“Ideas worth spreading” are the foundational components of TED, the nonprofit dedicated to cultivating a deeper understanding of the world and the leading individuals in technology, entertainment, science and more. Earlier this week, the TED Fellows of 2019 took the stage to share their personal stories, and shed light on some of the most significant global issues around the globe. Recently, TED Fellows Director Shoham Arad proudly announced that these fellows “give voice to some of the most exciting ideas we’ve seen in the program’s ten-year history.” These men and women are all redefining the future, and here are five that you must follow throughout 2019.
Having studied mathematics and computer science as an undergraduate and design as a graduate student, Hiromi Ozaki has since merged her passions, creating film, song, and multi-media pieces that reflect on the ways in which technology is altering the values of society. Her 2010 work, titled Menstruation Machine—Takashi’s Take, was a device that mimics the bleeding and discomfort caused by the female menstrual cycle. Its goal was to allow men to experience firsthand the feeling of menstruation, and the installment sent waves through the world of contemporary art. Since then, she has continued to create unique and innovative projects that incite conversation about the social, ethical, and cultural consequences of emerging technologies.
Co-Founder & Executive Director of the Good Food Institute, Bruce Friedrich is a leader in food innovation. His company works to support alternatives to conventional meat and dairy products, collaborating with scientists, investors, and entrepreneurs to revolutionize the food system. Friedrich is determined to make clean and plant-based options safer, tastier, and more convenient and this commitment is drastically benefitting our planet.
Half the United States population is female, but only 12% of the national police force are women, a percentage that has remained relatively static for the last twenty years. Police captain Ivonne Roman aims to change this. She is the co-founder of the Women’s Leadership Academy, an organization devoted to promoting the recruitment and retention of females in law enforcement. Her emphasis on evidence-based practice and mentoring is preparing women for the physical and mental demands of policing, and this is reshaping and fostering the advancement of female leadership in law enforcement.
Zimbabwean researcher Moreangels Mbizah works relentlessly to promote wildlife conservation. She is one of the few female scientists working in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a role model to many women, flawlessly balancing her career and her family. She is not only transforming conservation methods to protect lions and their habitat, but she is also combatting gender stereotypes and paving the way for women in all fields.
Nanfu Wang’s unique approach to documentary film making illustrates, with unparalleled emotion, the struggles of human rights and its untold histories in China. With hidden cameras and concealed recording devices, this immersive approach conveys the tangible fear of Chinese activists who are being targeted by the government for protesting on behalf of six girls who were sexually assaulted by their elementary school principal. Wang is bold and tenacious, committed to illuminating these harsh truths in order to move forward the fight for human rights. Her latest documentary One Child Nation shows the human toll exacted by China’s one child policy. Having grown up in the shadow of this policy, she made the documentary to investigate its effects on people in her community. Earlier this year, One Child Nation won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.