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What role does luck play in your life? | Barry Schwartz

Chance plays a far bigger role in life than we're willing to admit, says psychologist Barry Schwartz. Of course, working hard and following the rules can get you far -- but the rest could boil down to simple good fortune. Schwartz examines the overlooked link between luck, merit and success, offering an intriguing solution to equalize opportunity -- starting with college admissions.... läs mer »

Why do we blame individuals for economic crises? | Liene Ozolina

In 2008, the global financial crisis decimated Latvia. As unemployment skyrocketed, the government slashed public funding and raised taxes, while providing relief to the wealthy and large businesses -- all without backlash or protest from struggling citizens. Sociologist Liene Ozolina examines how Latvian officials convinced their people to accept responsibility for the country's failing economy -- and highlights the rise of similar social policies upholding inequality worldwide.... läs mer »

What if lifesaving prescriptions were affordable for all? | Kiah Williams

As prescription drug costs skyrocket in the US, thousands of people are forced to forgo lifesaving medications -- all while manufacturers and health care facilities systematically destroy perfectly good, surplus pills. Kiah Williams shares how SIRUM -- a nonprofit that delivers unused medications to families who need them most -- plans to drive down prescription prices by recycling almost a billion dollars' worth of medications in the next five years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)... läs mer »

How social inequality fuels political division | Keith Payne

"If we want to fix our politics, we have to do something about inequality," says social psychologist Keith Payne. Showing how economic inequality changes the way people see and behave towards one another, Payne helps explain the rise of the political polarization that's slicing up society -- and challenges us to think twice the next time we dismiss someone for the sake of politics.... läs mer »

How to win an argument (at the US Supreme Court, or anywhere) | Neal Katyal

The secret to winning an argument isn't grand rhetoric or elegant style, says US Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal -- it takes more than that. With stories of some of the most impactful cases he's argued before the Court, Katyal shows why the key to crafting a persuasive and successful argument lies in human connection, empathy and faith in the power of your ideas. "The question is not how to win every argument," he says. "It's how to get back up when you do lose."... läs mer »

A lesson in turning adversaries into allies | Leah Garcés

When you're on opposite sides of an issue, how do you broker peace with your adversaries and work together to solve a problem? Follow along as animal rights activist Leah Garcés recounts three lessons she learned in hatching an ambitious plan to end chicken factory farming with the last person she expected: a chicken farmer.... läs mer »

What it takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz

What can you do to build a better world? Sharing stories from her pioneering career dedicated to tackling poverty, Jacqueline Novogratz offers three principles to spark and sustain a moral revolution. Learn how you can commit (or recommit) to creating big, positive change in your lifetime -- and give back more to the world than you take from it. "It is in the darkest times that we have the chance to find our deepest beauty," Novogratz says.... läs mer »

Dear Facebook, this is how you're breaking democracy | Yaël Eisenstat

"Lies are more engaging online than truth," says former CIA analyst, diplomat and Facebook employee Yaël Eisenstat. "As long as [social media] algorithms' goals are to keep us engaged, they will feed us the poison that plays to our worst instincts and human weaknesses." In this bold talk, Eisenstat explores how social media companies like Facebook incentivize inflammatory content, contributing to a culture of political polarization and mistrust -- and calls on governments to hold these platforms accountable in order to protect civil discourse and democracy.... läs mer »

4 steps to ending extreme poverty | Shameran Abed

At least 400 million people worldwide live in ultra-poverty: a state of severe financial and social vulnerability that robs many of hope and dignity. At BRAC, an international development organization focused on fighting poverty, Shameran Abed and his team have developed a sustainable, multi-faceted program that has already helped millions lift themselves out of poverty and create lives full of possibility. Learn more about their audacious plan to partner with governments to bring this life-changing program to an additional 21 million people in the next six years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)... läs mer »

How do daily habits lead to political violence? | Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah

What drives someone to commit politically motivated violence? The unsettling answer lies in daily habits. Behavioral historian Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah shares startling insights into how seemingly mundane choices can breed polarization that lead to extreme, even deadly, actions -- and explains how to identify and bypass these behaviors in order to rediscover common ground.... läs mer »

Dignity isn't a privilege. It's a worker's right | Abigail Disney

What's the purpose of a company? In this bold talk, activist and filmmaker Abigail Disney imagines a world where companies have a moral obligation to place their workers above shareholders, calling on Disney (and all corporations) to offer respect, dignity and a living wage to everyone who works for them.... läs mer »

Why specializing early doesn't always mean career success | David Epstein

A head start doesn't always ... well, help you get ahead. With examples from sports, technology and economics, journalist David Epstein shares how specializing in a particular skill too early in life may undermine your long-term development -- and explains the benefits of a "sampling period" where you try new things and focus on building a range of skills. Learn how this broader, counterintuitive mindset (and more forgiving timeline) could lead to a more fulfilling life, personally and professionally.... läs mer »

Nature, folklore and serendipitous photo collaborations | Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth

Inspired by Nordic folklore, artists Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen collaborate with local elders -- farmers, fishermen, cosmologists and more -- to create richly imaginative portraits that explore humanity's connection to nature. Discover their serendipitous artistic practice as they share a selection of fantastical imagery where nature and myth intersect to awaken a sense of wonder.... läs mer »

What Saturn's most mysterious moon could teach us about the origins of life | Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle

NASA's Dragonfly -- a robotic rotorcraft-lander that's designed to hop across the surface of an extraterrestrial body -- is set to voyage deep into the solar system to explore Titan, Saturn's largest moon, in 2026. Planetary scientist Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle shares how studying this mysterious moon that's thought to resemble the early Earth could bring us closer to understanding the habitability of other planets -- and the origin of life itself.... läs mer »

How the US medical community fails Black mothers | Wanda Irving

In the US, Black women are nearly 300 percent more likely to die as a result of childbirth than white women. Sharing appalling statistics on maternal mortality as well as her own tragic story of loss, Wanda Irving explains how racism and bias in health care minimizes and dismisses Black women's pain -- and makes a personal plea for leaders in the medical community to take steps toward reform.... läs mer »

What it means to be intersex | Susannah Temko

For intersex people -- those born with sex characteristics outside the traditional definitions of female and male -- the stakes to appear "normal" are high. Drawing on her personal experience, Susannah Temko reveals the shame, prejudice and harm faced by the intersex community, as they're forced to conform to a binary understanding of sex that ultimately hinders their health and well-being. She calls on us all to discard outdated notions of biological sex and accept the complexity within humanity.... läs mer »

The tyranny of merit | Michael Sandel

What accounts for our polarized public life, and how can we begin to heal it? Political philosopher Michael Sandel offers a surprising answer: those who have flourished need to look in the mirror. He explores how "meritocratic hubris" leads many to believe their success is their own doing and to look down on those who haven't made it, provoking resentment and inflaming the divide between "winners" and "losers" in the new economy. Hear why we need to reconsider the meaning of success and recognize the role of luck in order to create a less rancorous, more generous civic life.... läs mer »