When catastrophe strikes, art prevails -- and has done so for centuries. In this fascinating talk, writer and director Cara Greene Epstein places the closing of theaters during the coronavirus pandemic in a historical context, exploring how we can use this intermission to imagine a more just, representative and beautiful world, onstage and off.
Is art worth it? "Hell yeah," says graphic novelist R. Alan Brooks -- art has the power to scare dictators, inspire multitudes and change hearts and minds across the world. Reflecting on his journey to become an artist at a time when the world felt like it was burning, Brooks shares how creating something from a place of sincerity and passion can positively impact people in ways you may never know.
When global leaders think about which industries can fuel economic growth, the arts are often overlooked. But filmmaker Mehret Mandefro says the creative sector actually has the power to grow economies -- while also helping safeguard democracy. In this captivating talk, she shares a behind-the-scenes look at how she's putting culture back on the economic agenda in Ethiopia, and explains why other countries would benefit from doing the same.
Reflecting on moments that shaped his life, actor Ethan Hawke examines how courageous expression promotes healing and connection with one another -- and invites you to discover your own unabashed creativity. "There is no path till you walk it," he says.
Legendary hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz is on a mission to revolutionize the way artists do business. In this glorious talk, he shares some of the ways he's helping fellow creatives thrive, including a roving art fair that gives artists 100 percent of their sales, a new commission system for galleries to fund living visual artists and Verzuz, online musical celebrations that bring joy to fans -- and sales to musicians. "If we're not protecting the arts, we're not protecting our future," he...
Who are you? To answer this question, artist Shantell Martin followed her pen. In this brilliantly visual talk featuring her signature freestyle line work -- drawn across everything from the screens of Times Square to the bodies of New York City Ballet dancers -- Martin shares how she found freedom and a new perspective through art. See how drawing can connect your hand to your heart and deepen your connection with the world.
If you had to explain to a newborn what it means to be a human being living on Earth in the 21st century, what would you say? Visual artist Oliver Jeffers put his answer in a letter to his son, sharing pearls of wisdom on existence and the diversity of life. He offers observations of the "beautiful, fragile drama of human civilization" in this poetic talk paired with his original illustrations and animations.
"You don't predict the future -- you imagine the future," says sci-fi writer Charlie Jane Anders. In a talk that's part dream, part research-based extrapolation, she takes us on a wild, speculative tour of the delights and challenges the future may hold -- and shows how dreaming up weird, futuristic possibilities empowers us to construct a better tomorrow.
Sometimes, small things make a huge impact. After studying how bees in urban environments can survive by navigating small land patches, ecologist Amanda Schochet was inspired to build MICRO, a network of portable science museums the size of vending machines. Learn how these tiny museums are being deployed in libraries, community centers, transit hubs and elsewhere to increase public access to science.
"Branding is the profound manifestation of the human spirit," says designer and podcaster Debbie Millman. In a historical odyssey that she illustrated herself, Millman traces the evolution of branding, from cave paintings to flags to beer labels and beyond. She explores the power of symbols to unite people, beginning with prehistoric communities who used them to represent beliefs and identify affiliations to modern companies that adopt logos and trademarks to market their products -- and...
When we witness something amazing, many of us instinctively pull out our phones and snap pictures. Is this obsession with photographing everything impacting our experiences? In a meditative talk, Erin Sullivan reflects on how being more intentional with her lens enhanced her ability to enjoy the moment -- and could help you do the same, too.
In this lively talk and performance, artist and TED Fellow Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin offers a sneak peek of her forthcoming musical "At Buffalo." Drawing on archival material from the 1901 Pan-American Exhibition, a world's fair held in Buffalo, New York, the show examines conflicting representations of black identity exhibited at the fair -- highlighting unsettlingly familiar parallels between American society at the turn of the century and today, and asking: Are we all still part of the...
On the heels of the breakout success of his film "Crazy Rich Asians," director Jon M. Chu reflects on what drives him to create -- and makes a resounding case for the power of connection and on-screen representation.
Fashion designers have the power to change culture -- and Becca McCharen-Tran is using her platform to expand the industry's narrow definition of beauty. Sharing highlights of her work, McCharen-Tran discusses the inspiration behind her norm-shattering designs and shows how she's celebrating beauty in all forms. "I want the consumer to know that it's not your body that needs to change -- it's the clothes," she says.
What's the best way to get over heartbreak? Rapper and writer Dessa came up with an unconventional approach after a chance viewing of Helen Fisher's TED Talk about the brains of the lovestruck. In a wryly funny talk, she describes how she worked with a neuroscientist to try to get her brain to fall out of love with her ex -- and shares wisdom about romance that she gained along the way.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten more than his fair share of attention from his acting career. But as social media exploded over the past decade, he got addicted like the rest of us -- trying to gain followers and likes only to be left feeling inadequate and less creative. In a refreshingly honest talk, he explores how the attention-driven model of big tech companies impacts our creativity -- and shares a more powerful feeling than getting attention: paying attention.
Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival -- what's built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. What can we learn from this fully functioning, temporary settlement? In a visionary talk, urban designer Rahul Mehrotra explores the benefits of building impermanent cities that can travel, adapt or even disappear, leaving the lightest possible footprint on the planet.
Film has the power to change the way we think about ourselves and our culture. Documentarian and TED Fellow Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy uses it to fight violence against women, turning her camera on the tradition of honor killings in Pakistan. In a stirring talk, she shares how she took her Oscar-winning film on the road in a mobile cinema, visiting small towns and villages across Pakistan -- and shifting the dynamics between women, men and society, one screening at a time.
"The universe has already written the poem you were planning on writing," says Sarah Kay, quoting her friend, poet Kaveh Akbar. Performing "A Bird Made of Birds," she shares how and where she finds poetry. (Kay is also the host of TED's podcast "Sincerely, X." Listen on the Luminary podcast app at luminary.link/ted)