How symbols and brands shape our humanity | Debbie Millman
"Branding is the profound manifestation of the human spirit," says designer and podcaster Debbie Millman. In a historical odyssey that she illustrated herself, Millman traces the evolution of branding, from cave paintings to flags to beer labels and beyond. She explores the power of symbols to unite people, beginning with prehistoric communities who used them to represent beliefs and identify affiliations to modern companies that adopt logos and trademarks to market their products -- and explains how branding reflects the state of humanity.
How teachers can help students navigate trauma | Lisa Godwin
"To make a difference in the life of a child ... I made the commitment to tell my personal story," says educator Lisa Godwin. In this moving talk, she shares her experience of overcoming childhood trauma with the quiet, unwavering support of a teacher and school counselor -- and shows how educators can help students and families navigate hardships by sharing their own stories.
What a nun can teach a scientist about ecology | Victoria Gill
To save the achoque -- an exotic (and adorable) salamander found in a lake in northern Mexico -- scientists teamed up with an unexpected research partner: a group of nuns called the Sisters of the Immaculate Health. In this delightful talk, science journalist Victoria Gill shares the story of how this unusual collaboration saved the achoque from extinction -- and demonstrates how local and indigenous people could hold the secret to saving our planet's weird, wonderful and most threatened species.
How online marketplaces can help local economies, not hurt them | Amane Dannouni
The growth of online marketplaces like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon can sometimes threaten local businesses such as taxis, hotels and retail shops by taking away jobs or reducing income to the community. But it doesn't have to be this way, says strategy consultant Amane Dannouni. Pointing to examples like Gojek (Indonesia's Uber for motorbikes) and Jumia (Africa's version of Amazon), he explains how some online marketplaces make deliberate trade-offs to include, rather than replace, existing players in local economies -- benefiting everyone in the long run.
How to find the person who can help you get ahead at work | Carla Harris
The workplace is often presented as a meritocracy, where you can succeed by putting your head down and working hard. Wall Street veteran Carla Harris learned early in her career that this a myth. The key to actually getting ahead? Get a sponsor: a person who will speak on your behalf in the top-level, closed-door meetings you're not invited to (yet). Learn how to identify and develop a productive sponsor relationship in this candid, powerful talk.