The TED Interview

The TED Interview Podcast

Head of TED Chris Anderson speaks with some of the world’s most interesting people to dig into the provocative and powerful ideas of our time.

The role of the wealthy in achieving equality with Darren Walker
Born in a charity hospital and now president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker has been on both sides of the “inequality equation." He explains the need for the wealthy to acknowledge their complicity in a system that sustains racism and injustice, the importance of nuance in addressing complex systemic issues in the U.S., and the role philanthropy can play in rectifying the social and economic imbalances that disproportionately hurt Black Americans. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted ...

Malala Yousafzai on why educating girls changes everything
The youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Malala Yousafzai has been an international advocate for girls' education since she was 15 years old and was shot by the Taliban for speaking out about girls' education. Now, as a fresh graduate of Oxford University (and job seeking!), she urges us not to forget about the girls who still lack access to a classroom. She describes why learning was crucial to her as a young girl in Pakistan and how the fight for girls' education is inextricably linked with the coron...

Al Gore on the new urgency of the climate crisis
Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore has been a leader in climate advocacy for over 40 years. He argues that amid the global pandemic and worldwide calls for racial justice, climate action can help create a “clean, prosperous, just future” for all. He also highlights youth’s vital role in pressuring governments and businesses on environmental issues, and the effect of strategies like carbon pricing and nuclear energy on reducing emissions. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted by head of TED Ch...


A path to peace in Afghanistan with President Ashraf Ghani
The war in Afghanistan has wrought turmoil and loss of life for nearly two decades. But that is just one side of the story. President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani digs into what's needed to bring peace and positive change to his country -- including the importance of sharing common ground with its neighbors, allies and adversaries; elevating the voices of women; and pushing forward a strategy for the pandemic that doesn't abandon its people in poverty. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted by ...

Why a company’s future depends on putting its employees first with Dan Schulman
How can businesses recover from the pandemic's unprecedented economic destruction? PayPal CEO Dan Schulman argues that it's by improving the financial health of their employees. His company has pioneered research into Net Disposable Income, and he contends that ensuring every worker has enough is vital to the long-term success of any business. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted by TED’s business curator Corey Hajim and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded May...

How Taiwan used digital tools to solve the pandemic with Audrey Tang
Taiwan has succeeded in avoiding a pandemic lockdown, in part through an innovative digital strategy. Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, shares how tools and techniques like crowdsourcing, a transparent supplies system and the use of humor have resulted in less than 500 confirmed cases to date. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted by TED's science curator David Biello and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded June 1, 2020....


Reckoning with racial injustice in the U.S. -- and where we go from here
Featuring Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change; Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU; and Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, CEO of the Center for Policing Equity. The killing of George Floyd and other recent police violence against black people in the U.S. has sparked outrage and action the world over. Why is this moment so important, and how can we learn from it to end systemic racism? This virtual conversation i...

What we learn from the crisis can make our economy stronger with Kristalina Georgieva
What will it take to put the pieces of the global economy back together? Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva takes us inside the massive economic stimulus efforts leading the world toward recovery and renewal. She argues that we must channel money to the countries that need it most and fortify our financial systems to ensure we emerge from this "great transformation" even stronger than before. This virtual conversation is part of TED2020, hosted by head of TED Chris And...

What we get wrong about global growth with Dambisa Moyo
Global economist Dambisa Moyo was raised in Zambia and educated in England and the United States. Tune into her unique worldview and how it’s shaped her thinking on issues like overseas aid, climate, democracy and the rise of the coronavirus pandemic. This episode was recorded on March 5, 2020....


Design your life for happiness with Elizabeth Dunn
Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn argues that happiness is made not found and explains how our everyday choices—in matters from time to money to technology—help create it. This episode was recorded on February 5, 2020....

The world after the coronavirus pandemic with Fareed Zakaria
The coronavirus pandemic is more global, dramatic and unusual than any crisis we've seen in a long time, says journalist Fareed Zakaria. Listen as he shares his perspective on how we can recover from the economic fallout, why certain countries were able to avoid major outbreaks and what this might mean for the balance of global power. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded Apri...

What coronavirus means for the global economy with Ray Dalio
"I'm a capitalist. I believe in the system. I believe you can increase the size of the pie and you could divide it well," says Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates. He offers wide-ranging insight and advice on how we might recover from the global economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis -- and use it as an opportunity to reform the systems that help grow our economy. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and business curator Corey Hajim....


The tech we need to end the pandemic and restart the economy with Danielle Allen
As COVID-19 continues to spread, the world is facing two existential threats at once: a public health emergency and an economic crisis. Political theorist Danielle Allen describes how we can ethically and democratically address both problems by scaling up "smart testing," which would track positive cases with peer-to-peer software on people's cell phones -- so we can end the pandemic and get back to work. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and ...

How to create meaningful connections while apart with Priya Parker
Author Priya Parker shares tools for creating meaningful connections with friends, family and coworkers during the coronavirus pandemic -- and shows how we can take advantage of gatherings that are unique to this moment of social distancing. “We don’t necessarily need to gather more,” she says. “We need to gather better.” This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by Chris and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded on March 27, 2020. To learn more, visi...

Emotional resilience right now with Susan David
"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David. In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to listeners' questions from across the globe, she offers ways to talk to your children about their emotions, keep focus during the crisis and help those working on the front lines. This conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by Chris and current affairs curator ...


Elizabeth Gilbert says it's OK to feel overwhelmed. Here's what to do next
If you're feeling anxious or fearful during the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone. Offering hope and understanding, author Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on how to stay present, accept grief when it comes and trust in the strength of the human spirit. "Resilience is our shared genetic inheritance," she says. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and head of curation Helen Walters. It was recorded on April 2, 2020. To learn more, visit go.ted.com/...

How to sleep during a pandemic with Matt Walker
A good night's sleep has perhaps never been more important. Sharing wisdom and debunking myths, sleep scientist Matt Walker discusses the impact of sleep on mind and body -- from unleashing your creative powers to boosting your memory and immune health -- and details practices you can start (and stop) doing tonight to get some rest. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by Chris and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded on April 1, 2020. To learn ...

Why pandemics are not inevitable with Sonia Shah
What can past pandemics teach us how to tackle the current one? Tracing the history of contagions from cholera to Ebola and beyond, science journalist Sonia Shah explains why we’re more vulnerable to outbreaks now than ever before, what we can do to minimize the spread of coronavirus and how to prevent future pandemics. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by science curator David Biello and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded on March 31, 2020...


Lessons from China's response to COVID-19 with Gary Liu
From Hong Kong, South China Morning Post CEO Gary Liu tracks China's response to the coronavirus pandemic -- from the initial outbreak in Wuhan to the shutdown of Hubei province and the containment measures taken across its major cities. Sharing insights into how the culture in places like Hong Kong and South Korea contributed to fast action against the virus, Liu identifies lessons people across the world can use to stop its spread. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by Ch...

Building unity during a pandemic with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks offers thoughts on how we can navigate the coronavirus pandemic with courage, hope and empathy. With wisdom and clarity, he speaks on leadership, fear, death, hope and how we could use this moment to build a more just world. Watch for a special, impromptu prayer about halfway through the conversation. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and head of curation Helen Walters. This was recorded on March 30, 2020. To learn mo...

The quest for the coronavirus vaccine with Seth Berkley
When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready? Epidemiologist Seth Berkley (head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance) takes us inside the effort to create a vaccine for COVID-19. With clarity and urgency, he explains what makes it so challenging to develop, when we can expect it to be rolled out at scale and why we'll need global collaboration to get it done. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. It was recorded ...


Bill Gates on how we must respond to the COVID-19 pandemic
Philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates offers insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing why testing and self-isolation are essential, which medical advancements show promise and what it will take for the world to endure this crisis. This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by Chris and TED's current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. To learn more, visit go.ted.com/tedconnects...

Bonus: Adam Kucharski on what should -- and shouldn't -- worry us about the coronavirus
Infectious disease expert Adam Kucharski uses mathematical models to help the world understand how diseases like Ebola and Zika spread, and how they can be controlled. Now, as the threat of COVID-19 continues to rise, he gives us a necessary perspective on its transmission, how governments have responded and what needs to change in order to end the pandemic....

Bonus: Tom Rivett-Carnac is optimistic about the fate of our planet
In this bonus episode, Chris talks with climate policy expert Tom Rivett-Carnac, who worked with Christiana Figueres—guest from our last episode!—to negotiate the landmark Paris Agreement. They discuss why we need optimism to solve the climate crisis, and why TED’s new COUNTDOWN initiative can serve as a key catalyst of this optimism for countries, cities and citizens everywhere. This conversation was originally shared on the podcast Outrage and Optimism—check it out wherever you get your podcasts. For mor...


Christiana Figueres on how we can solve the climate crisis
In 2015, Christiana Figueres brokered the historic Paris Agreement to combat climate change. She gives an inside look at the negotiations that led to a commitment from 195 countries to work toward a low carbon future and discusses her current work on COUNTDOWN, an ambitious new initiative from TED aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...

Frances Frei's three pillars of leadership
A professor at Harvard Business School and expert in work culture, Frei goes into companies like WeWork and Uber with the goal of turning toxic environments into healthy, inclusive spaces. She shares why authenticity, logic and empathy are the most vital skills an employee can have — and how the measure of a true leader can be seen not just in their presence, but in their absence, too. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: su...

Donald Hoffman has a radical new theory on how we experience reality
According to cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman, our brains are showing us a "hacked" version of reality. His revolutionary new way of thinking about consciousness combines the study of evolution with insights into brain activity in an attempt to solve the mysteries behind how we perceive the world. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...


Kate Raworth argues that rethinking economics can save our planet
Endless growth may actually be hurting our economy—and our planet. Economist Kate Raworth makes a case for “doughnut economics”: an alternative way to look at the economic systems ruling our societies and imagine a sustainable future for all. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...

Michael Tubbs on politics as a force for good
At 26, Michael Tubbs ran for Mayor of Stockton, California, hoping to transform a city in crisis into a community of opportunity. He won. Mayor Tubbs breaks down how initiatives like universal basic income can free people from poverty, what being a good neighbor means in a democratic society, and why eradicating cycles of crime requires helping victims AND perpetrators. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/te...

Elif Shafak on the urgent power of storytelling
Best-selling author Elif Shafak proves that storytelling can be profoundly political—and makes the case for embracing uncertainty in turbulent times. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...


Anil Seth explores the mystery of consciousness
Is the dress blue or gold? Do you hear "laurel" or "yanny"? Neuroscientist Anil Seth digs into why we all perceive the world so differently, and tries to explain the biggest mystery of all: consciousness. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...

Dan Gilbert on the surprising science of happiness
Psychologist Daniel Gilbert delves deep into the weird, counterintuitive science of happiness and explains why our minds worry about things we needn’t worry about (and fail to worry about things we really should worry about). We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...

Bonus: Parag Khanna on global connectivity
Best-selling author Parag Khanna unpacks global connectivity—the threats, the benefits, and how it is destined to redefine our identities. We're doing a TED Interview survey! If you have a few minutes, we'd love to know your thoughts on the show. Find it at: surveynerds.com/tedinterview...




Kai-Fu Lee on the future of AI
Technologist Kai-Fu Lee describes the high-stakes battle between the West and China in artificial intelligence and what it means for the future of work....

David Brooks on political healing
NYT pundit David Brooks describes a plan to rebuild broken communities and offers actionable steps to live a more meaningful life....


Amanda Palmer on radical truth telling
An intimate conversation with one of the most unique voices in music today. Amanda Palmer shows us how the future of creative work means asking for what you want....

Bill Gates looks to the future
Microsoft founder Bill Gates takes us deep into his remarkable history and propels us into the future of technology and philanthropy....

Roger McNamee takes on big tech
Recorded live at TED! Roger McNamee—early investor in Facebook turned outspoken critic—sits down for an extended examination of big tech's missteps and where we go from here....


Bonus Episode: Chris Anderson on the Ezra Klein Show
Today, something a little different. Ezra Klein, the founder of Vox, recently spoke with Chris on his podcast, The Ezra Klein Show. Editor to editor, aspirational human to aspirational human. We’re sharing it with you now because we think listeners of this show might appreciate Ezra’s thoughtful style. Chris and Ezra discuss religion, the nuanced complexity of human nature, and why Chris believes ideas matter now more than ever. Which ideas, overshadowed by the day’s headlines, are quietly reshaping the w...

Sir Ken Robinson (still) wants an education revolution
Do schools kill creativity? Back in 2006, Sir Ken Robinson posed this question to the TED audience – and boy, did it touch a nerve. More than fifty million views and a decade later, Chris sits down with Sir Ken to dig into the changes and progress that have been made, and see if the answer now is any different. How are educators thinking about creativity these days? And why should creativity be a focus at all? With his characteristic verve, wit and sparkle, Sir Ken explains all. Find the transcript at: go....

Daniel Kahneman wants you to doubt yourself. Here’s why
What shapes happiness – the experiences we have, or the stories we tell ourselves about them afterwards? When and how does our intuition reliably fail? And why is overconfidence the fatal flaw we should all watch out for? In this fascinating, far-ranging conversation, Chris digs into the questions that really matter with Danny Kahneman, Nobel laureate, godfather of behavioral economics, and one of the most influential psychologists alive. Find the transcript at: go.ted.com/interviewkahneman...


Ray Kurzweil on what the future holds next
Join Chris for a very special conversation with legendary inventor and computer scientist Ray Kurzweil, recorded live onstage at TED2018. Listen in to hear what the man who makes a living from predicting the future arc of technology thinks is coming our way next – including the specific prediction of when he thinks technology will finally gain human levels of language understanding. Find the transcript at: go.ted.com/interviewkurzweil...

Mellody Hobson challenges us to be color brave
Talking about race can be difficult. But Mellody Hobson argues that we need to do it anyway – boldly and often. Mellody is the president of Ariel Investments, a firm that manages more than 13 billion dollars. And throughout her career and in her personal life, she’s experienced just how corrosive it can be when people choose to be “color blind.” In this candid conversation, she shares her vision of a more harmonious, diverse America — and the difficult truths we need to swallow (and discuss) to get there. ...

Robin Steinberg’s passionate quest to reform cash bail
On any given night, 450,000 people in the United States stay in jail without having been convicted of any crime. Most of them are there because they don't have enough money to pay bail. Exasperated at what she saw as a systemic design flaw that primarily affects poor and marginalized people, public defense lawyer Robin Steinberg came up with a plan to fix things. As she explains in this sparky conversation with Chris, that idea is about as bold as they get. Find the transcript at: go.ted.com/interviewstein...


Steven Pinker argues that our pessimism about today's world is profoundly wrong
Was 2017 really the "the worst ever," as some would have us believe? Cognitive psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker shares data that shows: actually, it was one of the best overall. At TED2018, Chris sat down with Steven to take a closer look at the data that suggest the world is improving, and to unpack why so many people find this idea so challenging. To find out more about TED, please visit TED.com. Find the transcript at:  go.ted.com/interviewpinker...

Dalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today
Just after 9/11, Dalia Mogahed asked: what do 1.8 billion Muslims really think? In a grand research project with Gallup, she interviewed more than 50,000 Muslims about their lives, their dreams, and the state of their religion. Today, she continues her research on Muslims as the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. In this intimate conversation with Chris, she opens up about her own faith and shares what she believes are the most common misconceptions of the world’s sec...

Sam Harris on using reason to build our morality
Many philosophers draw a hard line between the worlds of facts and values, but not Sam Harris. In this thought-provoking conversation with Chris, he makes the case that reason can indeed answer moral questions, and then explores the many controversies that emerge from that claim. Moral superiority? Cultural superiority? How about moral progress? Chris and Sam dig in to discuss the right ways to think about defining right from wrong, and reason’s role in it all. To find out more about TED, please visit TED.c...


David Deutsch on the infinite reach of knowledge
It can be easy to believe that humans are insignificant. We’re specks of dust on a random planet in a vast universe. Less powerful than elephants. Fewer than ants. But David Deutsch believes that’s all beside the point, because humans possess one unique skill: attaining knowledge. David Deutsch – Oxford professor, father of quantum computing, recluse – convinced Chris years ago to take over leadership of TED with his ideas about knowledge. In this mind-bending conversation, the two dive into his theory that...

Elizabeth Gilbert shows up for ... everything
As a writer, Elizabeth Gilbert is notorious for placing her heart squarely on her sleeve. Her best-selling memoir, “Eat, Pray, Love,” was a sensation precisely because of her eloquent, open-hearted descriptions of fear, divorce and wanting everything life had to offer. When she spoke at TED back in 2009, she charmed the audience with her frank descriptions of what happened after the book became a runaway success and her lyrical ideas of the nature of creativity. Nearly ten years later, in this extraordinari...

Coming Soon: The TED Interview
Deep dives into great minds. Season one of this interview series hosted by TED's Chris Anderson launches October 16th, featuring conversations with beloved TED speakers such as author Liz Gilbert, philosopher Sam Harris, Islam scholar Dalia Mogahed, educator Sir Ken Robinson and many more. To find out more about TED, please visit TED.com....