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

Solving It (R)

There are problems affecting big parts of our lives that seem intractable. From politics, to healthcare, to law and the justice system — some things just don’t seem to work as they should. In this hour, TED speakers share some big ideas on how to solve the seemingly impossible. Attorney Philip K. Howard argues the U.S. has become a legal minefield and we need to simplify our laws. Legal scholar Lawrence Lessig says corruption is at the heart of American politics and issues a bipartisan call for change. Health advocate Rebecca Onie describes how our healthcare system can be restructured to not just treat — but prevent — illness. Lawyer Bryan Stevenson explains how America’s criminal justice system works against the poor and people of color, and how we can address it.

Extrasensory (R)

In this hour, TED speakers question whether we can experience the world more deeply by not only extending our senses — but going beyond them. Color blind artist Neil Harbisson can "hear" colors, even those beyond the range of sight. Physician and engineer Todd Kuiken builds prosthetic arms that connect with the human nervous system — improving motion, control and even feeling. Speech scientist Rupal Patel creates customized synthetic voices that enable people who can’t speak to communicate in a unique voice that embodies who they are. Sound expert Julian Treasure says we are losing our listening in a louder world. He shares ways to re-tune our ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around us.   

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.