As usual, the TED community is making headlines. Below, some highlights.
Does local action make a difference when fighting climate change? Environmental scientist Angel Hsu teamed up with experts at several climate research institutes on a fascinating new report about the potential effects of local action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions globally. Hsu synthesized data from thousands of cities, regions and companies at Data-Driven Yale, the Singapore-based research group she founded and leads. The study found that committed action by local entities could help bring the world closer to the goals of 2015’s Paris Climate Agreement. Researchers also found that local action by American entities could reduce emissions by at least half of America’s initial Paris Agreement pledge, even without federal support. On the study, Hsu said, “The potential of these commitments to help the world avoid dangerous climate change is clear – the key is now to ensure that these commitments are really implemented.” (Watch Hsu’s TED Talk.)
A groundbreaking comedy show. Actor, comedian and disability activist Maysoon Zayid will write and star in a new show inspired by her life for ABC. The show, titled Can, Can, will follow a Muslim woman with cerebral palsy as she navigates the intricacies of her love life, career and her opinionated family. Much of Zayid’s comedy explores and expands the intersections of disability and Muslim-American identity. Zayid will be joined by writer Joanna Quraishi to help produce and write the single-camera series. (Watch Zayid’s TED Talk.)
Meet 2018’s Humanist of the Year. For his advocacy work on responsible and progressive economic ethics, Nick Hanauer will be honored as Humanist of the Year by the Humanist Hub, an organization based at MIT and Harvard. In a statement, Hanauer said, “It is an honor both to receive this award, and to join the Humanist Hub in helping to change the way we think and talk about the economy. It turns out that most people get capitalism wrong. Capitalism works best when it works for everybody, not just for zillionaires like me.” The Humanist Hub, a nonreligious philosophy group, annually celebrates a public individual they believe embodies the ideals of humanism, a philosophy of living ethically to serve the greater good of humanity. (Watch Hauner’s TED Talk.)
Are you saving enough for retirement? Behavioral economist Dan Ariely doesn’t think so — in a new study conducted with Aline Holzwarth at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University, Ariely found that we can expect to spend up to 130% of our preretirement income once we retire. Ariely and Holzwarth urge us to abandon the conventional idea that 70% of our income will be enough for retirement. Instead, they suggest we approach saving for retirement with a personalized methodology that takes into account the seven most prominent spending categories: eating out, digital services, recharge (relaxing and self-care), travel, entertainment and shopping, and basic needs. Moving past a generic one-size measurement, they advocate planning your retirement spending only after you spending time understanding your individual needs. (Watch Ariely’s TED Talk.)
In Italy, a bridge offers hope after tragedy. Following a devastating bridge collapse that killed 43 people in Genoa, Italian architect Renzo Piano has offered to donate a new bridge design to help his beloved hometown recover from the traumatic loss. Preliminary designs present a bridge that is distinctly ship-like, alluding to Genoa’s maritime history; it includes 43 illuminated posts resembling sails to memorialize each of the victims. Meanwhile, Piano has worked closely with England’s Royal Academy of the Arts to design and curate an expansive retrospective of his work called “The Art of Making Buildings,” opening September 15. On the exhibition, Piano said, “[M]aking buildings is a civic gesture and social responsibility. I believe passionately that architecture is about making a place for people to come together and share values.” (Watch Piano’s TED Talk.)