TED Radio Hour

TED Radio Hour draws from the vast archive of TED Talks and weaves in new interviews to tackle a central theme or question. It’s a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create.

Recent Episodes

How It All Began

In this hour, TED speakers explore our origins as a species — who we are, where we come from, where we’re headed — and how we’re connected to everything that came before us. Geneticist Spencer Wells describes how he uses DNA samples to trace our individual origins going back 2,000 generations. David Christian explains the history of the universe from the Big Bang, and how humans occupy little more than a millisecond on that cosmic timeline. Paleontologist Jack Horner explains what dinosaurs tell us about our own origins and what we can learn by attempting to revive a piece of the past. Louise Leakey describes her and her family’s long search for early human remains in Africa, and how unlocking that mystery is the key to understanding our survival as a species. Geneticist Spencer Wells returns to tell the story of early humans, and our eventual migration from Africa. Juan Enriquez argues that human evolution is far from over — homo sapiens are becoming a new species right before our eyes.

How It All Began

In this hour, TED speakers explore our origins as a species — who we are, where we come from, where we’re headed — and how we’re connected to everything that came before us. Geneticist Spencer Wells describes how he uses DNA samples to trace our individual origins going back 2,000 generations. David Christian explains the history of the universe from the big bang, and how humans occupy little more than a millisecond on that cosmic timeline. Paleontologist Jack Horner explains what dinosaurs tell us about our own origins and what we can learn by attempting to revive a piece of the past. Louise Leakey describes her and her family’s long search for early human remains in Africa, and how unlocking that mystery is the key to understanding our survival as a species. Geneticist Spencer Wells returns to tell the story of early humans, and our eventual migration from Africa. Juan Enriquez argues that human evolution is far from over — homo sapiens are becoming a new species right before our eyes.

How It All Began

In this hour, TED speakers explore our origins as a species — who we are, where we come from, where we’re headed — and how we’re connected to everything that came before us. Geneticist Spencer Wells describes how he uses DNA samples to trace our individual origins going back 2,000 generations. David Christian explains the history of the universe from the Big Bang, and how humans occupy little more than a millisecond on that cosmic timeline. Paleontologist Jack Horner explains what dinosaurs tell us about our own origins and what we can learn by attempting to revive a piece of the past. Louise Leakey describes her and her family’s long search for early human remains in Africa, and how unlocking that mystery is the key to understanding our survival as a species. Geneticist Spencer Wells returns to tell the story of early humans, and our eventual migration from Africa. Juan Enriquez argues that human evolution is far from over — homo sapiens are becoming a new species right before our eyes.

The Next Greatest Generation? (R)

Whether you call them Millennials, Generation Y, or the Me Generation, one thing's for certain: today's generation of young people will change the world. But how different is this hyper-connected generation from its predecessors? And what will be its legacy? In this hour, we hear from TED speakers searching to define themselves and their generation. Demographer Neil Howe coined the term “Millennial” in 1991, and offers perspective on the now-loaded term. Activist Natalie Warne calls on young people to find their passion, chase after it, and not let age stop them from changing the world. Psychologist Meg Jay tells twentysomethings how to reclaim adulthood before it’s too late. Charlie Hoehn explains how he built a career on his own terms at the height of the economic recession. YouTube Trends Manager Kevin Allocca describes how this generation is using technology to warp the way we consume media. And teenager and RookieMag.com editor-in-chief Tavi Gevinson talks about the need for an unapologetically uncertain, complex idea of feminism for today's teenage girls.

Predicting the Future (R)

Visions of the future don’t just have to come from science fiction. There’s very real technology today giving us clues about how our future lives might be transformed. So what might our future be like? And what does it take for an idea about the future to become a reality? In this hour, TED speakers make some bold predictions and explain how our future lives might look. Technology leader Nicholas Negroponte looks back on predictions he made in 1984, with surprising accuracy. Tissue engineer Nina Tandon says in the future, we’ll be able to grow replacement organs. Entrepreneur Richard Resnick says faster genome sequencing will revolutionize how we treat disease. Global security consultant Marc Goodman explains how advancing technology will change how we fight crime. GPS expert Todd Humphreys forecasts the future of geo-locators and how it will change our notions of privacy. Also, Sebastian Thrun says we will see more driverless cars on the road in the next decade, and soon traffic jams and accidents will be a thing of the past.

The Source of Creativity

Everyone wants to be creative. But channeling your creative impulses is no small feat. Is creativity something you are born with or can you learn it? In this hour, TED speakers examine the mystery of creativity. After a nasty bout of writer’s block that stretched on for nearly a decade, Sting found inspiration by channeling the stories of the shipyard workers he knew from his childhood. What happens in the brain during musical improv? Researcher Charles Limb scanned the brains of jazz musicians to find out. Sir Ken Robinson makes a case for creating an education system that nurtures — rather than stifles — creativity. Writer Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses.