TED talks do a fantastic job at helping to make the tech sector more accessible. Some tricky subjects have been opened up to the masses. People are clearly keen to learn about diverse subjects, and the viewing rates of 2019’s favourite tech related TED talks prove an unrivalled enthusiasm. Together, let’s take a look at the most motivational speakers in the tech industry today – ones that deserve your attention.
1. Rob Reid
How synthetic biology could wipe out humanity — and how we can stop it
Any title that includes the words “wipe out humanity” is naturally going to grasp our attention, and this talk from Rob Reid holds us fixated throughout. The concept of doomsday bugs has so far stayed safely within the realms of dystopian fiction, but in this talk, Reid warns us that it is a very real threat. A terrifying thought, yet one we’re all keen to tune in to.
2. Keith Kirkland
Wearable tech that helps you navigate by touch
Haptic Designer, Keith Kirkland, is bringing the idea of wearable tech to life — and we’re not just talking about smart watches. In this talk, he discusses the development of “haptic language”, which he has created as part of his work to develop smart clothing that could double up as a navigational device for the blind and visually impaired.
3. Erika Hamden
What it takes to launch a telescope
Do you know what it takes to launch a telescope? No? Me neither. At least not until Astrophysicist Erika Hamdem talked us all through the decade-long journey. Her team are developing the FIREBall telescope, whose mission is to figure out how stars are created. TED talk viewers have been eagerly tuning in all year to learn about her mission.
4. Andrew Marantz
Inside the bizarre world of internet trolls and propagandists
This story of how writer, Andrew Marantz, immersed himself in the world of internet trolls and propagandists gives us an unnerving insight into the most toxic areas of the internet. In the midst of a turbulent political landscape, this issue couldn’t be more topical, and thousands of viewers agree.
5. Majd Mashharawi
How I’m making bricks out of ashes and rubble in Gaza
This innovative talk revolves around creating something important even in the most despairing of circumstances. Engineer and Entrepreneur, Majd Mashharawi, came up with the idea of turning rubble into new building materials and designed bricks made from ashes to help rebuild destroyed areas of war-torn Gaza. This project has captivated the imagination of thousands of viewers.
6. Tiana Epps-Johnson
What’s needed to bring the US voting system into the 21st century
Although this final talk leans more towards politics, Tiana Epps-Johnson (Civic Engagement Champion) discusses how we can use tech to bring the US electoral system into the 21st century. With so many viewers from around the world, and the transcript available in 14 languages, it is clear that you don’t have to be from the US to feel invested in this topic.
Thanks to the accessible style of these videos, and the iconic event signage that makes TED talks recognisable to just about anyone, viewers have been able to engage with some diverse and unusual subjects. Interestingly, many of the most watched talks contain a prominent human element. This shows that we don’t only want to keep up with new technological developments, but we also want to understand our role within this rapidly advancing world.
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