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The TED Interview

95 EpisodesProduced by TEDWebsite

Sit down with author and podcaster Steven Johnson to hear from leading thinkers and creators from around the world. The TED Interview is a space for guests to further delve into their groundbreaking work, give us a peek into how they discover and explore fascinating ideas, and, in some cases, even d… read more

95 Episodes | 2018 - 2023

Introducing Good Sport

February 8th, 2023


This week on The TED Interview we’re excited to introduce TED’s newest podcast, Good Sport, hosted by veteran sports producer Jody Avirgan. What can sports teach us about life – and each other? Good Sport brings you …

Our Predictions for 2023 | After Hours

January 4th, 2023


Curious about 2023? Youngme, Mihir and Felix from the podcast After Hours are back with their celebrated predictions episode. Who will acquire Spotify? Will Twitter implode? What’s the trend in inflation and energy …

The music of David Byrne’s mind

November 17th, 2022


David Byrne views life through many lenses. He’s a musician, author, filmmaker, curator, conservationist, digital music theorist, bicycle advocate, visual artist... the list goes on. But through his many trajectories – …

The hidden gifts of visual thinking with Temple Grandin

November 10th, 2022


When she was just 18, scientist, industrial designer, animal behaviorist, and autism activist Temple Grandin created one of her most well-known inventions: the hug machine. Inspired by the squeeze chute–a device that …

Inciting joy with Ross Gay

November 3rd, 2022


Nearly every day for a year, American poet Ross Gay sat down and wrote about something that delighted him–from carrying a small tomato plant through …

Randall Munroe answers your wildest questions

October 27th, 2022


How many soulmates do you think people have? What if you tried to funnel all the water from Niagara falls through a straw? Do you think it’s …

A future without pandemics? with Mark Smolinski

October 20th, 2022


In 2011, when medical doctor and epidemiologist Mark Smolinski was working as a science advisor for the blockbuster film “Contagion,” the film ran a …

Atul Gawande on why American healthcare desperately needs innovation

October 13th, 2022


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, life expectancy in the United States was 79. Today it’s 76. When compared to other countries like the UK and Japan, where life expectancy is above 80, it’s clear that the U.S. has a lot of …

Linda Villarosa on the hidden toll of racism on health

October 6th, 2022


When Linda Villarosa was the health editor of Essence Magazine, she says she had a one-track mind. A former college athlete, Linda grew up, like many …

Can AI make healthcare human again? with Eric Topol

September 29th, 2022


Eric Topol is a leading health expert whose writing and explainers about Covid-19 have helped people better understand the complexities of the global …

Ed Yong on how animal senses reveal the world around us

September 22nd, 2022


Like any animal, humans understand the world through our senses. But unlike other creatures, we can't detect magnetic fields with our bodies, or the flow of water from a fish swimming hundreds of feet in the distance. …

Mark Cuban doesn’t believe in following your passions | ReThinking w/ Adam Grant

September 15th, 2022


Mark Cuban has gone from selling garbage bags door-to-door to selling internet companies for billions, acquiring an NBA team, and becoming a beloved “Shark” on Shark Tank. Mark reveals to Adam how he turns problems into …

Pete Souza, Reagan and Obama’s White House Photographer | Design Matters

September 8th, 2022


Pete Souza has taken some iconic photographs. A former Chief Official White House Photographer for both U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan AND Barack Obama, Pete’s career has taken him from teaching basic photography in …

A brain implant that turns your thoughts into text | Tom Oxley | TED Tech

September 1st, 2022


"What if you could control digital devices using just the power of thought? That's the incredible promise behind the Stentrode -- an implantable …

How do we fix the restaurant tipping system? with Saru Jayaraman

August 25th, 2022


How often do you go back and forth over how much to tip at the end of a meal? Depending on the state, in the U.S. that choice could be the difference …

Michael Schur on every moral question ever

August 18th, 2022


Michael Scott, Leslie Knope, Detective Jake Peralta–television producer and writer Michael Schur has created some of TV’s most beloved sitcom characters on shows like The Office, Parks and Recreation, and The Good …

Aaron Bastani is thinking about automated luxury…communism?

August 11th, 2022


With such rampant inequality across the globe, it’s difficult to imagine that in the near future, society could be a place of abundance where …

Juliet Schor wants a four-day work week

August 4th, 2022


Before labor unions fought for them, society didn’t have weekends as we know them. In the 13th century, the average male peasants in the UK only worked 135 days a year. In a post-pandemic and increasingly virtual world, …

DeepMind's Demis Hassabis on the future of AI

July 28th, 2022


Demis Hassabis is one of tech's most brilliant minds. A chess-playing child prodigy turned researcher and founder of headline-making AI company …

Jennifer Egan on storytelling in a data-hooked world

July 21st, 2022


Jennifer Egan is a journalist and writer whose novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad” won both the 2011 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics …

Garry Kasparov on chess, technology and democracy

July 14th, 2022


Garry Kasparov is one of the greatest chess players of all time. He was one of the youngest world champions ever, and had a 20-year streak as the world’s top-rated player. But even though he is known as a champion, he …

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein connects history to the stars

July 7th, 2022


The way Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a theoretical physicist, sees it, Harriet Tubman is the Great American Astronomer. Using the North Star, with no formal training, Harriet Tubman led hundreds of enslaved people to …

How to predict the future with Jane McGonigal

June 30th, 2022


Future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal ran a social simulation game in 2008 that had players dealing with the effects of a respiratory …

Steven Johnson wants to know how enlightenment happens

June 23rd, 2022


It’s official, the TED Interview has a new host! In Chris’s last episode as head of the show, he interviews his successor, bestselling science and …

Unlocking the mysteries of our brain | David Eagleman

June 16th, 2022


The way that our brain perceives the world is profoundly informed by our senses–so what would happen if we could heighten them—or even create a whole …

What’s on Elon Musk’s mind?

April 15th, 2022


What will it take to build a future worth being excited about? Elon Musk believes we already have the tools that will help us create one, but we must …

The limitless potential of human knowledge | David Deutsch

June 26th, 2021


In an ever expanding world, it can be easy to think of our lives as insignificant. But according to David Deutsch, we all possess one skill that gives each of us infinite reach: our ability to attain knowledge. In the …

The science and ethics of rewriting our DNA | Jennifer Doudna

June 17th, 2021


Biochemist Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for pioneering CRISPR, a revolutionary biotech tool that can edit DNA with …

Can planting trees really stop climate change? | Thomas Crowther

June 10th, 2021


From governments to airlines to your favorite eco-friendly clothing brand, tree-planting campaigns are everywhere. Reforesting the planet has become one of the quickest, easiest and most ubiquitous ways to reduce our …

Bonus: How to give a killer speech | How To!

June 8th, 2021


We all have to give a presentation at some point in our lives—on a stage, in a conference room, and, these days, on Zoom. So what makes a good speech? In this episode from How To! science writer David Epstein turns the …

The end of our 50-year stagnation | Tyler Cowen

June 3rd, 2021


Some believe our world has changed at a rapid pace in recent decades. From the rise of the internet to the proliferation of startups spinning out …

How to turn grit into a lifelong habit | Angela Duckworth

May 27th, 2021


What does it take to persevere and succeed, not just in our careers but in all aspects of our lives? For psychologist Angela Duckworth, the answer …

What it really takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz

May 20th, 2021


From the strikes that transformed the world's view on climate change to the marches that demanded equity and justice for Black lives, there has been a new awakening of people passionate about creating change. As founder …

How youth gave climate the urgency it needed | Xiye Bastida

May 13th, 2021


Before the pandemic struck, young people everywhere abandoned their classrooms and took to the streets. Xiye Bastida was a driving force among these youth climate activists in the U.S. Xiye grew up in Mexico, moved to …

Work is never going back to normal | Simon Sinek

May 6th, 2021


Work as we knew it is undergoing seismic shifts as the pandemic in the U.S. wanes. As some businesses reopen, even people lucky enough to work from home face big questions. What lessons do we take from this past year? …

How COVID vaccines are revolutionizing medicine | Adrian Hill

April 22nd, 2021


This past year, scientists racing to stop the novel coronavirus delivered vaccines at a pace and scale the world has never seen before. Adrian Hill, director of Oxford University's vaccine research institute, recounts …

The race to build AI that benefits humanity | Sam Altman

April 15th, 2021


In this new season of the TED Interview, conversations with people who make a case for...optimism. Not some blind, hopeful feeling but the conviction …

A special announcement from TED on climate

October 8th, 2020


Today, we're re-sharing a conversation with Christiana Figueres, because we've got a special update for you from TED. On Saturday, October 10, we'll launch Countdown: an exciting new global initiative to champion and …

Malala Yousafzai on why educating girls changes everything

July 16th, 2020


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 …

The role of the wealthy in achieving equality with Darren Walker

July 9th, 2020


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 …

Al Gore on the new urgency of the climate crisis

July 2nd, 2020


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, …

A path to peace in Afghanistan with President Ashraf Ghani

June 25th, 2020


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 …

Why a company’s future depends on putting its employees first with Dan Schulman

June 18th, 2020


How can businesses recover from the pandemic's unprecedented economic destruction? PayPal CEO Dan Schulman argues that it's by improving the …

How Taiwan used digital tools to solve the pandemic with Audrey Tang

June 11th, 2020


Taiwan has succeeded in avoiding a pandemic lockdown, in part through an innovative digital strategy. Audrey Tang, Taiwan's Digital Minister, shares …

Reckoning with racial injustice in the U.S. -- and where we go from here

June 5th, 2020


Featuring Dr. Bernice King, CEO of the King Center and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change; …

What we learn from the crisis can make our economy stronger with Kristalina Georgieva

May 28th, 2020


What will it take to put the pieces of the global economy back together? Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva …

What we get wrong about global growth with Dambisa Moyo

April 24th, 2020


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 …

Design your life for happiness with Elizabeth Dunn

April 17th, 2020


Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn argues that happiness is made not found and explains how our everyday choices—in matters from time to money to …

The world after the coronavirus pandemic with Fareed Zakaria

April 10th, 2020


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 …

What coronavirus means for the global economy with Ray Dalio

April 9th, 2020


"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 …

The tech we need to end the pandemic and restart the economy with Danielle Allen

April 7th, 2020


As COVID-19 continues to spread, the world is facing two existential threats at once: a public health emergency and an economic crisis. Political …

How to create meaningful connections while apart with Priya Parker

April 5th, 2020


Author Priya Parker shares tools for creating meaningful connections with friends, family and coworkers during the coronavirus pandemic -- and shows …

Emotional resilience right now with Susan David

April 4th, 2020


"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David. In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to …

Elizabeth Gilbert says it's OK to feel overwhelmed. Here's what to do next

April 3rd, 2020


If you're feeling anxious or fearful during the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone. Offering hope and understanding, author Elizabeth Gilbert …

How to sleep during a pandemic with Matt Walker

April 2nd, 2020


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 …

Why pandemics are not inevitable with Sonia Shah

April 2nd, 2020


What can past pandemics teach us how to tackle the current one? Tracing the history of contagions from cholera to Ebola and beyond, science …

Lessons from China's response to COVID-19 with Gary Liu

April 1st, 2020


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 …

Building unity during a pandemic with Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

March 31st, 2020


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks offers thoughts on how we can navigate the coronavirus pandemic with courage, hope and empathy. With wisdom and clarity, he …

The quest for the coronavirus vaccine with Seth Berkley

March 31st, 2020


When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready? Epidemiologist Seth Berkley (head of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance) takes us inside the effort to create a …

Bill Gates on how we must respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

March 30th, 2020


Philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates offers insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing why testing and self-isolation are …

Bonus: Adam Kucharski on what should -- and shouldn't -- worry us about the coronavirus

March 12th, 2020


Infectious disease expert Adam Kucharski uses mathematical models to help the world understand how diseases like Ebola and Zika spread, and how they …

Bonus: Tom Rivett-Carnac is optimistic about the fate of our planet

December 23rd, 2019


In this bonus episode, Chris talks with climate policy expert Tom Rivett-Carnac, who worked with Christiana Figueres—guest from our last episode!—to …

Christiana Figueres on how we can solve the climate crisis

December 11th, 2019


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 …

Frances Frei's three pillars of leadership

November 20th, 2019


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 …

Donald Hoffman has a radical new theory on how we experience reality

November 13th, 2019


According to cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman, our brains are showing us a "hacked" version of reality. His revolutionary new way of thinking about …

Kate Raworth argues that rethinking economics can save our planet

November 6th, 2019


Endless growth may actually be hurting our economy—and our planet. Economist Kate Raworth makes a case for “doughnut economics”: an alternative way …

Michael Tubbs on politics as a force for good

October 30th, 2019


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 …

Elif Shafak on the urgent power of storytelling

October 23rd, 2019


Best-selling author Elif Shafak proves that storytelling can be profoundly political—and makes the case for embracing uncertainty in turbulent times.

Anil Seth explores the mystery of consciousness

October 16th, 2019


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 …

Dan Gilbert on the surprising science of happiness

October 9th, 2019


Psychologist Daniel Gilbert delves deep into the weird, counterintuitive science of happiness and explains why our minds worry about things we …

Bonus: Parag Khanna on global connectivity

September 25th, 2019


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 …

Johann Hari challenges the way we think about depression

July 24th, 2019


Author Johann Hari offers a deeply personal and surprisingly uplifting perspective on how to tackle depression.

Yuval Noah Harari reveals the real dangers ahead

July 17th, 2019


Historian and futurist Yuval Harari has a story about the future that’s profound, exciting, and unsettling.

Tim Ferriss on life-hacks and psychedelics

July 10th, 2019


Life-hack master Tim Ferriss gives an intimate look into the darker moments in his life, his Stoic philosophy and his new passion for psychedelics.

Monica Lewinsky argues for a bully-free world

July 3rd, 2019


Monica Lewinsky reveals the very personal price to public humiliation and explores how we can all do better.

Sylvia Earle makes a passionate case for our oceans

June 26th, 2019


Dive deep into the fascinating, horrifying, hopeful story of the ocean with world-renowned marine biologist Sylvia Earle.

Andrew McAfee on the future of our economy

June 19th, 2019


Is the future of our economy scary? Exciting? MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee argues that it's both.

Susan Cain takes us into the mind of an introvert

June 12th, 2019


Self-confessed introvert Susan Cain delves deep into this complex personality trait, offering ideas for better offices, better schools and better …

Kai-Fu Lee on the future of AI

June 5th, 2019


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 …

David Brooks on political healing

May 29th, 2019


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

May 22nd, 2019


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

May 15th, 2019


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

May 3rd, 2019


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

December 20th, 2018


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 …

Sir Ken Robinson (still) wants an education revolution

December 18th, 2018


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 …

Daniel Kahneman wants you to doubt yourself. Here’s why

December 11th, 2018


What shapes happiness – the experiences we have, or the stories we tell ourselves about them afterwards? When and how does our intuition reliably …

Ray Kurzweil on what the future holds next

December 4th, 2018


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 …

Mellody Hobson challenges us to be color brave

November 27th, 2018


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 …

Robin Steinberg’s passionate quest to reform cash bail

November 20th, 2018


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 …

Steven Pinker argues that our pessimism about today's world is profoundly wrong

November 13th, 2018


Was 2017 really the "the worst ever," as some would have us believe? Cognitive psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker shares data that shows: …

Dalia Mogahed on Islam in the world today

November 6th, 2018


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 …

Sam Harris on using reason to build our morality

October 30th, 2018


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 …

David Deutsch on the infinite reach of knowledge

October 23rd, 2018


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. …

Elizabeth Gilbert shows up for ... everything

October 16th, 2018


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, …

Coming Soon: The TED Interview

September 25th, 2018


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 …

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