From the construction of virtual realities to the internet of things to the watches on our wrists—technology's influence is everywhere. Its role in our lives is evolving fast, and we're faced with riveting questions and tough challenges that sit at the intersection of technology and humanity. Listen in every Friday as TED speakers explore the way tech shapes how we think about society, science, design, business, and more.
How global virtual communities can help kids achieve their dreams | Matthew Garcia
How do we make historically exclusive fields like classical music, fine arts or academic research more accessible to everyone? Education equalizer and violist Matthew Garcia thinks one way to remove barriers is to create free, virtual education programs that connect talented young minds to the resources they need to thrive in their future careers. Learn more about the power of virtual nonprofits to overcome geographic borders and deliver opportunity -- and how you can help every kid reach their dreams.
Meet the world's largest machine | Henry Richardson
In 1967, Homer Loutzenheuser flipped a switch and connected the power grids of the United States, forming one interconnected machine. Today, the US power grid is the world's largest machine, containing more than 7,300 electricity-generating plants. So how exactly do these power plants work? Henry Richardson digs into the delicate balancing act of how power grids supply us energy. This TED-Ed lesson was directed by Anna Benner, narrated by Jack Cutmore-Scott and the music by Raphael Tschernuth.
4 ways to design a disability-friendly future | Meghan Hussey
Nearly fifteen percent of the world's population lives with a disability, yet this massive chunk of humanity is still routinely excluded from opportunities. Sharing her experience growing up with an autistic sister, disability inclusion advocate Meghan Hussey illuminates the path towards an inclusive future in four steps, and it starts with an attitude check on assumptions and stereotypes. Designing a world built for everyone is not a "nice to have," Hussey says -- it's critical to the fabric of society. After the talk, Sherrell expands upon how tech that's designed with disability in mind can make for a more thoughtful world.
How gaming can be a force for good | Noah Raford
If you think social media is powerful, keep an eye on immersive video games, says futurist Noah Raford. As more and more people are drawn into gaming and virtual worlds, the communities they forge are spawning real-world social movements. Raford urges us to recognize what's really going on -- and then harness those forces to build the future we want. After the talk, our host Sherrell paints a picture of how physical spaces could be shaped by augmented reality.
A bold plan to transform access to the US social safety net | Amanda Renteria
This week on TED Tech we are revisiting a talk by digital public servant Amanda Renteria. Millions of people who rely on government welfare services are often discouraged from seeking them out, frustrated by long lines and unnecessarily complicated processes. At Code for America, Renteria is helping develop human-centered technology that "respects you from the start, meets you where you are and provides an easy, positive experience." She details the four factors that hinder effective delivery of government benefits and explains Code for America's plan to bring user-centric, digital-first social services to more than 13 million Americans and unlock 30 billion dollars in benefits for low-income families. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
Real social media solutions, with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen | Your Undivided Attention
When it comes to social media risk, there is reason to hope for consensus. Center for Humane Technology co-founder Tristan Harris recently helped launch a new initiative called the Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM) in Washington, D.C. It’s a coalition between religious leaders, public health experts, national security leaders, and former political representatives from both sides - people who just care about making our democracy work. During this event, Tristan sat down with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, to discuss the harm caused to our mental health and global democracy when platforms lack accountability and transparency—and identified actions that platforms could take TODAY to make these spaces safer.
This is an episode of Your Undivided Attention, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. For more episodes, follow the podcast wherever you're listening to this.