TED Talks by Minnesota Natives

World famous ideas shared by locals


PHOTO BY efks/FOTOLIA

TED Talks are famous for spreading ideas worldwide, with some of the brightest minds doing the talking. These short, ten to 15 minute speeches and presentations are endlessly shared online, with years of talks available for free. Ranging from dance, to bees, to cancer research, here are some famous ideas worth hearing, presented by Minnesotans and shared around the world:

Marla Spivak: Why Bees are Disappearing
​Spivak, a University of Minnesota professor of entomology, gave her TED Talk in June of 2013, at a TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. Spivak has worked extensively on promoting sustainable farming practices and community growing initiatives to regrow the plants that bees need and stop the use of dangerous pesticides.

Carl Flink: Dance vs. Powerpoint, A Modest Proposal
​Flink leads the Black Label Movement, a Minneapolis based dance company that performed at a TED conference in Belgium in 2011, in collaboration with science writer John Bohannon. Bohannon’s “modest proposal” involved the use of dance to replace “bad PowerPoint presentations” with live dance.  Black Label Movement and Flink himself are known for athleticism, humanistic themes, and graceful presentations on social, scientific and political issues.

Deborah Rhodes: A Test that Finds 3x more Breast Tumors, and Why it’s Not Available to You
Dr. Deborah Rhodes is the director of Mayo Clinic’s Executive Health Program in Rochester, and spoke at the TEDWomen conference in Washington D.C. in 2010.  Rhodes explains that mammography still cannot detect the early onset of breast tumors in some women.  Rhodes and her colleagues found a way to more effectively screen patients: molecular imaging.  This talk happened six years ago, and today, molecular imaging is commonly used in mammography.

Alec Soth: This is What Enduring Love Looks Like
Minneapolis- based photographer and author Alec Soth explores the combinations of text and photography in his 2015 talk in Washington D.C. Soth and his colleague Stacey Baker talk about the differences in photographic love and real love, by photographing couples in a retirement community and comparing those photos to the couples’ wedding photos.

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