TEDGlobal 2014 is themed “South!,” and it will be the first official TED conference held in South America. Focusing on themes emerging around the world, this conference will take a bold look at the ideas flowing from the Global South, discussing innovation as well as social and political issues, art as well as education, resources as well as technology.
TEDGlobal 2014 will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from October 6-10. Below, check out the full speaker line-up, organized by discipline. To see the speakers in the order in which they will appear onstage, check out our online program guide. Interested in watching in person? Join us in Rio!
Astronomer Wendy Freedman leads the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope, a next-generation facility in northern Chile that will have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim investigates the medicinal and nutritional uses of plants in her native country of Mauritius.
Miguel Nicolelis researches neural pathways and prosthetics. His team created the mind-controlled robotic exoskeleton that helped a paraplegic man deliver the opening kick of this year’s World Cup.
Geoscientist Andrés Ruzo studies the Earth’s heat. He is particularly fascinated by the “Boiling River” of the Amazon, a mysterious hot spot located more than 700 kilometers from the nearest volcanic center.
In her new book, Elizabeth Pisani explores the “improbable nation” of Indonesia.
The big thinkers
Political scientist Severine Autesserre advocates a bottom-up, village-to-village approach to conflict resolution in her most recent book, Peaceland.
Michael Green’s Social Progress Index measures countries by how socially advanced they are.
Robert Muggah creates tools to collect data that aim to answer a big question: why are cities so violent, and what can be done to disrupt cycles of violence?
Ethan Nadelmann founded the Drug Policy Alliance, which has changed the conversation around the war on drugs by showing some of its unexpected side effects, including skyrocketing prison populations.
Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard has been called “the happiest man in the world.” He believes that altruism and empathy don’t just improve personal well-being, but could allow for the evolution of a more compassionate society.
Fred Swaniker, a TED Fellow from Ghana, founded the African Leadership Academy to support a new generation of leaders on the continent.
Ilona Szabó de Carvalho is a security specialist who advocates progressive approaches to police reform, preventing violence and dealing with drug cartels as well as with drug addiction.
The business minds
Migrant workers send about $400 billion to their home country every year—an amount that’s three times higher than the total of international aid budgets. Dilip Ratha analyzes the social and economic impacts of these monetary flows.
Navi Radjou champions “frugal innovation,” looking at how companies in emerging markets like India and China solve problems and bringing their wisdom to others worldwide.
Twenty years after transforming a struggling Brazilian equipment supplier into a radically democratic and resilient (and successful) company, Ricardo Semler wants organizations to become wise.
Ad executive José Miguel Sokoloff has planned marketing campaigns that defuse the guerrilla war in Colombia by encouraging fighters to come back home.
Grimanesa Amorós is an interdisciplinary artist whose work plays with the connection between science and culture, and between new technology and the past.
Working in the favelas of Rio as well run-down neighborhoods in Philadelphia and elsewhere, in collaboration with the locals, art duo Haas&Hahn Dre Urhahn and Jeroen Koolhaas) transform forgotten urban spaces into works of art.
Music videographer Vincent Moon started traveling the world in 2008, filming traditional musicians in Central Europe, Africa and South America. His ethnomusical films reinvigorate vanishing rituals.
Vik Muniz creates art that make us question our assumptions—like convincing cloudscapes made of cotton, and simple line art drawings created by bulldozers and shot from the sky.
José Padhila uses action film to explore the relationship between power and violence, from Hollywood fare like his reboot of RoboCop to his unflinching portrayal of violence in Rio’s favelas in Elite Squad.
In his book Before They Pass Away, photographer Jimmy Nelson reveals his stunning images of 35 indigenous tribes, all shot on an antique plate camera.
Architect Alejandro Aravena creates, among many audacious projects, housing options for low-income families in urban areas that are beautiful, elegant and functional in addition to being low-cost.
Joe Madiath installs water and sanitation systems in small Indian villages. The catch—the entire village must participate in the building and maintenance, and all villagers must have access, despite their caste or social status.
Su Yunsheng firmly believes that, with the smart use of technology and data collection, urban planning in China can be both sustainable and rehabilitating, even as it is created quickly.
The founder of the Center for Digital Inclusion, Rodrigo Baggio helps marginalized communities get comfortable with technology and use it to improve their communities.
Isabel Hoffmann is creating a pocket-sized device that anyone can use to tell exactly what’s in their food—from proteins to pesticides. She hopes it will help identify food sensitivities a user has no idea (s)he has.
Syed Karim is creating a network of small satellites that could make access to Internet content easy for anyone with a smartphone, satellite dish or simple antennae.
Pia Mancini wants to upgrade democracy in Argentina and beyond. She has launched an open-source mobile platform to bring citizens inside the legislative process, and to run candidates who will listen to what they say.
Alessandra Orofino founded Meu Rio, an organization that uses both mobile tech and on-the-ground actions to get millennials involved in local politics and amped up for activism.
Steve Song helps underserved communities get access to low-cost voice and internet services through his organization, Village Telco. He wonders if “television white spaces,” the spectrum between channels, could help in this pursuit.
Jorge Soto is helping develop a simple, non-invasive test for early detection of cancer.
Zeynep Tufekci is a technosociologist looking at the real social and political impacts of social media platforms.
A scientist at CERN, Andy Yen is developing ProtonMail, an encrypted email program designed to protect online privacy.
Batalha do Passinho, or “Battle of the little steps,” took a Brazilian dance craze that melds breakdancing, samba and funk and catapulted it to national attention.
Casuarina breathes new life into classic samba songs, reinventing the genre for a new generation of listeners.
Circle of Sound spins rock, electronica, and traditional Indian instrumentation into a rhythmic treat. It’s the duo of Soumik Datta, who plays the 19-stringed sarod, and Bernhard Schimpelsberger, who plays Indian rhythms on a souped-up drum kit.
A young Brazilian classical pianist, Juliana D’Agostini is known for technical virtuosity and a fresh, engaging style.
Ever wondered what a TEDTalk would sound like set to music? Grupo TEDx, from Argentina, has the answer, cumbia-style.
Argentinian singer and songwriter Juana Molina dreams up whispery, layered pop songs full of loops and swirls and unanswered questions.
Aakash Odedra choreographs the classical Indian dance forms of Kthak and Bharat Nagyam and juxtaposes them with modern contexts, telling a story of global change through movement.
Circus performer Gustavo Ollitta is a master of the buugeng—a black and white staff formed by two interlocking S-shapes. As he spins them, they create a psychedelic maze of movement.
Danay Suarez writes soulful, lyrical hip-hop tracks that speak to the Cuban experience.
Ana Tijoux’s latest album has been called “some of the most dazzling hip-hop this year” by MTV, but her tracks also draw from her Chilean heritage.
Jazz icon Naná Vasconcelos can pick up a beat on any instrument, but he favors the berimbau, a single-stringed percussive instrument that’s popular in Brazil.
Khalida Brohi found an unexpected way to fight honor killings and empower women in her native Pakistan—by working with tribal leaders.
Melissa Fleming has an impossible job. As the head of communication for the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, she gets the public to pay attention to the plight—and resilience—of refugees.
TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch wants to launch a new era of openness in business by spreading awareness of how anonymous companies pave the way for corruption—and rally public support to legislate to make them transparent.
Doreen Khoury works with individuals and organizations who stay in war-torn areas, helping them carry on with everyday life.
Kimberley Motley is the only foreign litigator in Afghanistan, defending non-Afghans stuck in prisons there and taking on cases of women and children victims of human rights violantions.
Pop star Ruslana is one of the key voices of the Euromaidan, the Ukrainian freedom movement.
Joanna Wheeler studies what makes grassroots movements works. She holds participatory workshops and uses creative storytelling to help marginalized communities harness their power for change.
Tashka Yawanawá is the chief of the Yawanawá people, who live deep in the heart of the Amazon. Having witnessed the near-destruction of his people, and having studied in the United States, he provides a critical bridge between cultures.
Sipho Moyo believes that “Africa has the potential not only to feed itself, but the world.” The executive director of ONE in Africa, Moyo pushes African governments to invest more in effective agricultural policies.
Omoyele Sowore founded Sahara Reporters, an online news platform known for its unflinching reporting in Nigeria. Frustrated by the tendency of mainstream media to fold to pressure, Sowore sees huge potential in web journalism.
Bruno Torturra is the face of Media Ninja, an experimental live-streaming network that gained global attention for its innovative coverage of the 2013 protests in Brazil.
Using cutting-edge technology, Oren Yakobovich encourages the recording of human rights abuses to expose them to worldwide scrutiny. He founded the organization Videre, which is short for the Latin phrase “videre est credere”—to see is to believe.
Tasso Azevedo helped his fellow Brazilians see how the vitality of the Amazon rainforest is deeply intertwined with the country’s stability, rallying efforts to preserve it.
Brazilian chef Teresa Corção is on a mission to revitalize Brazilian food, starting with the humble ingredient manioc.
Fabien Cousteau spent 31 days underwater this summer in a lab off the coast of Florida, where he studied the current state of coral … and beat his legendary grandfather’s world record in the process.
As fast as the rainforest is disappearing — the people of the rainforest are disappearing even faster. Mark Plotkin works to preserve generations of knowledge.
Robert Swan has walked to both the South and the North Pole, and is dedicated to making sure that Antarctica remains a wild, untouched wilderness free from drilling and mining.
Peru-born author Marie Arana has cultural roots in both Americas, a perspective she brings to her latest work, a remarkable biography of Simón Bolívar.
Journalist Misha Glenny excavates the darks sides of globalization, from drug trafficking to cybercrime. His upcoming book, The Invention of Brazil, takes an in-depth look at the surprising history of this country.
Glenn Greenwald broke open the sweeping global surveillance being conducted by the NSA and GCHQ. One of the first privy to documents from Edward Snowden, Greenwald has continued to help us understand the implications of surveillance for society and for individuals.
In her writings, Nigerian/Ghanaian/British author Taiye Selasi explores our relationship to our multiple identities.