a book about a passionately held belief: that in Africa, necessity is the mother of innovation. 

Session 9: Forces of Change
Thurs Jun 13, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
Anne-Marie Slaughter image Anne-Marie Slaughter
Public policy thinker

Anne-Marie Slaughter has exploded the conversation around women’s work-life balance.

Anne-Marie Slaughter has served as the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and was the first female Director of Policy Planning for the US Department of State. In late 2013 she left Princeton to assume the presidency of the New America Foundation. With her husband, Slaughter has also raised two sons. And she is on the record saying that integrating her remarkably high-powered career and motherhood was doable when she had the flexibility to control her own schedule, but impossible once she was no longer her own boss.

In a 2012 article for the Atlantic that became the magazine’s most-read ever, Slaughter dismantles the recently-popularized notion that women who fail to “have it all” lack the ambition to do so. Instead, she argues that the way most top jobs are structured, including the expectations of workers regardless of gender, uphold slavish devotion to work above family life or other passions. Creating a more flexible work environment would benefit not just individual women and men, but society as a whole. It is unacceptable, she argues, that a desire to spend time with one’s family should be cause for shame.

Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Didier Sornette image Didier Sornette
Risk economist

Didier Sornette studies whether it is possible to anticipate big changes or predict crises in complex systems.

While financial crashes, recessions, earthquakes and other extreme events appear chaotic, Didier Sornette's research is focused on finding out whether they are, in fact, predictable. They may happen often as a surprise, he suggests, but they don't come out of the blue: the most extreme risks (and gains) are what he calls "dragon kings" that almost always result from a visible drift toward a critical instability. In his hypothesis, this instability has measurable technical and/or socio-economical precursors. As he says: "Crises are not external shocks."

An expert on complex systems, Sornette is the chair of entrepreneurial risk at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and director of the Financial Crisis Observatory, a project to test the hypothesis that markets can be predictable, especially during bubbles. He's the author of Why Stock Markets Crash: Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems.

Session 4: Money Talks
Wed Jun 12, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
Marla Spivak image Marla Spivak
Bees scholar

Marla Spivak researches bees’ behavior and biology in an effort to preserve this threatened, but ecologically essential, insect.

Bees pollinate a third of our food supply -- they don’t just make honey! -- but colonies have been disappearing at alarming rates in many parts of the world due to the accumulated effects of parasitic mites, viral and bacterial diseases, and exposure to pesticides and herbicides. Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota professor of entomology and 2010 MacArthur Fellow, tries as much as possible to think like bees in her work to protect them. They’re “highly social and complex” creatures, she says, which fuels her interest and her research.

Spivak has developed a strain of bees, the Minnesota Hygienic line, that can detect when pupae are infected and kick them out of the nest, saving the rest of the hive. Now, Spivak is studying how bees collect propolis, or tree resins, in their hives to keep out dirt and microbes. She is also analyzing how flowers’ decline due to herbicides, pesticides and crop monoculture affect bees’ numbers and diversity. Spivak has been stung by thousands of bees in the course of her work.

Session 5: Listening to Nature
Wed Jun 12, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
David Steindl-Rast image David Steindl-Rast
Monk

Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, meditates and writes on "the gentle power" of gratefulness.

Many first met Brother David Steindl-Rast through a viral video called "Nature. Beauty. Gratitude," where Louie Schwartzberg's footage of time-lapse flowers in bloom is narrated by Brother David's moving words asking us to simply be ... grateful. Since 1953, Brother David has been a monk of Mount Saviour Benedictine monastery in New York, dividing his time between hermitic contemplation, writing and lecturing. He's the cofounder of gratefulness.org, supporting ANG*L (A Network for Grateful Living).

He was one of the first Roman Catholics to participate in Buddhist-Christian dialogue, and is the author of The Ground We Share, a text on Buddhist and Christian practice, written with Robert Aitken Roshi. His other books include Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer and Deeper Than Words. His most recent book is 99 Blessings, a series of prayers for the general reader -- whether people of faith, agnostics, or uncertain.

Session 12: All Together Now
Fri Jun 14, 2013
11:00 – 12:45
Molly Stevens image Molly Stevens
Biomaterials researcher

Molly Stevens studies and creates new biomaterials that could be used to detect disease and repair bones and human tissue.

At Imperial College London, Molly Stevens heads a highly multidisciplinary research group that designs bioactive materials for regenerative medicine and biosensing. It's fundamental science with an eye to practical applications as healthcare products.

Among the products from her lab: an engineered bone, cardiac tissue suitable for use in transplants, and disease-sensing nanoparticle aggregates that change color in the presence of even tiny quantities of cancer-related enzymes, making early sensing possible. As Stevens told The Lancet: "It's right down at the nanoscience level. It's really exciting stuff, but it actually results in something very tangibly useful."

Session 7: Regeneration
Wed Jun 12, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
Daniel Suarez image Daniel Suarez
Sci-fi author

Daniel Suarez concocts thrilling reads from terrifying (and not-so-farfetched) near-future scenarios.

While working as a software developer, Daniel Suarez self-published Daemon, a cyber-thriller depicting a future where society is radically reshaped by disruptive technologies. It struck a chord -- and so did the sequel, Freedom (TM) -- rocketing Suarez into the pantheon of sci-fi prophets.

In his 2012 novel Kill Decision, Suarez digs into the consequences of technology that’s here to stay: autonomous bots and drones programmed to be lethal. Suarez argues that as we cede more control to software, we gamble with the very essence of democracy itself. How can we establish sane guidelines for technology that could easily outstrip our control?

Session 2: Those Flying Things
Tues Jun 11, 2013
2:15 – 4:00
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Julian Treasure image Julian Treasure
Sound consultant

Julian Treasure studies sound and advises businesses on how best to use it.

Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses -- offices, retailers, hotels -- on how to use sound. He asks us to pay attention to the sounds that surround us. How do they make us feel: productive, stressed, energized, acquisitive?

Treasure is the author of the book Sound Business and keeps a blog by the same name that ruminates on aural matters (and offers a nice day-by-day writeup of TEDGlobal 2009). In the early 1980s, Treasure was the drummer for the Fall-influenced band Transmitters.

TED University, Session 1
Mon Jun 10, 2013
4:15 – 6:00
Le Trio Joubran image Le Trio Joubran
Oud trio

Drawing on threads stretching deeply into their musical ancestry, the brothers of Le Trio Joubran spin passionate oud music for the 21st century.

The esteemed Joubran family were already a well-known dynasty of Palestinian poets, musicians and artisans when Samir Joubran -- the eldest of the Joubran Trio -- began his career. In 2004, brothers Wissam and Adrian joined him in Le Trio Joubran, dedicated to expanding the voice of the oud (the iconic instrument of the Arab world) with complex harmony and hypnotic interplay.
 
From stages all over the world (including WOMAD), Le Trio Joubran have dazzled audiences with virtuosity and their twin commitments to musical tradition and peace in the Middle East.
Session 7: Regeneration
Wed Jun 12, 2013
5:00 – 6:45
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Eben Upton image Eben Upton
Raspberry Pi inventor

Eben Upton invented a cheap, tiny computer designed to encourage kids to code and tinker with hardware.

A few years ago, Eben Upton started noticed something about his young computer science students: While they were great at making web pages, they knew less and less about how computers actually work under the hood. Upton, a chip architect at Broadcom in Cambridge, England, set to work with collaborator Liz Upton to create a stripped-down, low-cost computer for students -- especially very young students and under-resourced students -- to hack away at, using cheap peripherals and Python code.
 
The result is the Raspberry Pi, a £25, slightly-larger-than-credit-card-sized Linux computer with (here comes the geek) an ARM11 floating point microprocessor, 512M of RAM, an HDMI out, two USB ports and an Ethernet jack, and an SD card slot. In January 2013, after 8 months in distribution and a rather heartening order backlog, a million Raspberry Pi computers had been sold. A £20 model, just released at the end of March 2013, removes a few ports and RAM, and uses less power -- so it could be run from solar or battery power. A community of hackers, including students who have caught the bug, has used Raspberry Pi to build small, surprising projects.
Session 11: Tech Impact
Fri Jun 14, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
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Tom Wujec image Tom Wujec
Designer

Tom Wujec studies how we share and absorb information. He's an innovative practitioner of business visualization -- using design and technology to help groups solve problems and understand ideas. He is a Fellow at Autodesk.

Tom Wujec is a Fellow at Autodesk, the makers of design software for engineers, filmmakers, designers. At Autodesk, he has worked on software including SketchBook Pro, PortfolioWall and Maya (which won an Academy Award for its contribution to the film industry). As a Fellow, he helps companies work in the emerging field of business visualization, the art of using images, sketches and infographics to help teams solve complex problems as a group.

He's the author of several books, including Five-Star Mind: Games and Puzzles to Stimulate Your Creativity and Imagination.

TED University, Session 2
Tues Jun 11, 2013
8:45 – 10:15
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Manal al-Sharif image Manal al-Sharif
Women’s rights activist

Manal al-Sharif advocates for women’s right to drive, male guardianship annulment, and family protection in Saudi Arabia.

In May 2011, Manal al-Sharif filmed herself driving a car in Saudi Arabia, where women are prohibited from driving. She posted the video on YouTube, called on women to participate in a Women2Drive campaign on June 17 of that year, and attracted 12,000 fans to a Facebook page she’d collaborated on called Teach Me How to Drive So I Can Protect Myself. During a second turn at the wheel, she was arrested. Nine days -- and a groundswell of protest -- later she was released from jail.
 
Al-Sharif, an information technology consultant, remains active in the women right's movement. She has broadened her campaign to focus on guardianship annulment and family protection as well as driving rights, and has founded several groups throughout Saudi Arabia with the title "My rights, my dignity."

Session 1: Moments of Truth
Tues Jun 11, 2013
11:00 – 12:45