How to motivate people to do good for others | Erez Yoeli

How can we get people to do more good: to go to the polls, give to charity, conserve resources or just generally act better towards others? MIT research scientist Erez Yoeli shares a simple checklist for harnessing the power of reputations — or our collective desire to be seen as generous and kind instead of selfish — to motivate people to act in the interest of others. Learn more about how small changes to your approach to getting people to do good could yield surprising results.

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A librarian’s case against overdue book fines | Dawn Wacek

Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek makes the case that fines don’t actually do what we think they do. What if your library just … stopped asking for them altogether?

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My journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee | AJ Jacobs

Author AJ Jacobs embarked on a quest with a deceptively simple idea at its heart: to personally thank every person who helped make his morning cup of coffee. More than one thousand “thank yous” later, Jacobs reflects on the globe-trotting journey that ensued — and shares the life-altering wisdom he picked up along the way. “I discovered that my coffee would not be possible without hundreds of people I take for granted,” Jacobs says.

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The case for a decentralized internet | Tamas Kocsis

Who controls the internet? Increasingly, the answer is large corporations and governments — a trend that’s threatening digital privacy and access to information online, says web developer Tamas Kocsis. In this informative talk, Kocsis breaks down the different threats to internet freedom and shares his plan to build an alternative, decentralized network that returns power to everyday users.

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What everyday citizens can do to claim power on the internet | Fadi Chehadé and Bryn Freedman

Technology architect Fadi Chehadé helped set up the infrastructure that makes the internet work — essential things like the domain name system and IP address standards. Today he’s focused on finding ways for society to benefit from technology. In a crisp conversation with Bryn Freedman, curator of the TED Institute, Chehadé discusses the ongoing war between the West and China over artificial intelligence, how tech companies can become stewards of the power they have to shape lives and economies and what everyday citizens can do to claim power on the internet.

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How isolation fuels opioid addiction | Rachel Wurzman

What do Tourette syndrome, heroin addiction and social media obsession all have in common? They converge in an area of the brain called the striatum, says neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman — and this critical discovery could reshape our understanding of the opioid crisis. Sharing insights from her research, Wurzman shows how social isolation contributes to relapse and overdose rates and reveals how meaningful human connection could offer a potentially powerful source of recovery.

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Doing This Makes Me Happy, but Maybe it Doesn’t’ Seem that Way?

Vlogbrothers has always brought me joy. The only time it stresses me out is when I feel like other work is interfering with my ability to do it well, or to feel connected to it.

It is definitely true that we have more responsibilities now than we used to. It’s also true that I /feel/ more responsibilities than I used to. Like, there is an obligation that comes along with having an audience, and also one that comes along with being a respected member of a community. It means that I’m going to be less forgiving of myself if I make mistakes, which means that I’m going to be more careful, which means I’m going to be less spontaneous and carefree. But I wouldn’t do this if it wasn’t bringing me joy.

I just want to be really clear about that!

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How we can help young people build a better future | Henrietta Fore

A massive generation of young people is about to inherit the world, and it’s the duty of everyone to give them a fighting chance for their futures, says UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore. In this forward-looking talk, she explores the crises facing them and details an ambitious new global initiative, Generation Unlimited, which aims to ensure every young person is in school, training or employed by 2030.

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How nationalism and globalism can coexist | Wanis Kabbaj

Why do we have to choose between nationalism and globalism, between loving our countries and caring for the world? In a talk with lessons for avowed nationalists and globalists alike, Wanis Kabbaj explains how we can challenge this polarizing, binary thinking — and simultaneously be proud citizens of both our countries and the world.

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