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The Young, The Wise, The Undiscovered: Here’s Some Of The Best From This Year’s TED Conference
March 1, 2013
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This year's TED conference wraps up today in Long Beach, California - having explored the theme of "The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered."

TED was founded in 1984 as a one off event; then, became an annual conference in 1990.

At its core, it's all about "ideas worth spreading" and over the years, it's had an impressive list of presenters including...

Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners.

In fact, the talks have now been viewed more than a billion times online.

According to TED's director Chris Anderson, the central idea this year was opening up to new voices and new ideas.

Among the speakers, there was a 13-year-old Masai boy who figured out a clever way to scare away lions; a Ghanaian undercover journalist; and a young physicist who's skipping college to build nuclear reactors.

You can check out the full presenter list right here.

Here are some of the highlights.

First up, musician Amanda Palmer's talk, titled 'The Art of Asking.' Palmer's idea is you shouldn't make people pay for music - you should let them. She raised over $1,000,000 on Kickstarter for her last album, and she believes in the "patronage model" of the arts. Check it out:

The kick-off speaker this year was Jennifer Granholm, former two-term governor of Michigan. Her idea worth spreading? In order to create more jobs, governments need to invest in alternative energy sources. But to encourage them, she says the U.S. needs to create a "Clean Energy Jobs Race to the Top."

And this year's winner of the TED Prize is Sugata Mitra, an educational researcher who has found that when children are left to their own devices (or literally allowed to play with a device, like an internet-connected PC hidden under a tree in India - he's run some interesting experiments), they can learn independently, and even teach each other, without a traditional teacher.

In past years, the winner of the TED Prize would return to the next year with their TED Prize wish: the big idea they want to see happen (with TED kicking in $1,000,000 to make it a reality). This year, the winner of the prize combines his talk with his wish.

Mitra wants TED to help him design a "school in the cloud," a learning lab in India where kids can explore and learn from each other without a teacher, using resources from the internet.

His talk and his wish are below:

Scientists also demonstrated an experiment that appears to make the "invisibility cloak" a reality.

As The Telegraph writes in this piece, "A small box made of calcite optical crystal was used to bend light around an object, making anything placed behind the box appear invisible to people watching the demonstration at the TED conference."

Friend of the show Wade Davis also spoke at TED2013. In his short talk, he talks about his latest book, 'The Sacred Headwaters: the Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena and the Nass' and the need to protect the waterways of northern Canada. Check it out below, and watch Wade in the red chair right here:

If you're looking for some more inspiring and thought-provoking TED Talks from years past, it's worth checking out Technorati's list of '12 TED Talks That Every Human Should Watch.'

The ideas on the list range from "how to use a paper towel" to harnessing "the power of vulnerability" to learning to live past 100 years old.


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