Save the bees! Wait, was that a bee? | Joseph Wilson | TEDxUSU

Save the bees! Wait, was that a bee? | Joseph Wilson | TEDxUSU


Translator: Jeff Broadbent
Reviewer: Nada Qanbar (Applause) So when I tell people I study bees, they
usually want to tell me one of two things; either about the last time the got stung
and how much it hurt, or they’ll tell me about their distant
relative that’s a beekeeper and how much they like his honey. So this kind of shows the superficial
understanding most people have about bees: they sting and they make honey. But recently, there’s been some
encouraging changes. Now when people talk to me about bees, besides talking about stinging and honey they want to ask how the bees are doing. Or they’ll tell me about an article they
read that said bees are disappearing or their populations are declining. So from a conservation standpoint,
this is nice because it shows that people are
beginning to care more about bees. They’re beginning to understand that
bees are more than stinging and honey and that they play important roles
in our lives. The problem is we can’t really help
save the bees – there’s a growing movement
to save the bees – but we can’t do this unless we know
what the bees are and know what their needs are.
So what do people know about bees? Well, most people assume there’s a
handful of bee species in the U.S.: honey bees, maybe some bumblebees. In fact most of the research on bees
and on populations declining is done on these bees,
honey bees and bumblebees. But, in fact, there’s more bees out there. There’s actually 4,000 different
species of bees in the U.S. So most people are dramatically
underestimating bee diversity here. It makes it hard to protect bees
if we don’t realize how many there are. Also, even scientists don’t really know
how these bees are doing. Because most of the research is done
on honey bees and bumblebees, we mostly don’t know much about
these other bees. It goes further than that. It’s not just that people underestimate
bee diversity, in a lot of instances people don’t know
which bugs in their yards are bees. For example, when I show people
this picture, and ask them to tell me
which ones are bees – and I’m sure you’re all looking at it
thinking, “Which one’s are bees?” – If you’re like most people, most people know that a fly, a
grasshopper, and a butterfly are not bees. And that’s good. Also, most people know that a honey bee,
a bumblebee, and a sweat bee are bees. The problem is, there’s these three bees
in the middle here. They’re all bees, but people don’t
recognize them as bees. They’re pretty common in our backyards, but people often think they’re
something else. So there’s misunderstanding about how many bees there are,
about what bugs are bees, and these misunderstandings lead to
misguided efforts to save bees. For example, I saw this poster
on the internet, “Save the bees, save humanity.” It’s a great idea, the problem is
that’s not a bee. (Laughter) That’s a yellow jacket wasp. (Laughter) Or you could buy a t-shirt to help save
the bees. It’s only $25, right? The problem with this t-shirt?
That’s not a bee either. That’s a cicada. (Laughter) So let’s look at one more. This is a meme from Facebook,
“I die, you die.” So the idea here is that bees pollinate
most of our food, and so if there’s no one to pollinate
our food, then we die. The problem is, that’s not a bee,
that’s a fly. And so that fly is not pollinating
the majority of our foods. But it’s not only that people mistake
other insects for bees like in these examples. In a lot of cases, when people want to
make efforts to help bees, they focus on the bee that they’re most
familiar with, which is the honey bee. In fact, there’s been a lot of news
stories and magazine articles focusing and teaching people
how to save bees, but they focus almost exclusively on
honey bees and on the needs of honey bees. This has led a lot of people to become
backyard beekeepers in efforts to help save bees. In fact, cities around the country
have changed regulations so people can keep beehives
in their backyards. For example, Morgan Freeman recently
bought 40 beehives, and he put them on his
ranch in Mississippi, and he says he planted fields of lavender
and clover to help save the bees. Now, this is a valiant effort. And other people have done this too. For example, Flea. He’s the bass player
from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He was in Rolling Stone Magazine
this year, and they talked about how Flea is saving
the bees. But what Morgan Freeman and Flea might not
realize – and countless other beekeepers – is that honey bees are only one of
thousands of species, and they’re really different biologically
than most other bees. For example, you probably know that honey
bees live in big hives, there’s tens of thousands of workers,
there’s a queen, you know they make honey, you’ve probably heard they can sting you
once before they die. Well, those are all true facts
for honey bees, but they’re not true for the other bees
that live here, for the native bees in North America. You might not know that honey bees
aren’t native to North America. They’re from Europe. So what are these native bees like? What do those other thousands
of bee species do? Well most of North America’s native bees
are solitary ground-nesting bees. What does that mean? Well, they live by themselves – they’re
solitary – and they nest in the ground. So a single female bee digs a hole
in the ground, at the bottom of that hole she’ll
make little rooms and she’ll put pollen and nectar in there. Then she’ll lay an egg in each room,
cover up the hole and fly away. So there’s no queen, there’s no hive
with workers, and there’s no honey. So if we only focus on the needs of honey
bees, we’ll probably be doing very little to help these ground-nesting
solitary bees. Now, not all bees nest in the ground. There’s other bees that nest
in other places. For example, this is a leaf cutter bee, and she prefers to nest in holes
in pieces of wood. Here she’s bringing back a piece of a leaf
that she’ll use to line that hole, kind of like wallpaper. Again, she’s a solitary bee, so there’s no
queen and no hive and no honey involved. So, when I tell people about these native
bees, they often say, “Well that’s pretty interesting,
but they don’t really pollinate, right?” In fact, native bees do pollinate. They do the majority of the pollination
for most of our wildflowers and there are lost of studies that show that they’re important pollinators of
many of our crops as well. So why don’t people recognize these
native bees when they think about making efforts
to save bees? Well it could be because a lot of native
bees don’t really look like honey bees. They don’t have that yellow and
black striped abdomen like we see in the cartoons. These, for example, are all mason bees,
a native bee to North America. Mason bees come in metallic blue or green,
sometimes gold and purple. Mason bees can be really important
pollinators of many of our orchard crops. For example, the pollination that would
take a hundred honey bees to accomplish can be done in many orchard by
only two mason bees. So not only do they pollinate, in some cases they’re
much more efficient pollinators. There are a lot of factors that contribute
to this efficiency. One of these factors could be their
dietary preferences. A lot of native bees are picky eaters. This, for example, is a squash bee,
and squash bees only visit squash flowers. So because she has a preference
for squash flowers, she’s a really effective pollinator of our
pumpkins and our zucchinis and our cucumbers and
other members of the squash family. So again, if we only focus on the needs
of honey bees, and plant fields of lavender and clover,
for example, we might be doing very little for
these native bees that have different preferences.
They don’t like lavender and clover. Native bees have other abilities that
make them important pollinators. For example, tomatoes and their relatives
or blueberries produce more fruit when they’re buzz pollinated. Buzz pollination is when a bee
lands on a flower and vibrates it at a certain frequency
causing it to release more pollen. Honey bees don’t know how
to buzz pollinate. They just don’t have that ability. But a lot of our native bees do. So I’m not trying to say that honey bees
are necessarily bad. They play important roles in many
of our agricultural systems. But if we artificially increase honey bee
populations too much, then that can lead to competition
between honey bees and native bees and negatively impact
the native bee populations. So, I applaud people’s efforts
to save the bees. I think that this is a good movement
to get behind, but we need to realize that honey bees
are only one of thousands of species and these other bees are also playing
important roles in our environment and in our lives. So if you want to help bees, where do
we go to learn about these native bees? Well there’s a lot of resources that have
recently been made available. For example, a lot of books like
The Bee-Friendly Gardner, or my book The Bees in Your Backyard. Or there’s websites that teach us about
native bees like the Xerces Society or BugGuide.net. Or there’s pollinator workshops that
are being put on all around the country. So if you look into these resources, they’ll teach you that bees
need two things: they need food, as in flowers,
and they need nesting sights. So in our yards, we can make efforts
to help bees by planting flowers. If we plant a variety of different
kinds of flowers, different colors and shapes and sizes, we can attract a bunch of different
kinds of bees, bees that have different
dietary preferences. And also, in between those flowers, instead of putting ground cloth
or thick layers of mulch, we can leave bare patches of dirt
for the ground-nesting bees to nest in. Providing habitat for other bees
can be as simple as drilling a bunch of holes
in a piece of wood. Leaf cutter bees and their relatives
find these holes and they make their nests in them. So, if we as a society want
to protect bees, the first step should be to learn about
bees – all of the bees – including the native bees. These native bees are
playing important roles, and many of them need our attention too. We don’t want to be left saying,
“Save the bees! Oh wait a second, was that a bee?” Thank you. (Applause)

Pollination – the delicate balance between bees and flowers | Jennifer Leavey | TEDxGeorgiaTechSalon

Pollination – the delicate balance between bees and flowers | Jennifer Leavey | TEDxGeorgiaTechSalon


Translator: Peter van de Ven
Reviewer: Denise RQ I’m really excited to be here today to talk to you about one
of my favorite things in the world, which is bees, of course, bees. I wish I had some kind of exciting story
from my childhood to explain what drove me
to become a beekeeper, but I never had
a grandparent who kept bees and took me into
their beautiful apiary on sunny days. I never had a scary experience
with being stung a bunch of times, and I’m not afraid of insects. I actually started keeping bees because I found that it would be
a convenient model for studying science. So, whether you are learning chemistry, like acid-base chemistry or physics, maybe you’re studying
velocity or momentum in your lab, or maybe you’re studying
biology and genetics, or differential equations,
or databases, or whatever, you can study bees through that lens, and that’s what drove me
to start studying bees. Bees are fascinating creatures. If you take a look
at this picture behind me, you see one of the most iconic images
related to bees, right? You see a picture of a bee on a flower. And this is something that everyone
learns about in elementary school: the role of bees as pollinators. So, you’ve all seen this occur
before in your life, and you’ve learned
about what pollination was before in your life, but I’d like to challenge you to look a little bit deeper
at what’s going on in this image, because this is the image
that I’m very concerned that in the future
is going to be disrupted, with huge ramifications for people
and life on Earth in general. So let’s look at this image. We have a picture of a beautiful honey bee sitting on a flower, and this bee is visiting the flower because she wants to collect
nectar and pollen as food. That’s a pretty straightforward idea:
she’s foraging for food. And because honey bees are social insects, she’s not going to eat this food herself, she’s in fact going to return to her hive, and she’s going to use these nutrients, the carbohydrates in the nectar and the lipids and proteins
that she finds in the pollen, and she’s going to use that
to feed her sisters, basically. Bees divide up labor; they’re social insects
and they divide up the work of the hive. Not all bees are foragers,
but all foragers are female – that’s just a little bit of trivia. So, here she is on this flower,
collecting nectar, collecting pollen, and in the process,
she’s doing other things, right? The flower is not producing
nectar for its own sake, it’s producing nectar specifically
to attract this insect here, and the reason why the plant
needs a bee to visit its flowers is because plants are very bad
at having sex with each other. (Laughter) Pollination is in fact the root
for sexual reproduction for plants. Plants can’t move,
they’re anchored into the ground. So, they need bees
to do the dirty work for them. This bee has visited another flower
before she visited this flower, and she collected pollen, which is basically
the equivalent of plant sperm, and she brought with that pollen half of the genes that that tree had
in the form of pollen. She’s going to bring those genes, which will then mix
with the 50% of this tree’s genes to form an offspring. So, very important things happening here: we have the future reproduction
of the bee at stake, in the form of the food
that she’s collecting; and you have the future
reproduction of this tree at stake, in the form of the fertilization event
that is facilitated by the bee. When that fertilization event occurs,
the flower will fall off, and we see a seed form, and oftentimes,
that seed will be surrounded by some kind of delicious flesh
that humans enjoy. That was an apple blossom
that we saw before, here we have a delicious apple tree. This is significant
because animal-pollinated crops are responsible for at least
one in three bites of food that we eat. The situation is not entirely rosy. The United Nations
released a report last year summarizing some of the threats
that exist to bees, and as a result, the threats
that exist to our food supply. So, if you can imagine a world
without apples, without zucchini, without cherries, without cucumbers, that’s the world that we would live in,
in the absence of animal pollinators. This UN report had
a lot of alarming statistics. So, 75% of the world’s food crops are pollination-dependent. This is a huge economic impact. We have over 500 billion dollars of food that is produced every year that is dependent upon animal pollination. The honey industry itself
is a big industry with 1.5 million tons of honey
produced in every year. We think a lot about honeybees
when we think about pollination, and in fact, they are responsible for a lot of the pollination
of the food crops in this country. Some food crops, such as
the almond crop in Northern California, is dependent on the presence
of migratory honey bee keepers bringing their hives
to the orchard each year in order to actually
set seed and produce fruit; there are not enough
native bees to do the job. There are native bees in North America. Honey bees, or Apis mellifera,
is not a native species here; it was brought with the European settlers. There are 4,000 species of native bees
present in North America, though, and these are some of them. They range from very small iridescent
blue sweat bees and orchid bees, to big fuzzy bumblebees,
to bees that look like wasps. They come in a variety
of shapes and sizes. Some are generalists, and will pollinate
a variety of different plant types, some are specialists and co-evolved with a single species or family of plants
to do the pollination for that group. It’s scary, in part because
the same threats to honeybees – we’ve heard about honeybees
being at risk, right? Last year, in fact, had one of the highest
rates of colony loss in recorded history, with 40% of honeybee colonies
perishing over the course of the year. These losses can translate
also into the native bee population, and over 40% of invertebrate pollinator species
are at risk of extinction. So, honey bees
are not at risk of extinction; people love honey bees,
and they will continue to keep honeybees and expand their numbers
to satisfy their needs. But people frequently don’t care about the other 4,000 species
of native bees, so which are at dire risk as a result of the same types of impacts
that are impacting honeybees. So, what are they? Let’s talk about the threats
to bees that exist. The first threat that I’d like to mention
is habitat loss, or habitat destruction. Bees need food, and they need
a place to make a nest. Honeybees are cavity nesters, they frequently form
their nests in hollow trees, but they can also form their nests in hollow wall spaces, or trash cans,
or a grill in your backyard. So, in urban settings, honey bees don’t really
have a problem finding a place to live, but other species of bees, like miner bees, that burrow
into the ground to make their nests, can have an impact on their nest sites,
depending on the land use. Up here, we have
two different satellite images. This is Southwest Georgia, Moultrie,
and at the center is Rossman Apiaries, which is a major producer
of honeybees in North America. You can just see from the satellite image
what the land use is like: there are agricultural fields,
there’s forested areas, a good habitat for bees, right? This is where we are now,
here’s the sadly defunct Georgia Dome. You can just see from the satellite image
that the land use is very different, and we are studying,
on the Georgia Tech campus, the impact of that change in land use
on the number and variety of species that are present in the Atlanta area. We don’t know that this is going
to have a negative impact on bees, but we’re looking into it. Another threat to bees is disease. I mentioned before that there are
many migratory beekeepers that are hired to come to the almond orchards
in Northern California each year, in order for there to be
a sufficient crop of almonds there. As these beekeepers bring
their thousands of colonies of bees on tractor trailer trucks
to the orchards in Northern California, they’re bringing with them diseases
that can then be shared between the bees that have come from all over North America
to visit those orchards. One of those diseases
is the Varroa destructor mite. This is a picture of the mite, and it is feeding on a developing bee,
on the pupil form of the bee. This mite is sort of like a tick
that transmits diseases, often in a way that ticks transmit
diseases to humans and other mammals. One of the diseases that it will transmit
is a virus called deformed wing virus, and that virus causes the adult bees
to emerge with shriveled wings. So, this poor bee will never be
on an apple tree; she will never go and collect
nectar and pollen for her hive, and as a result, the hive will suffer. There is an analogous type of disease
that humans are grappling with, and have been grappling with
for about the last year, and that is the Zika virus. I think you’ve heard about this? So, Zika virus, again, a virus
is transmitted by an arthropod vector, just like deformed wing virus
is transmitted by mites, Zika virus is submitted by mosquitoes. Same kind of situation: if a pregnant female
becomes infected with Zika virus, just like if a developing bee
gets infected with deformed wing virus, the baby could be born
with a malformed head, with microcephaly. So ironically, the approach
that we’re taking to deal with threats to people,
like Zika virus, leads us to our next threat to bees. This is a real upper of a talk, isn’t it?
Because we’re just going to leave here — Next threat to bees are toxins
in the environment, like insecticides. The largest public health effort
to stem the Zika outbreak last year involved widespread spraying
of residential neighborhoods with insecticides,
and there’s not a single insecticide that will kill an adult mosquito
that won’t also kill an adult bee. So, pesticides are another big threat. Pesticides also, in addition
to their lethal effects on bees, have sub-lethal effects,
so in combination with poor nutrition low doses of pesticides
can have other problems for bees. And the final threat to bees
that I want to mention is the effects of climate change. These are a couple of maps
that were produced by students who were studying
at Georgia Tech last summer. They took this map, which was based
on data of native bees in the sort of southeastern United States,
in current day conditions, and then they applied
a climate model to that map to predict where the range of that bee
would be in about 50 years. And as you can see,
the range has shifted significantly. Similar work has been done
by other researchers, looking at the range of different
plant species, different tree species. So, that image that we saw
on the first slide, of the bee and the flower
is very fragile, right? It’s delicate; you need a flower,
and you need a bee there at the same time, in order for that to occur. So, there’s a risk
that as the range of plants change, and as the range of bees change, we could be compromising
that timing of that specific interaction. Oh, here’s the good news. Okay. What can we do? That said, I think there are things, positive things that everybody can do
to help make the life of a bee better, to help ensure our food supply. One of those things is to help
conserve and create habitats for bees. This is an image
of some volunteers from Turner that were out with Trees Atlanta, last spring, planting fruit trees
in West Atlanta. Atlanta is a very green place;
there are tons of bees in Atlanta. We have a lot of trees in the area. So, if we can maintain
those tree populations, plant more, we’re creating habitat for bees. And it’s a good thing. Other things that we can do is try
to mitigate the effects of climate change. We want to reduce our carbon footprint, so if we can reduce greenhouse emissions, we can help turn
the tide on climate change, and help preserve
the range of our native species. Another thing that everyone can do
is to help support local honey production, and sort of local methods of beekeeping. Big commercial operations
move thousands of beehives from one place to another,
all season long, collecting nectar as they go
to produce honey. And that has a big carbon footprint,
to truck bees from place to place. It also spreads disease. If you can support a local beekeeper that keeps their bees
in the same place all year round, you’re going to help stop
the spread of disease in some ways, and you’re going to
reduce your carbon footprint, and you’re also going to have
delicious honey that’s produced from flowers
in your neighborhood, which is always delicious. And the last thing you can do
is rather than spray your yard: spray yourself. Using bug repellent on yourself
is not dangerous to bees at all. So, if you want to keep
the mosquitoes away in the summer, rather than turning to a pest control
company to spray your yard, just spray a little DEET on yourself
before you go outside. I hope that you have become
more interested in bees, in this time, and that you might consider
also contributing to scientific efforts to study bees. We have a group of students,
computer science students at Georgia Tech, that are using images
that individuals have uploaded to Flickr of bees on flowers, and stripping the metadata
from these images. Every picture of a bee on a flower that is
taken with a smartphone, for example, that has it’s location services turned on, will include a timestamp
and location information, and that can be used to create maps of when and where bee-flower
interactions are occurring. So, if you’re out,
and you see a bee on a flower, upload that image to Flickr, tag it with the word ‘bee’
and the word ‘flower’, and our computer scientists
will find it and scrape it’s data. And finally, here we are, this delicate easily disrupted
relationship between bees and flowers is very important both
to the future of plants on Earth and the future of our food supply, and I hope that you will join me
in helping to protect it. Thank you. (Applause)

Bees are Our Greatest Teachers | Yasuki Funahashi | TEDxAnjo

Bees are Our Greatest Teachers | Yasuki Funahashi | TEDxAnjo


Translator: Masako Kigami
Reviewer: Claire Ghyselen Hello, everyone. Looking at my fashion,
can you imagine what my job is? Astronaut? (Laughter) No, I am working on earth. I am a beekeeper. This is a hive of my loving honeybees. I call it their “sweet home”
because they are honeybees. It’s not fun? (Laughter) Ah, I thought so. (Laughter) (Buzzing honeybees) This is the buzzing of 20,000 bees. They fly around flowers briskly as always. Worker bees are female.
They live for one month. The amount of the honey
a honeybee collects in its lifetime is only a teaspoon. Despite this, honeybees play
an important role for us. They fly around 3,000 flowers a day
and pollinate them. Pollination is crucial for our food. All the ingredients we eat
exists thanks to pollination. They are full of beans
to visit flowers today. One morning, I came
to the hive as usual and said, “Good morning, honeybees!
Let’s have a good day together!” It was supposed to be no different day
from any other day. But something was different. I was surprised to open the hives. There were no honeybees in them. Every hive was empty. There were no bees left. Normally, they buzz around
to collect autumn honey. No buzzing. The hives were eerily quiet. Honeybees had disappeared suddenly. It is called “honeybee
colony collapse disorder”. It had just happened to me. 400,000 honeybees died. Their lost lives never to return. My knees were trembling, without strength. So I sat down. This honeybee colony collapse disorder
is not limited to honeybees. At this moment somewhere in the world some beekeepers are stunned
and stand motionless because they have lost all his bees. Let’s think about it together. What if all honeybees were gone? What would be our life like? Would it be life as usual? What do you think about it? The answer is no. Because there wouldn’t be any food
as no bees would be pollinating. The world would face a food crisis. I met with honeybees
for the first time six years ago. I was working as a consultant
in environment. I was flying around the world. I was dealing with strategies
to prevent global warming and I could hear more than
often in weather forecasts that “this was the first time ever”
that this happened. Global warming at work. I asked myself “is this right?” I worked so hard that
I lost physical and mental health. One day, I visited an apiary and
saw honeybees for the first time. I heard their buzzing
for the first time, too. Buzzing honeybees. Owing to pollination by them,
we have foods. The number of bees is
decreasing drastically in the world. I was watching this fact in live. It shocked me as if I had
been struck by lightning. That’s it! I will convey honeybees’
message to everybody. I had the intuition it was my mission. By doing so, we will be able
to act with care and respect toward the Earth. Knowing honeybees made my life richer. I recovered my mental and physical health, because now, I was connected to nature. So I launched a “honeybee education”
program for children. The honeybees are the teachers. My lesson starts with listening
to the buzzing sound of the hive. The buzzing sounds
like saying: “I’m happy”, or “I feel safe”. Just by listening to the buzzing, he children’s emotion gets
quiet and peaceful. Honeybees produce a teaspoon of honey and pollinate thousands of fruits. When children learn about this, they grow a sense of gratitude. They learn the power
of helping others a lot in return for a small gift. That means children starts
to think and act based on the idea of
“happiness for everyone”, and not only for myself. Let me tell you a story. One of the children who participated
to the “honeybees education” became a candidate
to become his class representative. His manifesto was
“I run for my class, not myself. I will work hard for the happiness
of all my classmates.” He was chosen as representative
among many rivals. Another episode takes place
at a dinner table on the day of the honeybees education, a child said to her parents “Dad. Mom. Who on earth give us foods? Honeybees do. You should feel gratitude.
and eat in a respectful manner.” “I was surprised to hear my daughter saying
such a wonderful thing to us.” When they connect with the nature
and start to listen to their feelings. children can bring back and grow the creativity
they are born with. They learn about zest for living
and resourcefulness through honeybees education. We, human beings receive
many services from nature. I’ve noticed something
by observing honeybees. The powers of nature and honeybees are getting weaker slowly and surely. The queen bees lay many eggs
for three years, in normal times. However, some of them can’t
lay more eggs after only one spring. Many honeybees can’t survive winter
due to their limited numbers. Predators can easily invade their colony
because they are so weak. The numbers of honeybees
is declining in the world because of honeybee colony collapse
disorder and lack of vitality. 42% of honeybees extinguished
in the US in 2015. They won’t be any more left in 20 years
based on the declining rate, or in 10 years based on
the feelings of beekeepers. Bees are not alone to disappear
from Earth. Many animals do. We, human beings can’t produce
foods, water and air, which are necessary for us to live. We depend on the nature. As we respect nature, we “live in harmony with nature.” “Live together and become happy together.” These are wishes
of all creatures in the world, which share the same time as us. “Symbiosis with nature.” “Be friends and live together.” I feel I can hear such voices
of all creatures in the world. You often ask me this question. “What should we do?” Here is my answer. Be thankful to nature. Decrease the use of pesticide
that destroys ecology. Plant flowers and trees
that honeybees love. When shopping, select foods, products and services that are eco-friendly
and honeybee-friendly and make sure
the wrapping material is too. Start to live in a way
that nurture yourself, and that cares for honeybees, too. for honeybees and you. Protect what remains of nature securely and recover lost lives. If we work together, we can recover nature. We don’t have much time to do so. This is the biggest challenge
for human being. On the other hand,
this is the biggest chance, too. We should think again
about the way we are living. I believe we must take action. What do you think about it? At this moment honeybees
are flying around flowers to pollinate. Nature gives us tremendous blessing. “Symbiosis with nature.” “Become happy together and live together as long as possible.” These are voices you can hear
calling from nature. We can hear the brisk
buzzing of honeybees. I’d like to create such a world together. (Buzzing honeybees) (Applause)

Swarm Intelligence: From Bees Feeding Bees, To Cars Charging Cars | Tim Landgraf | TEDxVicenza


Translator: Ki Yun Lee
Reviewer: Lisa Thompson All right. Today, obviously, I am going to talk
about the future of mobility, but let me start somewhere else. For almost 15 years now,
I’ve been studying honeybees. And bees are very smart. They are probably the smartest insects. And that is why they are a, perhaps,
infinite source of fascination and inspiration, at least for me. Bees are extraordinary
explorers and navigators. They orient themselves in a radius of up to
six kilometers around their hives, and that is an area much larger
than the city of Vicenza. They remember numerous
resource locations, like food, water supplies and their hives, and they commute between those locations
in astounding accuracy, and that with a brain
the size of a pinhead. But the individual feats of bees are only one of the many facets
of bee intelligence. It is together how they solve
complex tasks. They act collectively
as a network of tiny brains linked together through
various forms of communication. They are sharing information,
but also energy. So for example, a forager bee coming back
from a search flight, she might have not found anything. She comes back hungry,
empty stomach, low on carbohydrates, and she urgently needs a drop of honey that would provide energy
for her next flight. But she doesn’t go inside the hive. She just asks a fellow nestmate
for an energy snack. So the bee being begged
brings up some nectar from her social stomach –
that’s what we call it. And the hungry bee drinks it
and is ready to go. No need to push through the masses
and queue in front of the honey cells. The process of sharing turns one centralized, static energy store into many thousands [of] small,
mobile energy stores. And when I realized that, I had an idea. So, think of electric cars. While the media predicts electric cars to be the future of our mobility, there’s not much demand
on the customer side, despite massive subsidies granted
by our national governments. Take, for example,
Germany, my home country, two years ago, we have approved
a purchase incentive scheme worth one billion euros, and yet we have not even
two percent electric cars. So why is that? Well, you know, the first reason
is because they are expensive, because the car batteries are expensive. And the charging infrastructure
is just too sparse, so owning an electric car comes with many inconveniences. The average electric car
has just a range of 200 km or less, and recharging a car battery isn’t, by far, as convenient as filling
60 liters of gasoline in your tank. That takes two minutes. So electric cars
still need careful planning and the strict discipline. Yes, the cost will come down,
car batteries will grow in capacity, but how are we going to charge our cars when it’s not two percent,
but 50 percent or 80 percent? Substantial infrastructural
changes have to be made to meet the energy hunger
for tomorrow’s cars. So, how are we going to make our electric cars convenient, cost-efficient, and environmentally less harming? Well, the obvious answer for me
is we charge them like bees. And this is how it may work. We need three components. First, cars need to ask
another car for energy, and that’s already there. Car-to-car communication
has been developed for 20 years. So that’s a check. Secondly, cars need to be charged. Well, that’s already possible. Big car manufacturers have just shown
that device; many others have followed. And, you know, this comes
with an efficiency of 85 percent, charging through an air gap. And now, point three,
think of self-driving cars – you know, all the sophisticated sensors
built into our modern cars to computing equipment. We don’t even have to stop
our cars to charge between them. We can charge our neighbor’s car while driving. And this is how it may work
in the near future. So imagine you get
out of your house in the morning, you – ahh – you forgot to charge your car. But don’t worry. The swarm has got your back. So you tell your car,
“I want to go to the office.” Your car sends the destination
to a server, where your route is planned. But it’s also compared to many thousands
of other traffic participants. Many of these people did not forget
to charge the batteries, and those are the ones
the system schedules to meet you en route to your office. This may take a slight detour for you and may require your partner
to slow down a little bit, maybe wait one minute. But in the end, you will meet this guy in space and time,
actually, on a common route. And once both cars meet,
your autopilot will control your position, velocity, and acceleration,
depending on how your partner moves. So if your partner slows down,
you will slow down as well; if he accelerates,
you will accelerate as well. And this control mechanism could be done 1,000 or 10,000 times faster
than a human could do that. Cars can communicate between each other
about what they are going to do and especially how and when
this is happening. And this will allow a quick and a safe energy transfer
between moving cars, through an air gap. This road stretch both are traveling on
doesn’t need to be a long one. There could be many, many potential donors
and dozens of energy snacks along the route. You don’t even have to charge a car
to full or even add some charge; you just need to consume – you need to receive
as much as you consume. As long as you arrive at your target and as long as the other one
arrives at his or her target, everyone will be happy to help because the swarm has become
an energy safety net for everyone. The swarm is like a virtual power cable extending from the wall with a plug through many, many cars to the ones
that actually need the charge. Cars are a sort of mobile power outlet. And if you think of traffic jams, they now may even seem less nerve-racking. And this could even be a business concept. So, first, we have to convince
the car manufacturers to put our tech into the cars, but once we’ve made that, we have calculated that we could make
a lot of money from just helping people. So, if we had, by the year 2022, 50% of the cars equipped with our tech, and if we just charge 10% of the energy
that is being transferred as a fee for the service, an average number
of 10 energy snacks per month would yield a market
of seven million euros in Germany alone. And now think of Europe, think of
big markets like China or the U.S. So, this idea would help those customers that would like to operate their cars
all the time without any stops. Think of self-driving taxi companies
or delivery companies, they would be able to operate
their cars virtually 24/7. Those people that charge
their cars regularly, those that provide
the service to the swarm, they should get paid
for the energy that they provide, and it could be an invisible source
of income for them. But it’s a mutual benefit
for both of those groups. And think of the biggest obstacle
for electric cars these days: it’s the charging infrastructure; it’s building new power lines,
relay stations, power outlets. Charging cars on the move will require less wall-side installations, and it will eventually allow
a smoother transition to cleaner cities. The “we” is a powerful,
powerful source of solutions, and I think we shouldn’t leave
those to the bees only. Thank you. (Applause)

Tackling the global epidemic of workplace unhappiness | Oberdan Marianetti | TEDxNTU

Tackling the global epidemic of workplace unhappiness | Oberdan Marianetti | TEDxNTU


Translator: Dorota Stawowska
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven How many of you have ever heard
a friend or a colleague saying that they go to work
because it pays the bills? Raise your hand. Okay, thank you. How many of you have heard
a friend or a colleague say that they would like
to do something different but they got somewhat stuck with life
and they have commitments and they can’t really do any different
from where they are now? Raise your hands. Okay, quite a few hands once again –
in fact, the majority. Well, it might not surprise you to realize
that that friend and that colleague is actually you. (Laughter) There is data that suggests that about 80% of people in the workplace are having a somewhat
negative experience of work. Let me share some data with you. There’s an organization called Gallup that every year measures
how people are at work, what kind of experience they’re having. And they usually break down
their information in three categories. And they talk about employees
who are “checked out,” they talk about those
who are working with passion, and then finally, they talk about those
who are acting out their unhappiness; these are the saboteurs. Now, if you look
at the size of those boxes, that’s the actual percentage split
of the population in the USA in the year 2014. When we put that in a visual term, that’s a hell of a lot of unhappy faces. And if we look at the Gallup information
for 2013 at a global level, the picture only gets worse. And I’m afraid even worse in Singapore. (Laughter) (Applause) So, really not that surprising
to see all those hands standing earlier. Now think about the amount of time
we spend at work. Some estimates suggest that we spend 220 days
every year in the workplace – that’s working days. So if you put that into context and think about the amount of time
we’re spending at work and realize that 80% of us, on average,
are having a miserable experience of it, Is it possible that that negative work
experience is also impacting our lives? So, I imagine that you could be forgiven if you were secretly hatching
a plan to escape your work cubicle. And if you weren’t yet working, because you’re a student
or you’re about to enter your first work, then I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re fretting at the idea
that you might fall into that 80%. So, how did we get ourselves
into this space? How did we get to the place where 80% of us are having
an experience of work that is dissatisfying
if not downright miserable? Well, I believe it is
because they beat it out of us – from birth. When you’re born, you have all the ingredients
to be an inspirational human being. You have all the ingredients to be the absolute best version
of what you were born with. But as you come to life
as that defenseless little being, your parents, my parents, our parents
do their best to raise us and project their fears,
their expectations, limited by their knowledge,
limited by their experiences, onto us – with the best intention. But nevertheless, they begin a journey
where our essence, in its full beauty, begins to get shaped
by other people’s expectations. Then you become a social being; you go out there
and play with other children, and you get exposed to peer pressure. And it’s not easy to just stay
congruent with yourself – that’s why we call it
peer pressure, I guess. And then, of course, we go to school. Education all over the world
is designed as a batch process that takes students through a standard
set of curricula to go from A to B. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that,
and there’s an almost value in it. The problem is that B
is often a limited set of topics that don’t necessarily cater
for the full spectrum of human capability with which little child Peg came to life. And then you go to work. You’ve studied hard, you’ve succeeded, you’ve achieved those standards
that society has set for you, and it starts all over again. Mr. Peg, here are your objectives. This is what we expect you
to deliver by the end of the year. Here is a set of behaviors that we would like you to illustrate
and demonstrate as you operate. And here are some values that we would like you to embody
so that you can fit in our culture. You succeed in all of that and we will look after you. You fail, there’ll be consequences. So is it really any surprise that we have somewhat
of a miserable experience in the workplace when we’ve spent
every single day from birth being told to be something that is not necessarily
congruent and aligned to who we are? And it makes me wonder: but what about those twenty percent who have the green, happy face
in their survey? Well, those are the people
who I call leaders. And I’m not calling them leaders because they have
a rank on their shoulders or because they’ve become CEO or head of department
or whatever the case; they are leaders for a whole set
of different reasons. And as a matter of fact,
I call them essence leaders. So let me define first
what I mean by “essence.” In our being – our spirit, our mind,
our body, our emotions – we have already a unique makeup, and when this comes together, it makes up for a
concoction of ingredients that is ultimately unique to us. That’s what I call essence. That’s the place that, if you wish,
is the core of the planet, where the energy burns
and life becomes real. And I would suggest that when we are in
congruence with that essence, where we are connected with it, it is the place from which our dreams,
our aspirations, our purpose come to life. And I’m sure you’ve seen people like that; I’m sure you’ve been in the presence
of someone who shines their own light, who when they speak, you want to listen. When they want to do something, it makes you want to follow through
with them on that journey. But unfortunately,
the reality in the workplace, of what we get told about leadership
and what it means to be a leader, is very, very different. So if you look at some of the research
out there on leadership and you look at the paper articles that have been published
on very reputable platforms – McKinsey, Gallup
and Harvard Business School – and you look at some
of the titles of these papers – “What really matters?” “What leaders really do?” and so on and so forth – when you read the papers, you are told in no half terms: “You do these five things;
everyone will follow you,” You embody these three values;
you would be inspirational to the world.” And it doesn’t end there;
this is just the papers. If you review the book literature, there’s a whole plethora of books that give you, as the one
on the top left suggest, “Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” Just do it; it will be all right. And also listen to what some
of the leadership gurus have to say. (Video) Roselinde Torres:
Leadership in the 21st century is defined and evidenced
by three questions. Where are you looking to anticipate
the next change? The second question is,
What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional
stakeholder network? Third question: Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you
successful in the past? Marshall Goldsmith: Every day
I tell myself leadership is not about me; leadership is about them. Steward Friedman:
… is three key principles that we discovered
from our research in the real world about how people lead from the point
of view of the whole person, and these three principles are to be real, to be whole and then to be innovative. Giampiero Petriglieri: One of the marks of good leadership
is the ability to hold the tension between pursuing a consistent direction
and also being able to question it. Daniel Goleman: But the really excellent,
the outstanding leaders, we find, are people who first listen and then to put that all together
for a higher order integration. That’s real leadership. Oberdan Marianetti: So we’ve heard
four or five thought leaders who can’t agree with each other
as to what leadership means. (Laughter) If they can’t agree, how can we
“normal” mortals in the workplace understand what leadership is? (Laughter) (Applause) And you know, there’s a lot of research
in positive psychology that suggests that people who live
in congruence with themselves, with what I call essence, have a higher chance of living
a fulfilling and satisfying life. So, with the picture and the context
we just explored together, the question is, How do we redefine leadership
in a way that is all encompassing? In a way that is applicable
to every single one of you in this room? In a way that takes account
of our own essence while being applicable to whatever
context out there in the world? And I think it’s very, very simple. The conditions for leadership
are just three, in my opinion. It begins with you, an individual with the desire to bring
something to life or create something new. Alongside it is an audience. It’s someone who has
the desire and the potential to come on that journey with you. And third, of course, we need the tools and the skills
for you and your audience to interact so that you can work together
and bring things to life. Now, very briefly, if we take
any of those variables out, leadership doesn’t exist. So, if I have no individual leader with
the desire to bring something to life, well, there are no conditions
for leadership. In the same way,
if I take the audience out, I might have the best idea in the world and all the energy
and the skills to bring it to life, but there’s no one out there
who can become my “follower.” And then, of course, finally,
if I remove the interactions, the skills and the tools to communicate
meaningfully with my audience, yet again, there cannot be leadership. And so, you see,
leadership is very simple, and most importantly, it begins with you. Let me give you a couple
of examples as we close. The late Lee Kuan Yew, he had an absolute, utter conviction in his desire to transform Singapore into
an independent and successful country. And he spent his entire life – in fact, in one of his famous quotes,
he says he gave his life to that mission. And here we are, 50 years later,
celebrating SG50. But I don’t want to give you
an impression with this example that leadership is only
about the greats of history or people who have high ranks
in companies and other institutions. Leadership, as an essence leader,
is for everybody. Let me give you another example. (Video) Voice-over: If you’ve learned a lot about leadership
and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen –
start to finish in under three minutes – and dissect some lessons. First, of course, a leader needs the guts
to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple,
it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow. Now, here comes the first follower
with a crucial role. He publicly shows
everyone else how to follow. Notice how the leader
embraces him as an equal. So it’s not about the leader anymore;
it’s about them, plural. Notice how he’s calling
to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower. You stand out;
you brave ridicule yourself. Being a first follower is
an underappreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms
a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark
that really makes the fire. Now here’s the second follower.
This is a turning point. It’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut
and it’s not two nuts; three is a crowd and a crowd is news. A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders
see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers because new followers emulate
followers, not the leader. Now, here come two more people,
then three more, immediately. Now we’ve got momentum! This is the tipping point,
and now we have a movement. As more people jump in,
it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before,
there’s no reason not to join in now. They won’t stand out,
they won’t be ridiculed, and they will be part
of the in-crowd if they hurry. And over the next minute, you’ll see the rest who preferred
to stay part of the crowd, because eventually,
they’d be ridiculed for not joining. And ladies and gentlemen,
that is how a movement is made. (Applause) OM: I do believe there is an epidemic
of unhappiness in the workplace, and if the statistics I shared
with you earlier are to be believed, that’s kind of confirming it is the case. I equally believe it is our right
to have a fulfilling and satisfying life, and the message here is
that by being an essence leader, you are taking the reins
of your horse in your hands and creating the life that works for you. And so, if you want to break out
of the work cubical, reconnect with your essence
and learn to live your own life. Thank you. (Applause)

Bugs, drugs and guts | Pratik Shah | TEDxBeaconStreet

Bugs, drugs and guts | Pratik Shah | TEDxBeaconStreet


Translator: Ilze Garda
Reviewer: Denise RQ I’m going to talk
about something we cannot see, and we’re going to visualize it
today together. So let me start
with a very simple question about who we are. As a microbiologist
and as a geneticist, as a biologist, when I look at all of you right now, I see one human,
with 30 trillion bacteria inside you. That’s right, at this very moment, all of us are carrying
30 trillion bacteria. They are invisible, they are amazing,
they do stupendous things for us. They help us digest our food, they help us act as sentinels
of our immune system, but we never see them. Ladies and gentlemen,
meet your microbio. What we know about bacteria
and infectious diseases is the dark side of this interaction
we have with them, which is commonly known as disease, and we all are familiar with
epidemics of plague, cholera, and right now
the ongoing pandemic of Ebola that’s going on in Africa,
and in our country a little bit, too. So how do these relationship shift from being 30 trillion harmless [bacteria]
to making us sick? And what can we do? Throughout [history] we have been combating
bugs in different ways, and in the 20th century we discovered
something called antibiotics. Antibiotics are
these small molecules of drugs that you take, you eat, or you inject
to kill the bacteria in your body. Unfortunately, they end up
killing both the good and the bad, and that’s a problem. While we were innovating,
bacteria were innovating too. They were like, “Oh, OK…”
(Laughter) So what they did is they became resistant to almost all the antibiotics
that we have. I had a shoulder surgery five years back, and when I talked to my physician
after coming out of surgery, the list of antibiotics I was put on
was crazy; I was like, “Wow!” Then he, or she, at that point,
they both told me that this is the current state
where many bugs that we have now are not treated
with these antibiotics that we have. And the numbers are staggering: every year, 6.9 million kids die
before they reach their fifth birthday. Out of these children,
approximately 2 million kids die due to pneumonia and diarrhea,
and these are infectious diseases. If you see, there is
no Ebola on this slide. We need to start a conversation
about managing infectious diseases better in our world that we live in. President Barack Obama in September
of this year issued an executive order, and the order states that scientists,
innovators, community members like you, all of us should come together
and brainstorm for a better way
to manage infectious diseases because our current arsenal of drugs which can treat [infections]
has been depleted. To solve these things, there are
a couple of things we need to know. The first thing we need to know is that we will have access
to a patient whom we will call John. John consistently falls ill
because he drinks contaminated water, and gets diarrhea. And before we leave this room,
we’re going to make sure John gets better. That’s the task for today. Diarrhea is a serious disease. It kills approximately
2,000 kids every day. Let’s simulate a quick diarrheal infection
in this room, quickly. If you were in John’s body right now, and these were the walls
of John’s intestines, and all of you were bacteria, there were two things you did
when you entered John’s body. The first thing you did
is you grabbed a seat; that’s what you did when you entered
this room. (Laughter) The second thing you did as soon as
you entered is you looked for food. And that’s exactly
what infectious agents do: they get into our body, they find a place
to park themselves, and they start eating. These are usually called
dietary requirements of infectious agents. As a microbiologist, I am passionate
to not kill bacteria first, before we understand what they do to us. Till now, we have been killing them
without understanding what they do, so let’s change
the approach a little bit here. So this is John, drinking
contaminated water, and this is you in John’s guts, coming in (Laughter) you grab a seat, and John’s body provides you
with this amazing food that you love. The bugs eat these food molecules
that John’s body naturally provides them, and they become virulent, pathogenic,
and they [cause] John diarrhea, obviously. I decided to intersect
into this problem in a different way, I wanted to understand what other food sources
our body provides to bacteria when they cause infection. The technology I used to understand that
is called metabolomics. What metabolomics does is [that it] basically allows you to take any biological sample, infected sample,
from a patient, from an animal, and lets you understand, get a peek
or eavesdrop into the conversation that’s happening
between a patient and a bacterium, and understand what are the food sources that the body is producing
when we are sick. These food sources
are usually called metabolites. These are the food sources
that the bugs get when we get infected. With this information,
I was able to build a Google map of all the metabolites you get
when you are sick, – in the context of diarrhea and a couple
of other infectious diseases – and these are the metabolites
your body produces once you get sick. Apparently, humans
had been dealing with bacteria before we invented antibiotics, right? Antibiotics in the 20th century. It turns out when you’re sick, your body produces
two different kinds of metabolites. The first metabolite your body produces are these blue ones
which are called pathogenic metabolites. These pathogenic metabolites,
when the bugs eat them, produce millions of molecules of toxins, and these are the toxin molecules
that the bugs produce, and you get sick. On the other hand, your body
also produces millions of molecules – small amounts or trace amounts,
depending on the infection – and these are the green metabolites
– just colored here for understanding – that the bugs have evolved not to eat, they’ve learned to ignore
and not eat them, or learned to circumvent themselves
from these metabolites. So I did an experiment in the lab: what if we make these bugs eat these non-pathogenic
or these other metabolites which they usually don’t eat? The answer was:
when they eat those metabolites, they basically become
avirulent or nonpathogenic. In other words, they turn
their toxin production down. More toxin, disease;
less toxin, less disease. So what we have is that nature has programmed us
and bugs to have this conversation, and the conversation basically is: what do bacteria eat
when they cause disease? Usually they eat the foods which make them pathogenic
and make toxins. Sometimes, we can change
these interactions by making the bugs eat things
which sometimes make them nonpathogenic. So this is the handle we have on John.
Now let’s try and cure John, OK? So, John has diarrhea, and we’re going to see
what we can do to help John. This is the second experiment
I did in the lab. I reasoned if all of you
are bacteria in John’s body, you come inside this room,
you are expecting pathogenic metabolites, and this is what you’ve been eating,
let’s assume that’s called steak. What if, when you walked into John’s body, we make John give you the other green,
nonpathogenic metabolites? Let’s call them salad. So I said: “OK, let’s see
what happens to John.” These are not steaks and salads,
this is for the purpose of the talk, these are organic molecules. (Laughter) You guys are smarter than me,
so I’m assuming you got that. So you did that, and basically
what happens is – I was surprised – I failed miserably. The bugs wouldn’t eat them,
they would not like them. It’s like training a pet:
they’re like, “No… No…” (Laughter) So finally, after a lot of screening,
a lot of screening, I identified a few metabolites
which I thought would work. If those would work,
then let’s see what happens to John. Does he get better?
Does he get ill? What happens? Here’s John, again drinking
contaminated water, this is you guys eating steak, and we flush it, and we give them
these new metabolites. The bugs don’t know, they’re eating them, they don’t like them, in the real sense
they become nonpathogenic, they turn the toxin production down, and they start exiting John’s body
in noninfectious state, and John is happy. There are a couple of things
I hope you took from it. A: we did not kill them.
We did not kill them. Up till now, we have been killing them, and this is a concept
that we need to think about, that infectious agents usually
can be trained, can be modulated, their diets can be changed. What I’m thinking,
and what we all should think, is there a way we can intersect
into this problem of infectious diseases by providing bugs, or training them
for the new generation of food sources? These food sources will make
the bugs avirulent or nonpathogenic versus killing them, and after they’ve become
avirulent or nonpathogenic, they are trained to exit our bodies in a way that is safe
for us to pass them out. Let’s assume that in the future
we design a system which I’m calling at this point
‘on demand food service for bugs’. (Laughter) The science behind this
is really interesting. The science is that basically,
when you’ve got an infectious disease instead of coming back
with an antibiotic and killing the bugs, the first or the front-line therapy
in the future should be and could be
understanding and managing the infection by training the bugs,
by giving them food sources which, instead of making them pathogenic, first make them
nonpathogenic, noninfectious, and then, if required,
come back with antibiotics. This concept allows us to use
the antibiotics in a more rational way. It buys us time, basically to look for better antibiotics
which we are not able to find, and this allows us not to go back
and start killing them all over again, because we did that 50 years ago,
and right now they are resistant. As the drawing board has been wiped
clean all over the world with scientists, and business and industry people
looking for more drugs, this is a new approach
where basically we have an opportunity to fix this problem the right way
for once and hopefully for a long time. Because once we’d discovered penicillin,
we stopped looking. And the bugs discovered
penicillin too, after 50 years, and they were like,
“Hang on… I got a problem.” Then a couple of take-home messages
I want you to think about: First one, that dietary needs
of an infectious agent can be used to design
novel antimicrobials. Second, a large scale deployment
of these things is possible. We humans already have a network in place. Do you eat fortified wheat at home? Yes. Do you eat salt with iodine in it? Yes. So we already have
a huge network of fortified foods rolling out in our communities, but up till now, these fortified foods
only helped our health. You drink vitamin water,
you get vitamins in your body, but the bugs have largely been ignored. The other thing I’m working on is the next generation
of oral rehydration salt solution. This is given to patients
who have diarrhea like John. But all that oral
rehydration salt solution does is replenish the salts
and the metabolites in your body that you loose while you have diarrhea, it does nothing to the bugs. The bugs are just using
John’s body as a vehicle. The next generation
of oral rehydration salt solutions will hopefully include
these nonpathogenic metabolites that can be incorporated
as a front-line therapy before you get antibiotics. I want all of you to think
about these things and discuss them, and see if there are novel ways we can intersect into this problem
of antibiotic resistance because if not now,
in the next 50 years, you’re going to face it. Thank you. (Applause)

Inequity, Injustice… Infection | Shay Stewart-Bouley | TEDxDirigo

Inequity, Injustice… Infection | Shay Stewart-Bouley | TEDxDirigo


Translator: Marta Quirós Alarcón
Reviewer: Ellen Maloney I was born in 1973, which was only eight years
after the official end of Jim Crow. Considering my age, you can see that legalized
racial discrimination didn’t end all that long ago. Yet rarely do we include this fact,
or any of the ghost of Jim Crow, when we talk about the history of racism. To be clear, black people in America
only just got free 51 years ago. (Applause) (Cheers) Imagine how different
our conversations on race might be if we could acknowledge
that painful reality, and what it has meant for black Americans, rather than try to disregard
or dismiss it. Somehow, the subject of racism
in our country has become the third rail. The third rail is that extra track
on the subway with the electric current, the rail that means certain
death if you were to touch it. In 2016, racism
is considered the third rail because it’s a topic too risky to touch. But racism should not be the thid rail. Talking about it is not going to kill us. It may lead to discomfort and awkwardness, but both are better than passively
allowing racism to entrench itself and spread like a disease; it’s not talking about it
that’s far more dangerous. There are a number
of reasons why we downplay just how insidious and deadly racism is, and ignore the importance of keeping
the topic active and in the open. In some instances, it’s because we confuse
personal prejudice with racism. To be human does at times
require judging other people. But racism isn’t just bias or prejudice. Nor is it sometimes
even the same as bigotry. It’s just as widespread as all three,
but it’s far more potent. Racism is a system. It’s a system that undergirds
everything that we do. This system requires power
and privilege for some, and marginalization
and disadvantage for others. In creating America, power and privilege were bestowed
upon people with skin we call “white,” while slavery was enforced upon
people with skin we call “black.” Racism was thus woven into
the fabric of the United States. Our constitution is an amazing document
that hints at new promise, but that promise was only
available to white people. The founders of this country
and the framers of the Constitution were creating a new reality,
while enslaving people; people who had been abducted
and brought to a strange new land, and were forced to work and build
a country that was not their own. Stolen people on stolen land. As a nation, we’ve never truly
grappled with what it means to stand on the foundation that was built with the blood and bodies
of stolen and enslaved people. Instead, we’ve spent too much time trying to create an alternate reality
based on half-truths. We tell ourselves that the sins
of the dead no longer affect us. We say that slavery was long ago. We tell black people, “Get over it.” We tell white people that what
the white people of yesterday did has no impact on them, when nothing could be
further from the truth. Our history has devolved
into an equitable system where you benefit if you’re white, and if you’re black, the scars
of the past still impact your life. (Applause) If you’re neither black nor white, you live with a framework
of race in America that privileges those
with proximity to white skin and demonizes those closer to black skin. (Applause) To talk honestly about race
requires a public acknowledgement that what happened to black people
in America was a national horror. It was a human stain. It was a holocaust of sorts, as people were taken away
from everything that they knew, and brought to a new place. Now, over 400 years later, there are over 37 million
non-Hispanic black people in a place that is home, but is not home. Yet we can never go back,
because there’s no back to go to. We can never fully belong in a place where we were originally
never meant to be fully human, and often still aren’t treated
as fully human. Black people in America were never meant
to survive and thrive. We were the critters brought
to do the dirty work of building a nation, but we weren’t meant to be
a part of the larger story. Even after slavery ended, America didn’t issue a blanket apology
to the enslaved Africans, nor make amends for hundreds
of years of mistreatment. No, we merely moved from slavery,
to reconstruction, to Jim Crow. If you remember The Beatles, Jim Crow probably
lasted into your lifetime. My father was born
in Blytheville, Arkansas. His parents, my grandparents,
were sharecroppers under Jim Crow. Sharecropping sounds like
a nice collaborative effort, but for black people, it was one degree
of separation from slavery. You worked the land of someone
else, you were technically free, but you were nickelled-and-dimed to the point that if you couldn’t
pay your way out of the system, you were essentially enslaved. Members of my family,
including my own father, picked cotton under one of these
post-slavery plantations. With such a history, it’s not surprising
that racism is difficult to talk about, difficult to change,
and difficult to fully grasp. But difficult doesn’t mean
that it’s not worth our time. To put this into perspective… (Applause) I have a background
in African American Studies, I grew up in Chicago,
I do racial justice work, and I’m several generations
removed from slavery. But even I’ve had my own
moments of racial awakening. My most poignent awakening came when I brought a white partner
home to a family reunion, and my uncle could
barely contain his anger at the presence
of a white man in his home. I didn’t understand, but I would
later learn about the indignities that my father, my uncle,
and my paternal family suffered under Jim Crow,
at the hands of white people. I would also find out that what my father’s family
suffered and endured was more than drinking
at a different water fountain. Jim Crow was a system of repression, designed to keep black people
from fully being free, and creating a universal experience
of dehumanization for many black Americans. Nonetheless, our history books
often advance a reductive view of Jim Crow, by conflating it with
the Civil Rights Movement and distilling it down to water fountains
and separate schools. Even I’m still learning
how insidious racism is, so I’m asking everyone to be open
to hearing and learning the same truths. Not halfway, but all the way. We cannot accomplish anything
if we’re not willing to hear everything. It’s horrible for me to hear
those stories from my family, and I’m guessing it might be uncomfortable
or shameful for you to hear this if you’re sitting
in the audience in a white body. So does that mean
we’re just not going to talk about it? These are the hard conversations to have. But the process of change
requires a willingness to leave our respective silos
and actually do better. Doing better on a racial front
requires examining yourself, how you live,
and the decisions you make. If your entire world is filled
with people just like you, what does that mean for your
commitment to racial justice? Will you call out racism, even
if it means losing a loved one? Will you intentionally
become uncomfortable so that racial equity can be achieved? Will you decrease so that
another can increase? Can you hear this without
becoming defensive? In choosing not to tell
the honest and painful story of slavery, sharecropping,
and opportunistic oppression, we continue to devalue and deny the lived experiences
of black people in America. We continue to avoid facing
a shared inheritance of pain and deceit that creates an atificial hierarchy where too often black people
are seen as inferior. We can’t build a different future on a present that still
won’t fully acknowledge what was done to tens of millions
of people in our shared past. In the last five years, racism has entered
more into public discourse, due in large part to media coverage
and conversations around the highly publicized stories
of unarmed black people being killed by law enforcement. However, when we combine
the frequency of such discussions with our reluctance to truly tackle
the layers of racism in this country, what we end up with is lack
of depth and nuance overall. We’ve made discussions of race
intellectual and abstract, rather than human and raw. They’ve become bland
and ultimately useless. This commentary is a start, but if we only partially confront
racism with Facebook conversations, the danger is that
we think ourselves fully informed, without acknowledging the ways in which racial prejudice and oppression
have been woven into the American fabric. Law enforcement taking a black life
is not an isolated incident. (Applause) It is a symptom of a complex problem and mindset that has been with us
since the creation of our nation. And yet, we are here. Somehow, in one of the greatest feats
of human resilience, in the face of the unspeakable, black lives matter. (Applause) (Cheers) Not only are we here, but we now declare, not only
that black lives matter, but after straddling the line
of partial humanity for far too long, we stake our claim
and right to full humanity. The simple declaration
that “black lives matter,” however, still creates great angst
amongst too many white people. And the pushback to the Black Lives Matter
movement is a reminder of just how many refuse
to acknowledge racism’s impact. To truly talk about racism
actually requires acknowledging the blood of dead and enslaved Africans, and realizing that even at this moment
in time, blood is still being shed. It’s difficult to talk
about racism honestly, because we often use a rhetoric that’s theoretical
and politically correct. Other times, when we speak truth to power,
it can be seen as indulgent whining. Let me speak my truth for a moment, not as an ambassador,
or a leader, or a TEDx speaker. But as a human being. One of the most uncomfortable
realities of racism for me is the ways in which it
undermines my humanity. I walk through life,
never quite feeling whole, forced to see myself
through a blurred lens of who I really am as a person and who I represent based
off the color of my skin. It is at times to suppress parts
of my own humanity in order to fit in, despite knowing, on some level,
I may never truly fit in, because there are some people
who still refuse to see me as a whole human being equal to them,
even despite their good intentions. As a black person,
I am always seen as “other.” Other than white. Other than what is considered normal. Instead of prattling off the data, because I don’t want to be
an “angry black woman” stereotype, I could play a tentative dance where I ignore the ways in which
my full humanity is ignored, and my reward could be incomplete
inclusion into the party of humanity. For some, a partial seat at the table
of humanity is enough. But I’m no longer interested
in a partial anything, if it means denying
my blackness and my realities. In fact, I’m not asking us all
to meet in the middle. I’m not asking you to fully
understand some things, and only partly acknowledge others
because you have less proximity to them. You don’t need first-hand experience
with racism to understand it. I’m asking you to hear me. I am demanding it. Sometimes, meeting in the middle helps,
and other times it only placates; it offers a halfway solution
that doesn’t serve either side. I’m not asking for this. I’m standing here right now in a room
filled with mostly white people, sharing some of the most uncomfortable
things I’ve shared in my life with a group of people, and I’m asking everyone
to not be satisfied with your good intentions
or with meeting in the middle, to not be okay with granting a group
of people a “halfway humanity.” Maine still has a lot of work to do
in creating mirrors, though, that reflect positively
for women of color. Making my life here has meant finding
a voice to affirm my own existence. It has meant learning to be
my own savior and hope, where some days the act of leaving
my house requires a level of strength that simply should not be required
to go to the store. (Applause) Some days, I don’t want to indulge
questions about my hair, or comments about my children. And frankly, I don’t always
want to talk about race. Sometimes, I just want to be a woman
living my life; no more, no less. But the color of my skin in Maine makes me the walking ambassador
for all things black. I don’t always want to talk about race,
but it’s not so easy to choose not to. If it’s easy for you to choose
not to talk about race, think harder about what you’re enabling
and avoiding when you do that. Examine why it’s easy for you
not to talk about race. I’ve been given a weight
that I didn’t ask for, but I also have a voice, and I’m going to use it
to create conversations with the idea that one day, a black woman can live anywhere
and simply be a woman. Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers)

Solutions for the obesity epidemic | Liesbeth van Rossum | TEDxErasmusUniversity

Solutions for the obesity epidemic | Liesbeth van Rossum | TEDxErasmusUniversity


Translator: Gianna Carroni
Reviewer: Denise RQ At this moment, the number of obese people in the world exceeds the number of people
who are starving. Obesity is really a huge problem. It is leading to diseases
like diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, depression. And why is there an obesity epidemic? The reasons are simple. We just eat too much and we exercise too little. Simple as that, right? I mean, everybody knows it, duh! Well, wrong. There are so many other factors
affecting our weight. Today, I will discuss
these factors with you. The good news here is there are so many other solutions
to have a good weight in addition to healthy diet
and exercising. Let me start with telling you
the story of John; at least, I will call him John. John was a boy who grew up
in the Netherlands. He was born in a foreigners’ family, and he seemed to be a normal baby. The only remarkable thing
was that he was always crying. He was always hungry, actually. Within five minutes after finishing
his bottle of milk, he was hungry again. And by the time he was eating solid food, he was eating night and day,
he was craving for food, always. And by the time he was three years old,
he was massively obese. At that point his mother put locks
on all the kitchen cupboards, but still, he was craving,
and he was looking in trash cans, and he was looking for
eating even frozen food. All these years, his mother sensed
there was something wrong with her boy, because her other child was thin. So she went to doctors, and she asked for advice. But they basically told her that she was
just feeding her boy too much, and she felt like being blamed
for being a bad mother. She got frustrated. And at some point, she get referred to
the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. And she saw there my colleague,
Erica van den Akker, who is a pediatrician; and she found that John had a genetic abnormality
in his hunger hormone system, the MC4 receptor defect. What that basically means is
he had never the feeling of satiety, he was never full. This diagnosis was really important
for John’s mother, because they really suffered
from the stigma, because they were accused
of having a weak character. After that, school, social networks, they started to support
John and his mother, and actually for a while,
his weight stabilized. He’s now a young adult, and I see him
as a doctor in my outpatient clinic. And he is still struggling with obesity. Currently, medical treatments are
under development for patients like John so I hope to being able to help him
in a medical way in the near future. You would think, “Well this is rare.” That’s true, only 2% of the obese people are carrying a genetic abnormality
as the MC4 receptor like John, but there are other genetic variants
that would make you much more hungry or decrease your metabolism. So, if you see someone
eating extremely much, maybe we should think twice
before judging. So, it can be in your genes, and the genes affect your hunger hormones, but did you realize that crash diets
also affect your hunger hormones? Very low-calorie diets can also influence
your hunger hormones and increase them. In the short term, crash diets work, they reduce your weight, but the problem is that then,
your hunger hormones will increase, and also your satiety hormones
will decrease. Satiety hormones are the hormones
that make you feel full. We always think it’s stretch
on the stomach that you feel full, but that’s only part
of the story, actually. It’s your gut giving
a hormonal signal to the brain, telling it you are full, and then you stop eating. So when this signal is not adequately
being provided to the brain, you automatically eat more. So, basically, after a crash diet,
you are hungrier. And that’s even so in the long term. It has been shown
even a year after a very low-calorie diet, still the hunger hormones are higher. So, what about a conscious choice of food or having a weak character? The biology is telling you to eat more. The weird thing is your basal metabolism is also being decreased by a crash diet. So basically, you are hungrier, but you burn not that much calories
as you used to do. That’s the perfect prescription,
of course, to regain your weight, and that’s what we call the yo-yo effect; we know how it works now. So, basically, crash dieting
is another risk factor for obesity. Food can also affect your hunger hormones, but also your fat. Let’s do a small experiment here. Imagine a box in front of you. And in this box there are chocolates. There are white chocolates,
brown chocolates, they’re shiny. You smell the chocolate right now. And imagine you are taking one. You are taking one
of the chocolates right now. And you take a crunchy bite. And now you start feeling… You taste the soft, sweet praline
and chocolate in your mouth, right now. (Laughter) You are making hunger hormones
right at this moment. (Laughter) Unless you just had dinner. But that means, when
we go out now, for food, and we see sweets, we are much more likely to choose
the chocolate or sweet foods, rather that an nice green salad
or what you know is much healthier to eat. So, this choice of food is not
that conscious as we think it is. Your biology is driven by your thinking. The food industry perfectly knows this: they use advertising
and all these visual stimuli to stimulate also your hunger hormones,
making us eat differently than we maybe think it’s good for us. But you can also benefit from it. Actually, it is the solution
also for obesity, because we know that saying,
“Well, eat less,” is not working; but what is effective
is changing your thoughts by cognitive behavior therapy programs. That’s effective. I told you now about the biology
and hunger hormones. But there are other factors
in our environment which affect the amount of food we eat. For example, our social
cultural background. We know that in some cultures
eating and food is hospitality. So, imagine that your neighbor has stood
in the kitchen for three days, cooking a delicious meal for you, and invites you over. Well, it is socially not really acceptable
not to eat all of it, and just take a tiny bit. So also your cultural background may
determine the amount of food you eat. Things have changed in the last decade. In the past decade,
we became much more stressed. If you are stressed, we know
your body is producing more stress hormones than usual. In particular,
the stress hormone cortisol, if you are stressed for
a prolonged period of time. We know that if you have
high levels of stress hormone, that makes you fat. Abdominal fat mass will increase. But that will also increase your appetite. In particular, your appetite
for calorie-rich foods. So, that’s maybe why we grab a candy bar
when we are stressed. We don’t know exactly
what’s causing what, actually, because this sugar rich food seem
also to stimulate our stress hormones. So we found – our team and also others
found that obese people have higher levels of this stress hormone. So maybe when you’re obese,
you get into a vicious circle of having elevated stress hormone cortisol
stimulating the calorie-rich food, and that in its turn, stimulates
again your stress hormones. So, psychological stress
can stimulate your cortisol, but also specific foods, and in particular,
also drinks like alcohol. We know alcohol’s inducing
an increase of your stress hormones, increasing your abdominal fat mass. But there’s more which is affecting
your stress hormones, and that’s sleep. In the past decades,
with increase of obesity, we also reduced the number
of hours we sleep. The lack of sleep is also activating
our stress system, increasing our cortisol, but also
deregulating other appetite hormones. So the net effect of a reduced
number of hours of sleep is weight gain leading to obesity. So, the solution here for obesity
– additional solutions – may be to reduce your stress level and also to improve your sleep hours. And there’s more. In this world, nowadays,
we take a lot of medication. I will tell you the story of Mary. Mary was a 20-year-old young woman who came to my outpatient clinic,
because she gained weight. She gained actually a lot of weight,
20 pounds within ten weeks, and she did not understand why. She entered my room, sit down,
and she started crying. Because she was eating very healthy, and she was exercising every day. And the reason she was so sad was actually because she was
a life-style coach herself. She was actually telling people how to eat healthy, how to exercise well; and now she felt that her clients
didn’t trust her anymore as being a good life-style coach,
because she was gaining weight herself. And after some testing – she had received corticosteroid
injections in her knee – she had a knee problem
because she was exercising very actively. We know that corticosteroids
are an artificial version of your stress hormones. And remember, your stress hormones
increase your abdominal fat. And may also increase your appetite. So, she suffered from a really extreme
side-effect of medication. And actually this is rare. I see only a few patients
like this a year. But on the other hand, we use a lot of medication; some of the medication have
as a side-effect also weight gain, maybe in a more subtle way
than in this case. But still, particularly,
obese people use more medication. So, if you are obese,
and you want to lose weight and you are just about to enter
a treatment program for your obesity, and you use medication, it may be worthwhile
to discuss with your doctor whether that medication indeed
have weight gaining side-effects. And then to discuss whether
the dose can be reduced or the medication can maybe even stopped to make your treatment
much more effective. The last topic in our environment
I will discuss is brown fat. Who of you ever heard of brown fat? Please, raise your hand. Well, some of you, but most of you not. So well, actually, brown fat
is the good fat. We all know the white fat, that’s
what’s on your hips, and your belly, and that’s unhealthy fat,
which is making you sick. But the good fat literally converts
calories into heat. It burns your calories. Well, that’s fantastic! That’s the Holy Grail! We all know these people
who can eat a lot, and they never gain weight. They have a good chance
of having a lot of brown fat there. In the past, we actually thought
that only babies had it, and we would lose it in adulthood. But it has been discovered
a couple of years ago that as adults, we also have brown fat. It’s color brown because
the little energy factories in the cells color the cells brown;
therefore, it’s called brown fat. And it’s located around the neck,
the spine, between the shoulder blades, and around your kidneys. But obese people
have less of this brown fat. So they, basically, cannot burn
that much calories as slim people do. But there is good news, because it has been shown
that also people with obesity can actually stimulate
their brown fat tissue. You can do it either by exercise, which is hard if you are really
massively obese, but you can also do it by cold; by cold temperature. You don’t need to worry, you don’t have
to sit in a freezer for a day. (Laughter) But actually already is enough
– it has been shown – that if you spend for a couple of weeks,
for six weeks for example, two hours a day at 17°C, which is 62°F, just below room temperature, then you already activate your brown fat, and you will lose some kilograms
of your white adipose tissue. So you lose the bad fat. So, maybe in the past decades, we were spending
too much time in the heat, and we have not enough cold exposure – maybe due to our convenient winter
clothing and our well insulated houses, and driving around in well heated cars. Maybe we should just go out more often
and take our coats off, and tell our kids to play outside
without their jackets. Looking at all these factors: stress, and sleep, and medication,
and thoughts, and crash dieting – I think the problem of obesity,
and of the obesity epidemic, is that we think too simply. The solution here is look
at all these factors and change them where possible. It is now time to not longer judge
people with obesity but to start supporting them. And that’s the way we will combat obesity
much more effectively. Thank you. (Applause)

Adult bullying: The epidemic no one talks about | Kevin Ward | TEDxSantaBarbara

Adult bullying: The epidemic no one talks about | Kevin Ward | TEDxSantaBarbara


Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: David DeRuwe It’s my first day of third grade, and I’m so excited because
we’d just moved to a new town, so this is an adventure: a new school, new friends and … my brand-new pair of glasses. (Laughter) I’m on the playground,
and a kid walks up to me. He’s about my size,
with this thick, bushy, blonde hair, and he says, “Hey, want to fight?” (Laughter) “No!” (Laughter) “Well, I do!” (Laughter) Next thing I know, I am in a headlock
and the punches are coming and coming, and I can feel my face
just being squeezed, and it feels like the hair
is being ripped out of my scalp! Now, I’m eight years old,
and getting beat up is new for me. Bam! Another hit, and another. Finally, I managed to twist loose. “My glasses!” They’re broken. And he broke them. And all I can think to myself is … run, get away as fast as I can, and that’s what I did. I get home, my mom sits me in her lap, tears pour down my face, and she says, “Bub, you did the right thing to not fight back. You just turn the other cheek, and kids like that will leave you alone.” Okay, Mom’s always right, right? But in fourth grade, it was Colin,
with his red hair and freckles, and he didn’t leave me alone. The next year, it was Greg,
with his tough-guy strut. In junior high, it was Santos,
our all-star running back, and then Robert, and then Dean … In high school, it was this little punk, Raul, who would punch me every day
in the locker room, and I just took it. My friend Johnny said, “Stand up to him!” And Johnny was right, but I listened to Mom. And it didn’t end with classmates. My senior year, my first adult bully showed up. We’d just moved to another new town, and so I’m the new kid again. And our basketball team
was ranked number one in state, and some were saying
that I was the best player on the team. That’s me, number 14. But to Coach Reeves, I was an intruder on his team. And so, when I missed one layup in a first game, he benched me permanently. He told me a few days later it was up to me if I wanted to sit
on the bench for the rest of the season, or I can quit. I quit. I graduated from college,
got my first job and got bullied. I was bullied in my marriage. Seventeen years of marriage,
and not a single fight with my wife. Why? Because I just turned the other cheek. Until one day, all the problems exploded, and just like third grade, I ran away. Only now … with three little girls of my own, what’s broken … is a lot more than a pair of glasses. We think of bullying as a childhood issue. Yes, and it is. And yet, the brutal reality is that
one of the greatest oppressors of our time is adult bullying. Now, what is adult bullying? Well, it’s this. That is not a textbook
definition of bullying, and yet, I think the cartoon version
sometimes is clearer. A little sand in the face, and … a little threat, just to remind you that you’re nobody. And that plays out countless times
every day all over the world, in the workplace, when the boss says, “You want to keep your job?
You keep your mouth shut!” Or when a co-worker rudely walks in
late to your presentation just to throw you off your game. In a recent survey
of 2,000 adults across the US, 31% said that they
had been bullied as adults. They surveyed 9,000 federal employees, and 57% said that they had been bullied
in the last two years. And yes, the government
has anti-bullying policy. And obviously, it’s not confined
just to the workplace. Adult bullying is just as prevalent
at home, in marriages, in our communities, on the street if you’ve ever driven
in rush-hour traffic, in politics … It’s everywhere. And it isn’t the external repercussions that are as significant as the internal
impact on the individual, the target, the victim. The emotional and psychological damage to self-worth, to confidence
and to dignitiy is enormous. I know because I was bullied
for most of my life. Not anymore. And through that journey, I learned three hard-hitting truths
about the oppression of adult bullying. The first truth is
just how personal it is. Now, adult bullying is not a big deal, if you’ve never been bullied. It’s kind of like the difference
between major and minor surgery: if I have it, it’s major; you have it, it’s minor. Right? And that’s the way
many people feel about bullying. They’ve never been bullied,
they can’t relate, so it must not be that big of a deal. And anti-bullying policy
is typically created by those in positions of power
who’ve never been bullied. And yes, even when they tell you, “Oh … Don’t let it bother you,” that is personal. Psychotherapist Jenise Harmon
suggests that bullying is not about you. “You’re not the one with the problems, so you shouldn’t ever
take bullying personally.” Excuse me, counselor,
with all due respect, when you’re the one
getting punched every day, it’s personal. When a co-worker accuses you
of saying something you didn’t say, his problem just became your problem. When a bullying husband
tells his wife every day how worthless she is, it’s personal. The second hard-hitting truth
about adult bullying is how helpless you feel. The real issue isn’t the bullies; it’s the fear, it’s the feeling
of helplessness to do anything about it. It’s this dark cloud
of constant shame and anxiety that suffocates self-worth, kills dreams, and can lead to depression and even suicide. For me, it was this feeling
that I couldn’t stand up for myself. I would always do pretty well
at everything until conflict showed up, and then, I would back down, and I would run away. I coach salespeople, and one of the things
that I have discovered is that fear and personal insecurities
probably pushes more of us around than any other type of bullying. And for me, it was that feeling
that I just couldn’t stand up for myself. I spent so much of my life
avoiding conflict, hiding in fear of bullies, that my greatest bully
had become the fear itself. And either way, the impact
is just as devastating. The third truth of adult bullying is how fixable it is. Now, all the talk about anti-bullying
policy and safe spaces hasn’t worked, and it won’t work. Why? Because bullying pays off for the bully, and because bullies aren’t stupid,
they’re not going to play by the rules. They don’t target you
when you’re in the safe space. A lot of times, the bullies are the ones in power. So, there is no safe space. The solution is not external; the solution is internal, here. Bullying will never be stopped
at the corporate or policy level. Bullying can only be stopped
at the individual level. All the research confirms
what nobody wants to admit: bullying can only be stopped here. Just like the problem is personal, so is the solution. And that’s what Skinny
finally figured out. After his day of humiliation at the beach,
he decided to do something about it. Now, he didn’t do it alone. He found somebody to help him. (Laughter) In this case, Mr. Charles Atlas,
with his leopard speedo. (Laughter) And he armed himself. Now, what the cartoon doesn’t show us is all the hard work
required to get there. And make no mistake about it,
becoming bully-proof is hard work, and yet it starts
with a decision to take control. Now, how did I stop being bullied? I went skydiving. Now, my lifelong, greatest fear
was the fear of heights, and I had to prove to myself
that I could stand up to my fears. And that day became
my personal day of declaration that I will never let fear stop me again. I’d spent so much of my life avoiding
conflict, hiding in fear of bullies, that my greatest bully
had become the fear itself. Everyone who’s been bullied has to come
to that kick-the-chair moment when you decide, “I am not
going to take it anymore,” and you stop waiting
for someone else to come rescue you, and you take control. For me, I started reading, I started attending
workshops and seminars. I walked on fire at a Tony Robbins’ event. I simply started facing my fears
that I used to run away from, and step by step, my personal strength and confidence grew. If you’re bullied,
that is the only solution: is you take action. Start reading, attend seminars, join a self-defense class,
learn martial arts, master something that gives you the courage
and the confidence to take control. There is no other solution. You become your own safe space. On this, Charles Atlas got it right: you’ve got to get strong. And you can do this – no matter
what age you are, we can all do this. We take absolute control. Now, right after that, Charles Atlas blew it
because he made it about getting even. Now, notice, at least he got the girl. We all say Charles Atlas
was a marketer, not a humanitarian, so we’ll cut him some slack. But I want to be crystal clear that we are not talking
about becoming a bully, but rather, just bully-proof. See, a master of self-defense
has lethal power, but hopefully never has to use it, what Bruce Lee called
“the art of fighting without fighting.” Now, this is not the easy path, but it is the only path that will win. Personal strength and confidence
is the true safe space because that you can take with you everywhere. And by the way, so can an eight-year-old on his first day of third grade. Thank you. (Applause)

We need to talk about male suicide | Steph Slack | TEDxFolkestone

We need to talk about male suicide | Steph Slack | TEDxFolkestone


Translator: Leonardo Silva
Reviewer: David DeRuwe Did you know that
by the end of this event, three men in the UK
will have died by suicide? I can still remember exactly where I was when my dad called me to tell me
that they’d found my uncle. He had taken his life, and it had taken three weeks
to find his body. Richard was 47. He was a doctor, super smart,
creative, autistic, he spoke new languages with ease,
he played and wrote music and he understood science and math
like no one else I knew. He was the kind of kid
you’d really hate at school, right? He saved people’s lives for a living, and yet, he decided to take his own. I’d like to take you back to 2010. I was at my new flat in Brighton,
having dinner with a friend, about to start my third year
of university, when my dad calls me to tell me
that they’d found my uncle. That feeling, that sinking feeling in your stomach
when your heart drops all the way down, and all you can think is, “What could I have done
to stop that from happening?” that feeling is not something
I wish anyone ever has to experience. Men are facing a crisis. How many men do you think
die by suicide each day in the UK? Have a guess. Raise your hand
if you think it’s under five. Raise your hands. Under five? Under 10? It’s 12. That’s one man every two hours. While we’re all enjoying our day, we’re going to lose 12 men
to suicide today. In my work, we talk a lot about the fact
that 76% of all suicides are male and that this silent killer is claiming
the lives of more men under 45 than anything else. And I can’t help but find myself
asking, “Why is that?” Doesn’t that trouble you? Because it troubles me. These are our brothers, fathers,
uncles, partners, sons – these are our friends, and they decide to die. I think there are some hard questions
we need to ask about male suicide. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong
with men having suicidal thoughts, but is there something wrong with how
we react to suicide being thought about? Let me explain. We’ll all die at one point
or another, right? Our bodies will fail us,
and we’ll die of disease or old age. Or we’ll have our lives taken from us,
maybe in a tragic accident. So, isn’t it perfectly normal to consider being in control
of our own death? Yes, suicide is intentional, but does that automatically make it wrong? I believe suicide is preventable, and I believe we should do
everything in our power to prevent it, but I also believe
there’s nothing inherently wrong in thinking about our own death. I’ve considered what it’s like to die. I’d like to ask you all
to close your eyes just for a minute. I promise nothing scary will happen
if you close your eyes. Now raise your hands
if you’ve ever had a really bad day that’s left you feeling
maybe stressed or upset. Okay. Keep your eyes closed
and keep your hands raised if that bad day or bad week or bad month has ever led you
to think about harming yourself or taking your own life. Thank you; put your hands down
and then open your eyes. That was about half of this room. I invite you to consider
what might be different if we didn’t see having
suicidal thoughts as wrong, and what that might mean for the men
in our lives thinking of suicide. Let’s go back to my uncle Richard. For most of his life, he experienced
what was most likely bipolar, and he’d had suicidal thoughts
on more than one occasion. In fact, six years before his death,
he attempted to take his life. The sad fact was
that Richard lived in a time where suicide wasn’t considered
something that you spoke about. It was swept under the carpet
and a cause of shame amongst families. There was something wrong with it. I mean, it was only in 1961
that we stopped making suicide a crime. Richard’s parents were medics –
an anesthetist and a nurse – and they didn’t understand suicide either. They didn’t think that it was real, and I think they were probably in denial
about what was happening with Richard. What happened to my uncle
isn’t my grandparents’ fault. Suicide is complex and rarely
attributed to any one factor. But, when I reflect
on Richard’s experience and on how we still struggle
to speak about suicide today, nothing’s really changed. We still struggle to talk about it. We label it as abnormal or unusual, and we make men wrong
for having suicidal thoughts. We say that they’re unwell,
or that they need to get better. And because we think of it this way, it stops us from being able
to talk about it, and we stay silent instead. And suicide remains
shrouded in this stigma. That stigma is only perpetuated by irresponsible
and sensationalized journalism that happens in the cases
of celebrity suicide. Just look at some of the reporting
around Anthony Bourdain’s recent death. When I was thinking about
how best to explain this point, it made me think about
sex and sex education. Stick with me, okay? (Chuckles) It’s really uncomfortable for us
to talk to kids about sex. It’s so tempting to think if we don’t talk about it,
it won’t happen, our kids won’t have sex. But we know that teenage pregnancy
and STIs are the risks if we don’t have that conversation, and we take those risks seriously. We introduced sex education into schools, and it’s now compulsory across the UK. And, I mean, it’s far from perfect, but what it has been shown to do is to improve positive attitudes
towards safe sex, to delay sex and to reduce teenage pregnancy
when used alongside other methods. With suicide, we know it’s a myth that talking about it will plant
that idea in someone’s head. And if suicide is claiming the lives
of more men under 45 than anything else, isn’t it time we just start accepting that suicidal thoughts
are something that happen, and instead start talking openly
and responsibly about it? I don’t think there’s anything wrong
with men having suicidal thoughts. But perhaps there is something wrong
with our expectations of men in society that lead them to have those thoughts. Let’s think about that. What does it mean to be masculine? What does it mean to be a man? Society tells us men should
be strong, dependable, and able to provide for their family. There’s very little research
into the reasons why men suicide, but the recent research that does exist speaks about how men’s high suicide rates
are linked to risk factors such as history
of being abused as a child, single status or relationship breakdown, and financial difficulty or unemployment. So that means that if you’re a man
and you’ve had a troubled childhood, you’re still searching for the one
or you’re worried about money, you’re at risk of suicide! How many of us know men in that situation? I mean, I’ve definitely
just described Richard, and I’ve probably described
half of millennial men in the UK. Unsurprisingly, these risk factors are linked to those
traditional notions of masculinity, of being strong, dependable,
and able to provide for your family. It seems as though when men feel
they can’t meet those expectations, they make themselves wrong for that. The research backs this up too. Just last year, there was a paper
confirming that there is a link between men feeling unable to fulfill the stereotypical
characteristics of masculinity and suicidal thoughts. Now, I imagine a lot of us in this room
don’t agree with those stereotypes, but some of us probably do,
or at least know someone who does. How many of us have been guilty of saying
“Man up!” at some point in our lives? I know I have. The conversation is starting to change. There are great campaigns
like BBC Three’s Real Men Do Cry and CALM’s L’eau de Chris, that are trying to shift those perceptions
of men and masculinity and encourage them
to be more open and vulnerable. But is it just men who are perpetuating
these outdated stereotypes of what it means to be a man and making themselves wrong for that? I don’t think so. I’d like us to consider
what our role is as women. Just last month, I was chatting
to a female friend of mine who described the guy she was dating
as “a sponge” and “too sensitive” because he opened up to her about some of the anxieties
he was facing in the relationship and how that was
making him feel vulnerable. I cannot begin to describe
the look I see on some women’s faces when I speak about how men I know
have broken down in tears in front of me. It’s somewhere between
discomfort and disdain. Men are already making themselves wrong for not living up
to these masculine ideals of being strong, dependable,
and able to provide for their families. They’re already
shaming themselves for that. But we’re compounding the problem
by making them wrong and shaming them for demonstrating
those open and vulnerable behaviors that we say we want them to show us. And we’re making them wrong for breaking out
of these rigid stereotypes and for just being fully human. To the women in the room, I’m not saying that male suicide
is our responsibility. I absolutely acknowledge that men have a huge role to play
in breaking down these stereotypes. But as a woman, I can only speak
to my experience and how I do see our role. What I’m inviting all of us to do,
regardless of our gender, is to reconsider the expectations
that we have of men in society and reconsider how we view men who have the courage
to show us their vulnerability. I’m inviting us to ask the men
in our lives how they’re really doing and if they’re struggling with anything
they haven’t told us about. And can we think about
how we respond to that? How we might choose
to empathize with their pain? Can we hold space for men
and listen to them, without trying to fix things, tell them that we love them and that it’s okay for them
to feel however they’re feeling? I’d like to tell you
about another guy I know. He’s a really good friend of mine;
I used to work with him, actually. His name’s Billy – he’s super smart, he’s genuine, authentic, kind, generous – he’s just the kind of guy
you really want to spend time with. So, imagine how I felt when Billy called me at 11:30 a.m.
on a Friday morning, three years ago, to tell that he’d spent
the night in hospital because the night before,
he’d tried to take his own life. He was 24. You’re probably thinking I felt shocked, panicked, uncomfortable. Actually, I felt honored. I felt honored that Billy felt
that he could talk to me about his suicide attempt
and how he’d been feeling. I thought back to my uncle, and I knew that I had a chance
to respond differently to Billy. I met him with compassion
and understanding, and a safe space to talk about
how he was feeling, without judgment. I didn’t make him wrong
for feeling the way that he felt or for attempting to take his life. I didn’t try to label him as suicidal
or as someone who needed to get better. I simply gave him a space
to talk about whatever he needed to. I saw what he told me
as incredibly courageous, and not something
he should ever be ashamed of. I can’t help but wonder
if this can make a difference. When I reflect on how my response
to Billy was entirely different to the response my uncle used to receive
when he spoke about suicide, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we had different expectations
of men in society, if we had a different reaction to men who have the courage
to show us their vulnerability, and a different reaction to men
who have suicidal thoughts. Would men feel differently about suicide? I don’t have the answers, but I am inviting you
to consider the questions. Because I don’t believe there is anything
wrong with men having suicidal thoughts, but perhaps there is something wrong
with how we react to that and our expectations of men in society. So, what would happen if we all
have the courage to go home tonight and have conversations
with the men in our lives about how they’re feeling
and what they’re thinking, including their suicidal thoughts? Yeah, it’s going to be uncomfortable, I get that, but we do it with sex! Every parent dreads having
that conversation with their kids about how babies are made. But we know it’s important
to keep our kids safe, so we do it anyway,
no matter how uncomfortable we feel. I wish I could have had
a conversation with my uncle like the one I had with Billy. I wish I could have told him, “There is nothing wrong with you. There is nothing wrong with how
you’re feeling or what you’re thinking. It’s okay. I’m here to listen to whatever
you need to say or talk about because your feelings are important. You’re important, and you don’t have to do this alone.” Thank you. (Applause) (Cheers)