A new map of the Peruvian Amazon, the race to explore the deep ocean, and a rock album reimagined

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights.

A map to guide conservation. After almost eight years of airborne laser-guided imaging spectroscopy, Greg Asner has finally mapped all 300,000 square miles of the Peruvian Amazon. Highlighting forest types that are reasonably safe and those which are in danger, Asner’s map offers conservationists a strategic way to apply future efforts of protection, though not all scientists remained convinced of its current benefits. For now, however, Asner remains committed to his approach, with current plans to modify his technology for eventual orbit. “[Once in orbit], we can map the changing biodiversity of the planet every month. That’s what we need to manage our extinction crisis.” (Watch Greg’s TED Talk)

A tree-like pavilion for London. Architect Francis Kéré, a Burkina Faso native known for his use of local building materials like clay, will construct the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion in London, the first African to do so. Kéré’s inspiration for the pavilion’s design is a tree, which he describes as the most important place in his village because it is where people gathered as a community. Each year, the Serpentine Galleries commission a leading architect to build a temporary summer pavilion; previous architects include fellow TEDsters Bjarke Ingels and Frank Gehry. (Watch Francis’ TED Talk, Bjarke’s TED Talk, and Frank’s TED Talk)

The ICIJ goes independent. Less than a year after publishing the largest investigation in journalism history, known as the Panama Papers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) announced in February that they were breaking away from the Center for Public Integrity, which founded ICIJ in 1997. Under the continued leadership of Gerard Ryle, ICIJ will become a fully independent nonprofit news organization. (Watch Gerard’s TED Talk)

A virtual forest aids a real one. Under the direction of Honor Harger, Singapore’s ArtScience Museum launched an interactive exhibit dedicated to rainforest conservation in Southeast Asia. The show, titled Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure, creates over 1,000 square meters of virtual rainforest in the museum’s public spaces, which users can explore with their smartphones. The exhibit features a parallel with reality: for every virtual tree planted (and accompanied by a pledge to WWF), a real tree will be planted in a rainforest in Indonesia. (Watch Honor’s TED Talk)

New inductees in the Women’s Hall of Fame. Autism and livestock advocate Temple Grandin and actor Aimee Mullins are two of the ten women selected to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame 2017 class. The group will meet on September 16 during a ceremony in New York’s Seneca Falls. (Watch Aimee’s TED Talk and Temple’s TED Talk)

The race to explore the deep ocean. In December 2015, Peter Diamandis’ XPrize Foundation announced the Shell Ocean Discovery XPrize, a $7 million global competition designed to push exploration and mapping of the ocean floor. On February 16, the foundation announced the prize’s 21 semifinalists, a group that includes everyone from middle and high school students to maker-movement enthusiasts to professionals in the field. The next hurdle for the semifinalists? The first test of their technology, where they will have just 16 hours to map at least 20% of the 500-square kilometer competition area at a depth of 2,000 meters and produce a high-resolution map. (Watch Peter’s TED Talk)

An iconic album reimagined. Released two days before his death, David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, is the unlikely choice for a classical reimagining. MIT professor Evan Ziporyn and composer Jamshied Sharifi recast the album in full for cellist Maya Beiser and the Ambient Orchestra. The arrangement premiered March 3 at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium. (Watch Maya’s TED Talk)

Two world premieres at Tribeca. Two TED speakers have documentaries premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2017. Journalist and filmmaker Sebastian Junger’s documentary Hell on Earth, directed with Nick Quested, chronicles Syria’s descent into harrowing civil war. Surf photographer Chris Burkard’s documentary Under an Arctic Sky follows six adventurous surfers who set sail along the frozen shores of Iceland in the midst of the worst storm the country has seen in twenty-five years. (Watch Sebastian’s TED Talk and Chris’ TED Talk)

Have a news item to share? Write us at contact@ted.com and you may see it included in this weekly round-up.


Who’s speaking at TED2017? Announcing our speaker lineup

TED2017: The Future You

Meet the co-creator of Siri, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, a Nobel-winning researcher who helped discover how we age, the head of the World Bank, and one of the greatest athletes of all time. We’re thrilled to announce the speaker lineup for TED2017, with a mix of illustrious names and the up-and-coming minds who are creating the future.

TED2017 is a week to explore the most powerful ideas of our time. In these mainstage sessions (including one in Spanish) we’ll ask – and try to answer – the big questions of the moment. This year’s TED will take on the hard political topics that are unavoidable in this turbulent era — and also look within, to the qualities that can make us into better people, and make our world a better place to be. And throughout the upcoming year, we’ll be making these mainstage talks into online TED Talks, sharing them free with the world.

Wherever you are: You can watch Session 1 (Monday night) and Session 4 (Tuesday night) live in cinemas, thanks to the TED Cinema Experience. Can’t make it to the movies on a weekday evening? On the weekend after TED2017 wraps, you can watch a best-of compilation — 90 minutes of the best moments from the week at TED — as a special weekend matinee. Click here to find the cinema closest to you.


¡TED lanza TED en Español en la conferencia anual con el primer bloque de charlas en Español!

Por primera vez, la conferencia de TED en Vancouver presentará un bloque entero de charlas TED en español — una programación que sentimos que merece una celebración! Para celebrarlo, vamos a compartir este bloque por transmisión en vivo de manera abierta y gratuita en live.ted.com el martes, 25 de abril, desde las 2:15 pm y hasta las 4:00 hora de Vancouver.

La temática del bloque en español será “Conexión y sentido” y contará con seis oradores de diversas disciplinas y orígenes. Entre ellos se encuentra el artista Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/Alemania), el músico Jorge Drexler (Uruguay/España), la ex candidata presidential y activista por la paz Ingrid Betancourt (Colombia/Francia/Reino Unido), la primatóloga Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (Chile/Estados Unidos), la astrofísica Gabriela Gonzalez (Argentina/Estados Unidos) y el periodista y presentador Jorge Ramos (México/Estados Unidos).

El bloque marca el lanzamiento oficial de TED en Español, una iniciativa de TED diseñada para desarrollar contenido y comunidad en el mundo de habla hispana. El equipo de TED en Español ya ha estado trabajando seleccionando contenido en español y comenzando a compartirlo a través de varios canales que incluyen:

· Un boletín semanal por correo electrónico

· Un canal de Youtube

· Cuentas de Facebook y Twitter

· Lecciones TED-Ed dobladas

…y más de 2,000 charlas TED con subtítulos en Español.

Los clubes TED-Ed ya se están haciendo también en español, y los usuarios móviles ahora se pueden instalar una versión en español de la aplicación TED para iOS y Android.

TED también tiene planes para traer nuevos socios para apoyar a TED en Español y para desarrollar contratos de distribución para el contenido en español. Antes de fin de año, realizaremos un evento en español en nuestro teatro de la oficina de TED en Nueva York.

“El Mundo de habla hispana constituye una parte importante de la audiencia global de TED,” dijo Gerry Garbulsky, el director de TED en Español. “Al expandir nuestro enfoque a otros idiomas, descubriremos nuevas ideas y nos equiparemos mejor para compartirlas con una audiencia más amplia.”


TED en Español: TED2017’s first-ever Spanish-language speaker session

Haz clic para leer este artículo en español >

For the first time ever, the annual TED Conference in Vancouver will feature an entire session of Spanish-language TED Talks, a bit of programming we felt called for celebration: We’ll be making the live session available for free online at live.ted.com on Tuesday, April 25, from 2:15 pm to 4:00 pm PT.

Titled ¨Conexión y sentido¨, or “Connection and meaning,” the session will feature six speakers from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. They include artist Tomas Saraceno (Argentina/Germany); poet, musician and singer Jorge Drexler (Uruguay/Spain); former presidential candidate and peace activist Ingrid Betancourt (Colombia/France/UK); primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (Chile/US); physicist Gabriela Gonzalez (Argentina/US) and journalist Jorge Ramos (Mexico/US).

The session marks the official launch of TED en Español, a sweeping initiative from TED designed to build content and community in the Spanish-speaking world. The TED en Español team has already been hard at work laying the groundwork for a major effort, actively curating content in Spanish and beginning to share via dedicated Spanish-language channels, including:

…and more than 2,000 TED Talks with Spanish subtitles

TED-Ed Clubs are also underway in Spanish, and mobile users can now download a Spanish-language version of the TED mobile app for iOS and Android.

TED also has plans to bring in new partners to support TED en Español as well as develop distribution deals for the Spanish-language content. In the second half of 2017, we’ll be curating and producing a TED en Español speaker salon event at our NYC theater.

“Native Spanish speakers make up a massive piece of the TED global audience,” said Gerry Garbulsky, TED en Español Director. “By expanding our focus to other languages, we’ll both unearth new troves of ideas, as well as better equip ourselves to share them with a broader audience.”


What’s behind the split in the conservative movement? A conversation onstage at TED HQ

“I have absolutely no regrets that I voted for Trump and that he’s our president right now,” says economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, at right, in conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, left, and Eliot A. Cohen at TED Dialogues, March 8, 2017, New York. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

At TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, TED curator Chris Anderson moderated a lively conversation between Eliot A. Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University who served in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow who held positions in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and was on the Trump campaign and transition team. Although Cohen and Furchtgott-Roth both consider themselves conservatives and agree that health care, climate change and terrorism are among the most important issues facing the country, they remain sharply divided on President Trump.

Character is destiny, says Cohen, borrowing a quote from Greek philosopher Heraclitus. And in Cohen’s opinion, Trump displays weaknesses in temperament and character that undermine his leadership. “Sooner or later, in every presidency, there comes a moment when he has to go into the Oval Office, sit behind the Resolute desk, and say, ‘I’ve decided to do something serious’ — usually involving the use of force — ‘and the reason I’m doing it is XYZ,’” says Cohen. “He has to be believed. And the people who didn’t vote for him, the 53%, will have to give him the benefit of the doubt.” Trump’s actions and statements, Cohen argues, seem to be “setting up for a situation in which the president does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.”

Trump’s economic policies are more important than character, contends Furchtgott-Roth. “I believe they’ll lead to economic growth that gets more young people into the workforce, reduces our debt, lowers taxes, brings more companies back to the US, gives us more school choice, and gets us more of the things we all want.” She singles out the president’s support of mandatory paid maternity leave, a pro-women measure and one usually favored by progressives. Even though some Americans may be displeased by Trump’s behavior, she points out, “People wanted something different. They wanted someone who gets up in the morning and tweets, who goes around to all his hotels.” But will his repeated attacks on the media work against him, Anderson asks? No, she says: “Many people who voted for President Trump like what he’s saying to and about the media, so he’s probably making himself more popular with them.”

“I was a big fan of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush,” says professor Eliot A. Cohen, center. “And I don’t think they thought of our country as crippled and that our greatness was in the past.” TED curator Chris Anderson, at left, speaks with Cohen and Diana Furchtgott-Roth at TED Dialogues, March 8, 2017, New York. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED

Regardless, people dissenting with their political leaders is nothing new, according to Furchtgott-Roth. “Think of any politician you supported, and there will always be something he or she said with which you disagree,” she says. “I see the president as someone whose main function is to sign into legislation the bills that Congress sends him. Congress sent legislation to President Obama that he vetoed time after time, and I believe President Trump will sign into law what Congress sends, something that’s very important.”

It’s not Trump’s veto that worries Cohen; it’s that his authority, for now, rests upon a majority in Congress. “One thing that was very unfortunate about Obamacare is it was passed on a purely partisan basis, and I fear its replacement will be rammed through by the [Republican] majority,” he says. “The Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid — these were all bipartisan efforts, and if we’re to stabilize our domestic politics and deal with really big issues, it needs to be done in a bipartisan way. For that, you need leadership to be inclusive and to bring people together.”

Another concern: Trump’s approach to foreign relations. Calling for a tougher border policy is entirely reasonable, says Cohen. But the president’s initial immigration ban was “willfully cruel,” and saying that Mexico will pay for a wall between it and America could erode years of careful bridge-building policy between the nations. “We’ve been working for decades, Republican and Democratic administrations alike, to make this a close neighborly relationship,” says Cohen. And while Americans may applaud Trump for his brash tweets — or at least tolerate them — “President Xi Jinping [of China] may have less of a sense of a humor. Reckless statements could lead to conflicts.”

Like Trump or not, we all owe him a chance, says Furchtgott-Roth. “We tried eight years of president Obama, and it didn’t get us the results we need, especially in states where people are really hurting. That’s why people elected Trump — they didn’t want another four years of the same.” And no matter the length of his time in office, politics is cyclical. “Sooner or later, the other side will come back,” says Cohen. He references Johnny Cash’s song “This Old Wheel” — its lyrics go “That old wheel is gonna roll around once more / When it does it will even up the score.” Posing one final rhetorical question to President Trump, Cohen wonders, “Do you want to make any effort to unify the country and find some bipartisan consensus?” Now that would truly be something different.