TEDTalks News and Politics

TEDTalks News and Politics

United States

Seeing the world beyond news headlines: politicians, journalists and researchers share their insights onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.


Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist | Manwar Ali  

"For a long time, I lived for death," says Manwar Ali, a former radical jihadist who participated in violent, armed campaigns in the Middle East and Asia in the 1980s. In this moving talk, he reflects on his experience with radicalization and makes a powerful, direct appeal to anyone drawn to Islamist groups that claim violence and brutality are noble and virtuous: let go of anger and hatred, he says, and instead cultivate your heart to see goodness, beauty and truth in others.

How immigrant voices make democracy stronger | Sayu Bhojwani  

In politics, representation matters -- and that's why we should elect leaders who reflect their country's diversity and embrace its multicultural tapestry, says Sayu Bhojwani. Through her own story of becoming an American citizen, the immigration scholar reveals how her love and dedication to her country turned into a driving force for political change. "We have fought to be here," she says, calling immigrant voices to action. "It's our country, too."

The struggles of America's forgotten working class | J.D. Vance  

J.D. Vance grew up in a small, poor city in the Rust Belt of southern Ohio, where he had a front-row seat to many of the social ills plaguing America: a heroin epidemic, failing schools, families torn apart by divorce and sometimes violence. In a searching talk that will echo throughout the country's working-class towns, the author details what the loss of the American Dream feels like and raises an important question that everyone from community leaders to policy makers needs to ask: How can we help kids from America's forgotten places break free from hopelessness and live better lives?

There's no such thing as not voting | Eric Liu  

Many people like to talk about how important voting is, how it's your civic duty and responsibility as an adult. Eric Liu agrees with all that, but he also thinks it's time to bring joy back to the ballot box. The former political speechwriter details how he and his team are fostering the culture around voting in the 2016 US presidential election -- and closes with a powerful analysis of why anyone eligible should show up on Election Day.

The risky politics of progress | Jonathan Tepperman  

Global problems such as terrorism, inequality and political dysfunction aren't easy to solve, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying. In fact, suggests journalist Jonathan Tepperman, we might even want to think riskier. He traveled the world to ask global leaders how they're tackling hard problems -- and unearthed surprisingly hopeful stories that he's distilled into three tools for problem-solving.

How women wage conflict without violence | Julia Bacha  

Are you setting out to change the world? Here's a stat you should know: nonviolent campaigns are 100 percent more likely to succeed than violent ones. So why don't more groups use nonviolence when faced with conflict? Filmmaker Julia Bacha shares stories of effective nonviolent resistance, including eye-opening research on the crucial leadership role that women play.

The deadly legacy of cluster bombs | Laura Boushnak  

The destruction of war doesn't stop when the fighting is over. During the 34-day Israel-Hezbollah War in 2006, an estimated four million cluster submunitions were dropped on Lebanon, killing indiscriminately. The danger remains, as many bomblets failed to explode and lay dormant, waiting to maim or kill anyone who encounters them. In this talk, photographer and TED Fellow Laura Boushnak shares haunting photos of cluster bomb survivors and asks those who still produce and condone the use of these weapons, including the United States, to abandon them.

A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels | Monica Araya  

How do we build a society without fossil fuels? Using her native Costa Rica as an example of positive action on environmental protection and renewables, climate advocate Monica Araya outlines a bold vision for a world committed to clean energy in all sectors.

How Africa can keep rising | Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala  

African growth is a trend, not a fluke, says economist and former Finance Minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. In this refreshingly candid and straightforward talk, Okonjo-Iweala describes the positive progress on the continent and outlines eight challenges African nations still need to address in order to create a better future.

How the Panama Papers journalists broke the biggest leak in history | Gerard Ryle  

Gerard Ryle led the international team that divulged the Panama Papers, the 11.5 million leaked documents from 40 years of activity of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca that have offered an unprecedented glimpse into the scope and methods of the secretive world of offshore finance. Hear the story behind the biggest collaborative journalism project in history.

Why Brexit happened -- and what to do next | Alexander Betts  

We are embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are, and Brexit grew out of a deep, unexamined divide between those that fear globalization and those that embrace it, says social scientist Alexander Betts. How do we now address that fear as well as growing disillusionment with the political establishment, while refusing to give in to xenophobia and nationalism? Join Betts as he discusses four post-Brexit steps toward a more inclusive world.

How Syria's architecture laid the foundation for brutal war | Marwa Al-Sabouni  

What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural society into single-identity enclaves defined by class and religion. The country's future now depends on how it chooses to rebuild.

I survived a terrorist attack. Here's what I learned | Gill Hicks  

Gill Hicks's story is one of compassion and humanity, emerging from the ashes of chaos and hate. A survivor of the London terrorist bombings on July 7, 2005, she shares her story of the events of that day -- and the profound lessons that came as she learned how to live on.

The secret to effective nonviolent resistance | Jamila Raqib  

We're not going to end violence by telling people that it's morally wrong, says Jamila Raqib, executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution. Instead, we must find alternative ways to conduct conflict that are equally powerful and effective. Raqib promotes nonviolent resistance to people living under tyranny -- and there's a lot more to it than street protests. She shares encouraging examples of creative strategies that have led to change around the world and a message of hope for a future without armed conflict. "The greatest hope for humanity lies not in condemning violence but in making violence obsolete," Raqib says.

3 reasons why we can win the fight against poverty | Andrew Youn  

Half of the world's poorest people have something in common: they're small farmers. In this eye-opening talk, activist Andrew Youn shows how his group, One Acre Fund, is helping these farmers lift themselves out of poverty by delivering to them life-sustaining farm services that are already in use all over the world. Enter this talk believing we'll never be able to solve hunger and extreme poverty, and leave it with a new understanding of the scale of the world's biggest problems.

How college loans exploit students for profit | Sajay Samuel  

"Once upon a time in America," says professor Sajay Samuel, "going to college did not mean graduating with debt." Today, higher education has become a consumer product -- costs have skyrocketed, saddling students with a combined debt of over $1 trillion, while universities and loan companies make massive profits. Samuel proposes a radical solution: link tuition costs to a degree's expected earnings, so that students can make informed decisions about their future, restore their love of learning and contribute to the world in a meaningful way.

The real harm of the global arms trade | Samantha Nutt  

In some parts of the world, it's easier to get an automatic rifle than a glass of clean drinking water. Is this just the way it is? Samantha Nutt, doctor and founder of the international humanitarian organization War Child, explores the global arms trade -- and suggests a bold, common sense solution for ending the cycle of violence. "War is ours," she says. "We buy it, sell it, spread it and wage it. We are therefore not powerless to solve it."

How free is our freedom of the press? | Trevor Timm  

In the US, the press has a right to publish secret information the public needs to know, protected by the First Amendment. Government surveillance has made it increasingly more dangerous for whistleblowers, the source of virtually every important story about national security since 9/11, to share information. In this concise, informative talk, Freedom of the Press Foundation co-founder and TED Fellow Trevor Timm traces the recent history of government action against individuals who expose crime and injustice and advocates for technology that can help them do it safely and anonymously.

Our lonely society makes it hard to come home from war | Sebastian Junger  

Sebastian Junger has seen war up close, and he knows the impact that battlefield trauma has on soldiers. But he suggests there's another major cause of pain for veterans when they come home: the experience of leaving the tribal closeness of the military and returning to an alienating and bitterly divided modern society. "Sometimes, we ask ourselves if we can save the vets," Junger says. "I think the real question is if we can save ourselves." (This talk comes from the PBS special "TED Talks: War & Peace," which premieres Monday, May 30 at 9 p.m. EST.)

Why I put myself in danger to tell the stories of Gaza | Ameera Harouda  

When Ameera Harouda hears the sounds of bombs or shells, she heads straight towards them. "I want to be there first because these stories should be told," says Gaza's first female "fixer," a role that allows her to guide journalists into chaotic, war zone scenarios in her home country, which she still loves despite its terrible situation. Find out what motivates Harouda to give a voice to Gaza's human suffering in this unforgettable talk.

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