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TED Speakers & TED Award Winning Talks


Every year, David Lavin attends the TED conference, bearing witness to the latest ideas worth spreading. This is a selection of TED speakers, including two TED Prize winners, who have made a big impact on the TED stage.


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Andrew Marantz

New Yorker Writer | Author of Antisocial

Social media has hijacked the global conversation. We face an informational crisis that is radicalizing youth, sowing confusion, and shaking democracy to its core. For his book, Antisocial, Andrew Marantz spent four years with the two groups who increasingly control the internet: the founders of social media platforms, and the trolls who use them to advance their toxic agendas. With clarity, courage, and even humor, Marantz explains how we got into this mess—and how we can get out. 
Douglas Rushkoff

World-renowned thinker | Bestselling author of Team Human, Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Present Shock, and Survival of the Richest

Author and documentarian Douglas Rushkoff has spent his prolific career thinking about how new media and technology are impacting culture, business, and the economy. Named one of the world’s 10 most influential thinkers by MIT,  he has written 15 bestselling books and coined such concepts as “viral media,” “social currency,” and “digital natives.” His talks are a culmination of his pioneering work, and an infallible source of what’s to come. 
Soraya Chemaly

Journalist & Author of Rage Becomes Her | Co-Founder and Director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project

Being human means playing host to a variety of emotions—and it’s not optional. To award-winning author and viral TED speaker Soraya Chemaly, the trick is learning to see them as vital signals, critical to how well our organizations function. Chemaly speaks with crackling lucidity to the wealth of data that our emotions provide us with—at work, at home, and in the world at large. 
Michael Green

Award-Winning Architect & Founder of Michael Green Architecture | Co-Author of The Case for Tall Wood Buildings

There is nature and there is architecture. Must the second come at cost of the first? Through his radical, beautiful, and sustainable construction of tall wood buildings, award-winning architect Michael Green works to solve worldwide housing demand while also reducing carbon emissions. His talks offer innovative and sustainable ideas that you can apply to how you work, live, and heal the planet.   
Angela Duckworth

Author of Grit, the #1 New York Times Bestseller | Pioneering Researcher on Grit, Perseverance, and the Science of Success

It takes more than IQ or talent to thrive at work, especially in today’s fast-paced world. But why do some of us get and stay ahead when we face challenging circumstances, compared to others? In her p...

Martin Ford

New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and Rule of the Robots

How did AI advance from the realm of science fiction to today’s reality? And how should we prepare for its future? Martin Ford, a McKinsey award-winning author, software entrepreneur, and TED mainstag...

Adam Alter

New York Times Bestselling Author of Drunk Tank Pink and Irresistible

What makes us obsessively scroll through our phones, or binge-watch Netflix? There’s a fascinating psychology behind our addictive, tech-based behaviors, says Adam Alter. A New York Times bestselling ...

Megan Phelps-Roper

Former Member of the Westboro Baptist Church | Author of Unfollow: A Memoir of Loving and Leaving the Westboro Baptist Church

Formally of the Westboro Baptist Church—a group infamous for its intolerance—Megan Phelps-Roper is a unique example of how empathy can overcome hate, and how tolerance can bridge ideology.

David Eagleman

One of the World’s Foremost Neuroscientists | Host of PBS’s The Brain | Scientific Advisor for HBO’s Westworld this is the science description this is the neuroscience description

How can we harness the brain for maximum creativity—at work, and school? In The Runaway Species, David Eagleman reveals how any organization can adopt a more innovative mindset by decoding how the min...

Steven Pinker

One of the World's Top Public Intellectuals | Author of Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters | Harvard Professor

Steven Pinker asks the big questions about human progress and sets out, in public, to answer them. In Rationality, he explores why—when humanity is reaching new heights of scientific reasoning—there a...

Susan Pinker

Psychologist and Author of The Village Effect and The Sexual Paradox

Award-winning author and Psychologist SUSAN PINKER examines the endless paradoxes of the human condition, and the way it affects our personal relationships, our workplaces, and our educational institu...

Titus Kaphar

2018 MacArthur Fellow | Award-Winning Painter and Sculptor

Urgent and timely, Titus Kaphar’s artworks capture the spirit of social justice and change in America today (exemplified in his TIME cover portrait of the Ferguson protests). Named a 2018 MacArthur Fe...

Kimberley Motley

International Human Rights Lawyer | Author of Lawless | TED Speaker

Kimberley Motley is an international human rights lawyer and women’s rights activist. Also the first foreign litigator working in Afghanistan, she’s armed with an unwavering determination and a passio...

Johann Hari

New York Times Bestselling Author of Stolen Focus | 80 Million TED Talk Views

We’re in a focus crisis: we can’t pay attention, and it’s affecting our power to innovate and think deeply. Johann Hari says it isn’t our fault, because our focus has been stolen by a system that does...

Jessica Jackley

Co-Founder of Kiva, the microlending site, and Author of Clay Water Brick

You can do good and do well at the same time. Just ask Jessica Jackley, founder of KIVA, the world’s most successful microlending site. Praised by the likes of Oprah and Bill Clinton, Jackley champion...

Tom Wujec

World Renowned Expert on Innovation | Former Chief Disruptor at Autodesk | Author of The Future of Making

Veteran innovator and technology pioneer Tom Wujec has spent three decades studying how teams create radical breakthroughs. Along the way, the former Chief Disruptor at Autodesk designed cutting-edge ...

Ashton Applewhite

Anti-Ageism Activist | Author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism

Aging isn’t a problem or a disease. Everyone’s doing it, from newborns to 99-year-olds, and more of us are doing more of it: there are more healthy adults than ever before in human history. Why is thi...

Emily Esfahani Smith

Journalist and Author of The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

As we near the end of the pandemic, the grief, anxiety, and emotional fall-out from the last year remain a challenge. How do we return to life after this crisis? It might be surprising that, through s...

Janna Levin

Author of Black Hole Survival Guide and Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

Janna Levin is changing the way we understand the cosmos. She brings originality, lucidity, and even poetry, to one of humanity’s oldest sciences. In her new book Black Hole Survival Guide, she takes ...

John Maeda

Microsoft VP of Design and Artificial Intelligence | Author of How to Speak Machine

John Maeda is a world-renowned artist, graphic designer, computer scientist, educator, and investor whose career reflects his philosophy of humanizing technology. For more than a decade, he has worked...

Bill Strickland

An Extraordinary Business and Community Leader

As the founder and chairman of the Manchester Bidwell arts and training center, Bill Strickland inspires hope, generates jobs, and empowers citizens to become experts in any field—regardless of their ...

Jer Thorp

Author of Living in Data | Former Library of Congress Innovator in Residence | Former NYT Data Artist-in-Residence

Data in the 21st century is constantly surveilled, categorized, and sold in the interest of profit and power. But the future of data has yet to be written, says Jer Thorp—and we all have a say in maki...

Salman Khan

Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Khan Academy

As Founder and CEO of the nonprofit Khan Academy, Sal Khan seeks to remove the barriers to education that leave over 600 million children lacking basic math and reading skills. His free, world-class c...

Edward Burtynsky

World-Renowned Photographer, Winner of the TED Prize

World-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky creates stunning photos—“reflecting pools of our time”—that explore large-scale social, political, and economic issues, including water, oil, and the uphea...

Jared Diamond

Pulitzer Prize Winning Author of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Collapse, and Upheaval

Jared Diamond is the epitome of a celebrity scientist—a Pulitzer Prize Winner, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, and one of the world’s Top 10 Public Intellectuals (Foreign Policy). He also uniq...

Nathan Wolfe

Expert on COVID-19 and the spread of global pandemics | Founder of Metabiota Risk Management

A captivating speaker on the COVID-19 pandemic, Nathan Wolfe holds a peerless understanding of how pandemics start, spread, grow, and are contained. This current public health threat is disrupting ind...

Candy Chang

Urban Space Artist Behind the "Before I Die" Walls

World-renowned artist and urban designer Candy Chang engages communities to share everything from their greatest hopes to their deepest anxieties in public. The Atlantic calls her artwork Before I Die

Isabel Allende

Legendary Writer and Cultural Icon | Author of The House of the Spirits

A literary legend, social activist, and a feminist icon, Isabel Allende has sold over 70 million books translated in more than 40 languages. The first Spanish-language writer to receive an honorary Na...

Eman Mohammed

TED Senior Fellow and Photojournalist

Photographer EMAN MOHAMMED knows what it feels and looks like to be deemed the other. As a Muslim woman in America and in a male-dominated profession, she’s a trifecta for prejudice, but that’s not so...

Suki Kim

New York Times bestselling author of Without You, There Is No Us, Expert on North Korea

Suki Kim is one of the only writers to ever go undercover in North Korea. An award-winning novelist, Kim’s obsession with the country led her to pursue journalistic assignments there, visiting the cou...

Karen Armstrong

Founder of The Charter for Compassion

Karen Armstrong is the most original and inclusive speaker on the role of religion in the modern world. Her bestselling books, including A History of God, and sought-after talks examine both the diffe...