After your final status update Adam Ostrow on

Many of us have a social media presence — a virtual personality made up of status updates, tweets and connections, stored in the cloud. Adam Ostrow asks a big question: What happens to that personality after you’ve died? Could it … live on? (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: 5:30.) [ted … Read more

How language transformed humanity Mark Pagel on

Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of “social technology” that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: 20:11.) [ted id=1203] Watch Mark Pagel’s talk … Read more

The shareable future of cities Alex Steffen on

How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need — while reducing the time we spend in cars. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: 10:13.) [ted id=1207] Watch Alex Steffen’s talk on, where you … Read more

Playlist The truth about stories

(TED is on its annual two-week vacation. During the break, we’re posting playlists from the TEDTalks archive. We’ll be back with new talks on August 29th.) Elif and Chimamanda’s perspectives bring us to look at stories through the eyes of those who weave them and Jonathan offers his own story up as one who covets … Read more

Pay attention to nonviolence Julia Bacha on

In 2003, the Palestinian village of Budrus mounted a 10-month-long nonviolent protest to stop a barrier being built across their olive groves. Did you hear about it? Didn’t think so. Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha asks why we only pay attention to violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict — and not to the nonviolent leaders who may … Read more

Unintended consequences Edward Tenner on

Every new invention changes the world — in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences. (Recorded at TED 2011, March 2011, in Long Beach, California. Duration: 16:10.) [ted id=1217] Watch Edward Tenner’s talk on, where you … Read more

The 6 killer apps of prosperity Niall Ferguson on

Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture — call them the 6 killer apps — that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in … Read more

Selling condoms in the Congo Amy Lockwood on

HIV is a serious problem in the DR Congo, and aid agencies have flooded the country with free and cheap condoms. But few people are using them. Why? “Reformed marketer” Amy Lockwood offers a surprising answer that upends a traditional model of philanthropy. (Some NSFW images.) (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. … Read more

Doodlers, unite! Sunni Brown on

Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension — and our creative thinking. So why do we still feel embarrassed when we’re caught doodling in a meeting? Sunni Brown says: Doodlers, unite! She makes the case for unlocking your brain via pad and pen. (Recorded at TED2011, March 2011, in Long Beach, California. Duration: … Read more

A short intro to the Studio School Geoff Mulgan on

Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, “for real.” (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2011, July 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland. Duration: … Read more