TED 2019 – The best bits

Being at the annual Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference is a bit of an exclusive deal. The mere fact the basic cost of a ticket for the conference in Vancouver starts from £10k and goes up to £100k, means that most of us mere mortals are consigned to catching up on YouTube.

Or if lucky enough, you might get invited along to listen to a man that went first hand and has seen every TED talk over the past 10 years. Which is what a couple of our team did this week in London, as they went to hear from Kevin Chesters of Harbour London, who gave his download of Ted 2019 in 60 mins….

Before going into the most interesting talks as highlighted by Kev, he gave the audience three notable pieces of advice.

  • Make sure you get your sleep – you’re literally killing yourself if you don’t get 7+ hours a night
  • Go for a walk and exercise your brain, then have a nap!
  • Just watch one TED talk a day, give your brain a chance to relax, soak up the information and then sleep again!


Arvan Kapur – using a patch to turn your thoughts into speech – an extension of human cognition.

Bruce Friedrich – Food scientist that is creating meat from plants and growing it as cells, set to help climate change.

David Liu – Ability to rewrite DNA to cure disease, although it’s irreversible, so not too sure about the butterfly effect on this one.

Shepard Doleman – The main scientist behind the recent Black Hole photo project – next black hole is 1000 times smaller but 1000 times nearer……

Peter Beck – Democratising space for all – 3D printed rocket engines able to launch from New Zealand every 72 hours. We’re all going up there!

Matthew Walker – Remember the point about sleep?! Well Matthew is the expert on it and highlights sleep is not a luxury but your non-negotiable life support system. Maybe have a nap after reading this!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Human are addicted to likes and shares – social media is a drug and bad for our health. Focus on giving attention to gain happiness, rather than crave attention to feel happy.


Carol Cadwalladr – Following Brexit and the 2016 US election is it possible to ever have a fair and free election again? Carol doesn’t think so and uses Cambridge Analytica as the example that helped destroy public trust forever.

Brandon Anderson – Shining a light on police abuse against black people in the USA – uses his military background to apply data collection to form a better strategy of engagement. Also the founder of Raheem.

Giving Back

Audacious Projects – Change something, eight projects to change the world that get support and backing from the TED community. Way for unheard of but amazing projects to raise funds very quickly to then rapidly help people. Overall good vibes crew!

Joanne Chory – Plant scientist that has developed better crops and soil that can create greater yields and fight climate change, big leaps going on here.

Safeena Husain – A goat is an asset but a girl is a curse! Safeena is raising funds to educate millions of girls across South Asia and across the world as the UN recognises this as the 6th issue on it’s list to solve above democracy and climate change. What a lady!

Elizabeth Dunn – Giving to others is the equivalent of getting two times salary increase. Try giving a go, as it could change your life and make for a better world.


Rick Globin – How to use psychedelics in micro doses to help treat and cure depression and prevent further issues relating to PTSD. Worth the trip.

Karen Lloyd – Underground microbes that look like stones, create stones but aren’t actually stones! Confused?! Yeah, so are we, best to watch and learn how geology meets biology for our greater good. Also another potential solution for carbon capture and climate change.

Ivan Popuyrev – Wearable tech – creating user-interface garments on a mass market level, already working with likes of Levis and Saville Row to showcase what’s possible. Good and bad points to consider and that’s not even taking into account the fashion.

Victor Vescovo – Oceanographer exploring and mapping the deep seas. Uncovering 3-4 new species each dive. Still, 95% of the oceans are unexplored. Mind-boggling.

Doug Roble – Super advanced facial recognition and ability to hologram people onto screens with lifelike imitations. Combined with AI tech and it’s CGI on super steroids.

Emmett Sheer – Twitch’s CEO on the growth and inevitable global acceptance of esports and gaming as viewing entertainment. Mass communities across the world, bonding and sharing their love for their team through a screen, could be football?!


Yeonmi Park – The lady who escaped North Korea and is still living to tell the tale so everyone knows how awful a country it is and how three generations have grown up in a 1984 Orwellian state. Apparently, this talk is a tear jerker and with no word for love in their daily language, empathy and compassion are hard to come by.

Happy (end on a positive note)

Suleika Jaouad – Wrote a blog about becoming very ill and didn’t think she’d still be alive but received thousands of comments of support from strangers. Fortunately, Suleika made a full recovery but suffered from PTSD, so decided to visit everyone who left a comment on a 15,000km road trip. She talks about the power of kindness and positivity through meeting the strangers from her blog.

Jon Gray – The Ghetto Chef from the Bronx, who talks about taking and now giving back to the community. He is now a world-renowned chef and is invited to cook all over the world but always fuses local cuisine with Bronx recipes. According to Kev, he was the coolest guy at TED ever!

Michael Tubbs – Mayor of Stockton and tipped to be future POTUS if you’re in the know. All-around good dude and positive speaker, getting involved in local politics in the USA after the death of his cousin. Became the youngest Mayor of a major US city.

Es Devlin – Set designer to the best of the best. Beyonce is a client so there you go. Her work exists only in the memory of those that experience it, which tends to be 100,000 in a festival field, but her skill is that she makes it unique to you! According to Kev, just a brilliant 10 mins and well worth watching.

Bark Ingels – Architect extraordinaire, creator of the ski slop power station and dry line in NYC. Bark talks about how humans need to adapt to survive. Supposed to be an amazing talk and topic so check it out.

And Finally,

Roger Hanlon – The Octopus guy! Genuinely! Roger is working to extract neurons from Octopuses to use with technology in both fashion and cosmetics. As an Octopus can change its skin colour 100 times in an hour to adapt to its ever-changing environment, maybe we too could one day change outfits automatically as we move through the city or landscape. Hide and seek is set for a major upgrade though.

Well, there you have it, we hope these serve as some viewing inspiration until next year.

For a full breakdown and a much more serious look at TED2019, be also sure to check out the official ICYMI blog from TED