In the week long TED2017 conference, held in Vancouver this year, our world’s foremost thought leaders, experts, and innovators came together to explore the “most pressing questions of our time.” The 2017 edition of the annual TED conference hosted inspiring keynote speakers who presented amazing TED Talks and performances on health, robotics, love, space, human existence, our earth, and more. Together, they explored and even attempted to answer the biggest questions of right now.
Top motivational speakers at TED2017: The Future You
Record-holding Tennis Player
Serena Williams embodies style, power, beauty and courage. Like numerous A-list celebrities, Serena is recognized by the mere mention of her first name. Her remarkable tennis skills have sky-rocketed her to fame, but only her unique charm and drive could explain her successful endeavors outside of tennis in film, television, fashion and philanthropy. Considered one of the greatest women’s tennis players of all time in a career hampered by numerous injuries, Serena has won more Grand Slam titles in singles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles than any other female player during open era.
An expert on how people actually act—and why they act—in business and economic environments, professor and best-selling author Dan Ariely shows what human behavior means for business innovation, strategy, marketing and pricing. Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is dedicated to helping people live more sensible—if not rational—lives. His interests span a wide range of behaviors, and his sometimes unusual experiments are consistently interesting, amusing and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom
3Isabel Behncke Izquierdo
Researcher of Social Behavior
Isabel Behncke is a New York- and Oxford-based behavioural and evolutionary scientist working on the nature of social animals … including humans. She’s from the mountains of Chile and loves wild things. After walking 3000+ km in the jungles of Congo observing the social behaviour of bonobo apes — our closest living relatives — in field research, Dr. Behncke now applies an evolutionary lens to questions that lie at the core of social life and creativity: Why do we play?
4Charles “Lil Buck” Riley
Choreographer and Dancer
Charles “Lil Buck” Riley is a dancer and leader of the style known as jookin’. He recently performed in the Cirque du Soleil show “Michael Jackson: One.” His 2011 YouTube collaboration “The Swan” with cellist Yo-Yo Ma went viral and has been viewed more than 2.4 million times. Riley has performed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and with Madonna during her Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, later joining her MDNA tour. He performed with Ma at the U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture, and is a 2014 Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence at the Aspen Institute.
Urban Designer and Author
Throughout his career in urban design, planning and architecture, Peter Calthorpe has been a pioneer of innovative approaches to urban revitalization, suburban growth, and regional planning. In 1986 he, along with Sim Van der Ryn, published “Sustainable Communities,” a book that inspired several generations of new thinking in environmental design and helped launch ‘sustainability’ as a defining goal of many ecological efforts. In the early 90’s he developed the concept of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) highlighted in The Next American Metropolis, an idea that is now the foundation of many national policies.
Founder of Bridgewater Associates
The founder of Bridgewater Associates – Ray Dalio – was born on 1949 to a jazz musician. Ray began his first trade at age 12 when he bought Northeastern Airlines stocks that yielded a 300% return. By the time he was in college; he had stock portfolio worth several dollars. Dalio went on completing his BA from Long Island University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Today, Ray Dalio’s net worth is $10 billion and his company is one of the leading hedge funds with around $120 billion assets under management.
Tony Award-Winning Actress
Cynthia Erivo, has been singing since the tender age of 5 years old. A student of the dramatic arts, having graduated from the esteemed Royal Academy Of Dramatic Arts, Cynthia EriVo Offers the rare triple threat syndrome, Singing, Acting & Dance. This multi-talented singer/songwriter has arrived with a BANG with her sultry, delectable yet effortless style, her big sounding stadia voice and the humility and determination to boot, Cynthia EriVo has made it very difficult not to be noticed anymore.
8Emily Esfahani Smith
Emily Esfahani Smith is the author of “The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life that Matters” (Crown). She writes about culture, relationships, and psychology. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is also a columnist for The New Criterion and an editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, an initiative to build community and purpose across the country. She studied philosophy at Dartmouth College and has a master’s in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Washington, DC.
Author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”
Tim Ferriss, nominated as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People of 2007,” is an angel investor (StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter, etc.) and author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been sold into 35 languages. He is also the author of the best-selling follow-ups The 4-Hour Body and The 4-Hour Chef. His blog is one of Inc. Magazine’s “19 Blogs You Should Bookmark Right Now“, and it has been ranked #1 on the “Top 150 Management and Leadership Blogs” list.
Expert on the Robot Revolution
Martin Ford is a futurist, New York Times best selling author, expert on artificial intelligence and robotics. He is the founder of a Silicon Valley-based software development firm and is the author of two books: The New York Times bestseller “Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future” and “The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future”, both focused on how artificial intelligence and robotics will impact the future job market, economy and society. He has over 25 years experience in the fields of computer design and software development.
Surgeon, Public Health Researcher
Atul Gawande is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. He is also Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. His research work currently focuses on systems innovations to transform safety and performance in surgery, childbirth, and care of the terminally ill. He serves as lead advisor for the World Health Organizations Safe Surgery Saves Lives program.
Speaker on Alzheimer’s
Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. She is the author of the New York Times Bestselling novels Still Alice, Left Neglected and Love Anthony. Still Alice has spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It won the 2008 Bronte Prize and the 2011 Bexley Book of the Year, and it was nominated for the 2010 Indies Choice Debut Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association. Lisa travels worldwide, speaking about Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injury, and autism.
CEO of the New America Foundation
Ted Halstead is founding President and CEO of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute whose purpose is to bring new voices and new ideas to the fore of America’s public discourse. Described by The Washington Post as “The Think Tank of Generation Next,” and by The Economist as housing “the brightest American thinkers under 40,” the New America Foundation relies on a venture capital approach to invest in outstanding individuals and policy ideas that transcend the conventional political spectrum. Halstead is a frequent public speaker and media commentator on a wide range of public policy issues.
Co-Founder of Applied Minds
Danny Hillis is co-founder of Applied Minds, a research and development company that invents, designs, creates, and prototypes high-technology products and services. He is also the Judge Widney Professor of Engineering and Medicine at University of Southern California. He co-founded Thinking Machines Corporation and was vice president and Disney fellow of research and development at Walt Disney Imagineering. Hillis holds over 200 US patents and designed a 10,000-year mechanical clock. His board service includes The Long Now Foundation and Hertz Foundation. He is a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Founder of Superflux
Anab Jain wears many hats, and brings them all together at her multidisciplinary design studio, Superflux. Based in London and India, Superflux is both a consultancy and a lab, operating in the realm of emerging technologies and experiences for business, cultural, and social purposes. Anab Jain is a filmmaker, inventor, and one of the brightest innovators around. As Founder and Director of Superflux, Jain hopes to realize the vision of the studio as a new kind of design practice—one that is responsive to the specific and unique challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.
World Champion Chess Expert
Garry Kasparov has been the highest-rated chess player in the world for twenty years and is widely considered the greatest player that ever lived. Passionate and inspiring as a speaker, often poetic and humorous, this master of strategy applies the insights and unique perspective from his extraordinary chess career to leadership, strategy and success in business. He is the author of several books, including How Life Imitates Chess. He is an activist for positive change in Russia, using his reputation to promote democracy and development.
17Dr. Jim Yong Kim
President of the World Bank
Jim Yong Kim, M.D., Ph.D., became the 12th President of the World Bank Group on July 1, 2012. A physician and anthropologist, Dr. Kim has dedicated himself to international development for more than two decades, helping to improve the lives of under-served populations worldwide. Dr. Kim comes to the Bank after serving as President of Dartmouth College, a pre-eminent center of higher education that consistently ranks among the top academic institutions in the United States. Dr. Kim is a co-founder of Partners In Health (PIH) and a former director of the HIV/AIDS Department at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Former Foreign Secretary of the UK
David Miliband is the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. He oversees the agency’s relief and development operations in over 40 countries and its refugee resettlement and assistance programs throughout the United States. Miliband has had a distinguished political career in the United Kingdom over the last 15 years. From 2007 to 2010, he served as the youngest U.K. Foreign Secretary in three decades, driving advancements in human rights and representing the United Kingdom throughout the world.
Chuck Nice is a 14 year veteran of Stand Up comedy with a rich history in television and radio. For eight years he was the comic relief on the “Radio Chick Show,” bringing the funny to New York’s radio air waves. During that time Chuck was equally busy making a name for himself on the small screen. He is a regular contributor to the “Today Show” as well as an occasional substitute host. Despite his busy schedule, Chuck still finds time to hit the clubs, delighting audiences with story-telling brand of stand up comedy.
Founder of Boston Dynamics
Marc Raibert is the founder of Boston Dynamics, a company that develops some of the world’s most advanced – and most recognizable – robots. Boston Dynamics’ robots are inspired by animals’ remarkable ability to move with agility, mobility, dexterity, and speed. Their dynamic behavior contributes to their accomplishing real-world tasks and appearing lifelike. Prior to founding Boston Dynamics in 1992, Marc was Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. Before that he was Associate Professor of Computer Science and a member of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
Director of the ACLU
Anthony D. Romero is the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, the nation’s premier defender of liberty and individual freedom. He took the helm of the organization just seven days before the 9/11 attacks. An attorney with a history of public-interest activism, Romero has presided over the most successful membership growth in the ACLU’s history and a large increase in national and affiliate staff. This extraordinary growth has allowed the ACLU to expand its nationwide litigation, lobbying, and public education efforts, including new initiatives focused on human rights, racial justice, religious freedom, technology and privacy, reproductive freedom, criminal law reform, and LGBT rights.
Artist and Innovator
Daan Roosegaarde is a Dutch artist, architect and the creative director of Studio Roosegaarde, an independent artistic laboratory that develops interactive artworks. He studied at the AKI academy of fine arts in Enschede, the Netherlands. Roosegaarde’s work explores the dynamic relationship between architecture, human beings and new media. With the project Intimacy Roosegaarde took his first steps into the world of fashion and wearable technology, using ‘e-textiles’ to create a series of dresses and fashion accessories designed by up-and-coming fashion designers.
Researcher on Artificial Intelligence
Stuart Russell received his B.A. with first-class honours in physics from Oxford University in 1982 and his Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford in 1986. He then joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley, where he is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His research covers a wide range of topics in artificial intelligence including machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, real-time decision making, multitarget tracking, computer vision, computational physiology, global seismic monitoring, and philosophical foundations.
24Jonathan Sacks (Rabbi Lord)
Chief Rabbi of the UK
Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since 1991. He is the spiritual leader for the mainstream British Orthodox synagogues, the sixth rabbi in that role since it was created in 1845. He received the Jerusalem Prize 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life, and was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005. He took his seat in the House of Lords in 2009.
Cultural Historian and Futurist
Cultural historian Jeffrey T. Schnapp believes the past is a critically important lens for informing and imagining the future. Schnapp’s work focuses on bridging what’s happened with what’s possible through the fields of technology and design. Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and in the faculty of arts and science, he is co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and founder and faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard, a knowledge and technology design studio dedicated to exploring and expanding the frontiers of networked culture.
Mariano Sigman was born in Argentina and grew up in Barcelona, Spain. He obtained a master degree in physics at the University of Buenos Aires and a PhD in neuroscience at the Rockefeller University, investigating how the cortex organizes to assemble the statistics of the visual world, vast cultural changes and dynamically multiplex several functions through addressing mechanisms and top-down control. He moved to Paris as a Human Frontiers Fellow, investigating decision making, cognitive architecture and consciousness. In 2006 he founded the Integrative Neuroscience Laboratory, at the University of Buenos Aires.
Julia Sweeney joined the cast of Saturday Night Live in 1990 and stayed for four successful seasons. On Saturday Night Live, Sweeney was known for her wide-ranging characters and impersonations, including the sexually ambiguous “Pat,” singer “Ethel Merman,” and NBC News’ “Jane Pauley.” Sweeney’s TV credits include appearances on Frasier, Mad About You, and 3rd Rock from the Sun and her film credits include roles in Pulp Fiction, Coneheads, and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.
Acclaimed Poet and Naturalist
Poet David Whyte grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The author of six books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands and leading anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon, and the Himalayas. He brings this wealth of experience to his poetry, lectures, and workshops.
Psychologist and Author
Guy Winch received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University and completed several years of post-doctoral work in family systems. In his book, “Emotional First Aid: Practical Strategies for Treating Failure, Rejection, Guilt, and Other Everyday Psychological Injuries” he suggests that applying emotional first aid to common psychological injuries when we first sustain them would have a powerful impact on our mental health, emotional resilience and our physical health.
Host of “Note to Self”
Manoush Zomorodi is the host and managing editor of Note to Self, “the tech show about being human,” from WNYC Studios. Her book exploring how boredom can ignite original thinking, “Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out” (St. Martin’s Press) comes out in 2017. Every week on her podcast, Manoush searches for answers to life’s digital quandaries, through experiments and conversations with listeners and experts. Topics include information overload, digital clutter, sexting “scandals,” and the eavesdropping capabilities of our gadgets.
Other inspirational speakers at TED2017:
- Adam Alter, Psychologist
- Ashton Applewhite, Author and activist
- Noriko Arai, AI Expert
- Ingrid Betancourt, Writer and peace advocate
- Levon Biss, Photographer
- Elizabeth Blackburn, Molecular biologist
- Jon Boogz, Movement artist
- Rutger Bregman, Historian
- David Brenner, Radiation scientist
- Richard Browning, Founder, Gravity
- Paul Cantelon, Musician and composer
- Jacob Collier, Musician and artist
- Jack Conte, Musician and entrepreneur
- Devita Davison, Food activist, FoodLab Detoit
- Sara DeWitt, Children’s media expert, PBS Kids
- T. Morgan Dixon, Health activist, GirlTrek
- Jorge Drexler, Musician and poet
- Noah Feldman, Constitutional law scholar
- Found Sound Nation, Musical collective
- His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome
- Laura Galante, Cyberspave analyst, Galante Strategies
- Vanessa Garrison, Health activist, GirlTrek
- Gabriela Gonzalez, Atrophysicist
- Tom Gruber, AI developer
- Robin Hanson, Economist and social scientist
- Tristan Harris, Design thinker, philosopher, entrepreneur
- Anna Heringer, Architect
- Titus Kaphar, Artist
- Shah Rukh Khan, Actor, producer, activist, Red Chillies Entertainments
- Grace Kim, Architect, Schemata Workshop
- Gayle King, Journalist, CBS
- Karoliina Korppoo, Game designer, Colossal Order
- Tim Kruger, Geoengineering researcher
- Anne Lamott, Novelist and essayist
- Michael Patrick Lynch, Philosopher, Humanities Institute of UConn
- Anne Madden, Microbial researcher
- Kate Marvel, Climate scientist
- Luma Mufleh, Refugee activist, Fugees Family, Inc.
- Elon Musk, Serial entrepreneur, SpaceX
- Radhika Nagpal, Robotics engineer
- Cathy O’Neil, Mathematician and data scientist
- OK Go, Band
- Mehdi Ordikhani-Seyedlar, Nueroscientist
- Raj Panjabi, Physician
- Sarah Parcak, Satellite archaeologist
- Anika Paulson, Student and musician
- Helen Pearson, Science journalist, editor, author
- Susan Pinker, Psychologist, columnist, author
- Kristin Poinar, Glaciologist
- Jorge Ramos, Journalist, news anchor
- Joseph Redmon, Computer scientist
- Todd Reichert, Aerospace engineer
- Joshua Roman, Cellist
- Anna Rosling Ronnlund, Co-founder, Gapminder
- Robert Sapolsky, Nueroscientist, primatologist, writer
- Tomas Saraceno, Artist
- Laolu Senbanjo, Artist, musician, lawyer, activist
- Anil Seth, Cognitive scientist, Sackler Centre
- David Titley, Meteorologist
- Jun Wang, Genomics researcher, iCarbonX
- Huang Yi, Choreographer, dancer, inventor
- Helen Zaltzman, Podcaster
All American Entertainment (AAE) is a full-service talent booking agency dedicated to representing the interests of meeting and event planners. AAE has helped thousands of the most respected companies, organizations, and universities identify and secure high-profile keynote speakers and celebrity talent for personal appearances, speaking engagements, promotional campaigns, and a wide range of other functions. AAE’s talent base includes professional business and motivational speakers, best-selling authors, top athletes, award-winning comedians, TV personalities, musicians, celebrity chefs, and many others.