7 Technological Trailblazers of 2019

James Silverwood
November 29, 2019
63 Views

Thanks to resources such as TED talks, we have unlimited inspiration and insight at our fingertips. Whether it’s science and tech that interests us, the entertainment industry, or the wild ride that is the world of politics, we’re all in search of challenging new ideas presented in motivational talks.

Across 2019, particular topics have captured our imagination and sent us on a ravenous search for more information. Climate change is one such area, with a massive increase of climate related Google searches over 2019 (the term “BBC climate change – the facts” for example, rose by 40,300 per cent in the UK). Searches around the topics of artificial intelligence and virtual reality have also rocketed in volume. Judging by these regular inquiries, it seems that people are more engaged and intrigued in the science and tech industry than ever.

TED talks are a great resource and help make this sector more accessible than it has ever been before.Some challenging subjects have been opened up to the masses. People are clearly eager to learn about diverse subjects, and the viewing rates of 2019’s favourite tech related TED talks prove an unrivalled enthusiasm. Let’s take a look at our very favourite motivational speakers in the tech industry throughout 2019.

  1. Karissa Sanbonmatsu

The biology of gender, from DNA to the brain

2,085,575 views

Get ready to reject gender binaries as you know them once and for all. In this mind-blowing talk, structural biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu unhinges the concept that gender is all about chromosomes. Studies on DNA activity have shown that genes can be altered and expressed in different ways because of social factors. This talk discusses these new concepts and uproots our very understanding of gender.

  1. Rob Reid

How synthetic biology could wipe out humanity — and how we can stop it

1,727,822 views

Any title that includes the words “wipe out humanity” is naturally going to grasp our attention, and this talk from Rob Reid holds us fixated throughout. The concept of doomsday bugs has so far stayed safely within the realms of dystopian fiction, but in this talk, Reid warns us that it is a very real threat. A terrifying thought, yet one we’re all keen to tune in to.

  1. Keith Kirkland

Wearable tech that helps you navigate by touch

1,513,859 views

Haptic Designer, Keith Kirkland, is bringing the idea of wearable tech to life — and we’re not just talking about smart watches. In this talk, he discusses the development of “haptic language”, which he has created as part of his work to develop smart clothing that could double up as a navigational device for the blind and visually impaired.

  1. Erika Hamden

What it takes to launch a telescope

1,475,846 views

Do you know what it takes to launch a telescope? No? Me neither. At least not until Astrophysicist Erika Hamdem talked us all through the decade-long journey. Her team are developing the FIREBall telescope, whose mission is to figure out how stars are created. TED talk viewers have been eagerly tuning in all year to learn about her mission.

  1. Andrew Marantz

Inside the bizarre world of internet trolls and propagandists

1,434,980 views

This story of how writer, Andrew Marantz, immersed himself in the world of internet trolls and propagandists gives us an unnerving insight into the most toxic areas of the internet. In the midst of a turbulent political landscape, this issue couldn’t be more topical, and thousands of viewers agree.

  1. MajdMashharawi

How I’m making bricks out of ashes and rubble in Gaza

1,414,308 views

This innovative talk revolves around creating something important even in the most despairing of circumstances. Engineer and Entrepreneur, MajdMashharawi, came up with the idea of turning rubble into new building materials and designed bricks made from ashes to help rebuild destroyed areas of war-torn Gaza. This project has captivated the imagination of thousands of viewers.

  1. Tiana Epps-Johnson

What’s needed to bring the US voting system into the 21st century

1,397,608 views

Although this final talk leans more towards politics, Tiana Epps-Johnson (Civic Engagement Champion) discusses how we can use tech to bring the US electoral system into the 21st century. With so many viewers from around the world, and the transcript available in 14 languages, it is clear that you don’t have to be from the US to feel invested in this topic.

Thanks to the accessible style of these videos, and the iconic event signage that makes TED talks recognisable to just about anyone, viewers have been able to engage with some diverse and unusual subjects. Interestingly, many of the most watched talks contain a prominent human element. This shows that we don’t only want to keep up with new technological developments, but we also want to understand our role within this rapidly advancing world.

Bio:

Gary Peeling is CEO at Where The Trade Buys, one such company who is placing an emphasis on becoming an industry leader within sustainable printing. The commercial print business has significantly invested in becoming an FSC partner, helping talking care of forests and the people who live in them. The company is a specialist supplier of exhibition panel design, with bases in London, Sunderland and Surrey.

 

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