It’s never easy to push against the current, to experiment with what’s never been done before, challenge uncomfortable truths. But 400 TED Fellows do it every day, all around the world. In the newly released free digital book Swimming Against the Tide: Adventures with the TED Fellows, dive into the wonder, kinship, curiosity, hope and creation that underlies innovation. The coffeetable book, written by Patrick D’Arcy and Karen Eng and designed by In-House International, is full of gorgeous photographs to dive into, as well as Q&As, essays and much more.
Below is a teaser — you can download the free book right here.
Interested in being a TED Fellow yourself? Applications are now open for the TED2017 class. The deadline is July 30.
“Only 2 percent of supercells create tornadoes, but when one starts to form, we get into chase mode,” says photographer and TED Senior Fellow Camille Seaman. “There are no bathroom breaks, no pulling over to get a drink, no chance to check the map. These storms are moving, sometimes at 20 miles an hour, sometimes at 60.”
Marveling at nature’s uncontrollable wrath, Seaman sees both its destructive and creative beauty through a lens of wonder.
Here are how other TED Fellows use a sense of wonder in their work:
“Ever since the first hominids walked on Earth, humans have lived in relationship with each other,” says TED Fellow and ecologist Eric Berlow. “In the 1990s, the World Wide Web promised us a global village in which we would all become close neighbors with new possibilities of meeting each other to solve big problems at a global scale…. But one ironic, unintended consequence of the ease with which like finds like online has been the erosion of the global village into fragmented social silos and echo chambers.”
In the age of silos, the bonds of kinship matter more than ever in solving problems and building a more unified, harmonious world.
Here are how other TED Fellows use kinship to challenge convention:
‘I’m a prisoner of curiosity. With my back against the wall, whether consciously or not, I’ll choose that direction every time,” says TED Fellow David Lang, founder of OpenROV, a company that makes low-cost underwater robots for exploration.
“Curiosity is neither the question nor the answer, rather the ethereal space between the two. It’s a place of perpetual dissatisfaction and yearning…. This is also the good news. In the ruins of disaster, the wake of immense loss or the face of improbable odds, the journey continues. In these situations, the capacity for curiosity becomes more than a luxury — it becomes a life support system. Curiosity is indefinitely and unshakably hopeful. It has to be.”
Curiosity is key to invention and a catalyst to progress. Read how other TED Fellows use this as fuel:
“A kite is singlehandedly the most hopeful thing. It waits for the promise of the wind hidden behind the sun, the clouds and the morning filled with dew,” says an excerpt from poet Lee Mokobe’s piece On Hope, “The kite. It waits for the tapestry of the sky to grow weary of the sunlight. To pack up and go home to invite the breeze to work and blow in any which direction it wishes.”
To change what is, you must hope for what could be. Read how TED Fellows use hope to make things better.
“What would it mean to take this even further and to help generate a creative ethos in Mexico City that traverses many different territories?” asks culture curator Gabriella Gómez-Mont. “After I hosted TEDxMexicoCity, the newly elected mayor of the city gave me a call. He invited me to invent a new government office from scratch: a laboratory for my very favorite city in the world.”
Seemingly odd combinations — like art, culture and government systems — can give birth to innovation. Read about how other TED Fellows do the same: