Jaw-dropping developments in micro-robotics

By studying the movement and bodies of insects such as ants, Sarah Bergbreiter and her team build incredibly robust, super teeny, mechanical versions of creepy crawlies … and then they add rockets. See their jaw-dropping developments in micro-robotics, and hear about three ways we might use these little helpers in the future.

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What is altruism? Put simply, it’s the wish that other people may be happy. And, says Matthieu Ricard, a happiness researcher and a Buddhist monk, altruism is also a great lens for making decisions, both for the short and long term, in work and in life. Watch »

“It’s said that to be a poet, you have to go to hell and back.” Cristina Domenech teaches writing at an Argentinian prison, and she tells the moving story of helping incarcerated people express themselves, understand themselves — and glory in the freedom of language. Watch for a powerful reading from one of her students, an inmate, in front of an audience of 10,000. In Spanish with subtitles. Watch »

 In rural India, the lack of toilets creates a big, stinking problem. It leads to poor quality water, one of the leading causes of disease in India, and has a disproportionately negative effect on women. Joe Madiath introduces a program to help villagers help themselves, by building clean, protected water and sanitation systems and requiring everyone in the village to collaborate — with significant benefits that ripple across health, education and even government. Watch »

Morgana Bailey has been hiding her true self for 16 years. In a brave talk, she utters four words that might not seem like a big deal to some, but to her have been paralyzing. Why speak up? Because she’s realized that her silence has personal, professional and societal consequences. In front of an audience of her co-workers, she reflects on what it means to fear the judgment of others, and how it makes us judge ourselves. Watch »

January 24, 2015
Stew Ogilvie on

Matthieu Ricard: How to let altruism be your guide


Thank you Mr. Ricard for a wonderful talk!

This is exactly the cultural/social evolution that we as a species needs if we want any quality of life 100 years from now. Currently our technology is advancing at an incredible rate, which is allowing for amazing science breakthroughs, but also allowing us to destroy our planet faster and kill and control larger populations easier.

“Any tool can be used to build or destroy”. As we develop and manufacture more drones and more efficient computers, it is up to us to determine if they will be used to cultivate and grow food for the hungry, or wage war on each other and take the lives of the innocent. Standing by and ignoring this, will not make it go away. Only by being aware and challenging the status quo will we ever be able to make it go away.

The altruistic approach may not be perfect, but it opens a desperately needed dialogue. We need to start using these incredible tools we have to further this conversation and find a system that will work, soon, or we risk losing everything.”