Ashley Dombkowski: We are family

Ashley Dombkowski at TEDMED 2011

Wouldn’t it be fun to find out you’re related to, say, Meryl Streep? Or Michael Jordan? Ashley Dombkowski of 23andMe talks about how genetic testing can reveal surprising family connections, and may change the way we think about our fellow humans.

Jay Walker to speak at Social Media Week

Jay Walker at TEDMED 2011.

On February 16, TEDMED chairman and curator Jay Walker will talk at Social Media Week in New York, on a topic critical to our personal health: Why do we not always do what’s best for us?

Over our lifetimes, every American makes millions of “micro-choices” that impact our health, from having that second cup of coffee (or not) to which doctor’s advice to follow. Unfortunately, our collective choices are making many of us sicker and driving our healthcare system toward bankruptcy.

How can we all make better health decisions that lead to better outcomes? It turns out that we all have “mental models” in our heads that guide our decision-making processes, often unconsciously. Unfortunately, many of our mental models are just plain dysfunctional.

Jay will talk about how Americans can effortlessly develop better mental models, for our own health and that of the country.

Click here for more info. We hope to see you there!

Diana Nyad on drinking the Kool-Aid that is TEDMED

Our favorite extreme-dream endurance swimmer, inspiration, and all-around dynamo, Diana Nyad, wrote a wonderful piece for HuffPost about her talk at TEDMED 2011.

In it, she says:

I’ve been a public speaker for 35 years now but hit the Mt. Everest of conferences when I spoke for the TEDMED group this past October. The concept is 50 speakers — the most forward-thinking mavericks on our planet. Each one gets only 15 minutes. Each one is unique, powerful and leaves your mind significantly expanded.

Fun with fungi

Fantastic Fungi: The Spirit of Good

For a bit of Friday fun, watch this film on the magic of mushrooms, which may play a role in understanding human consciousness and in sustaining our planet.This is the first in a collaboration of TED speaker Louie Schwartzberg of Blacklight films (Movingart.tv) and TEDMED 2011 speaker Paul Stamets of Fungi Perfecti (fungi.com). We’ll also be releasing the video of Stamets at TEDMED in the next few weeks. Enjoy!

Diana Nyad swims for her life

Diana Nyad at TEDMED 2011

“What will you do with your wild and precious life?” Diana Nyad asks the TEDMED audience. What she did was to set out to be the very best person she could be, day after day, by chasing the heroic goal of swimming from Cuba to Florida. As in life, however, her epic journey met with some monstrous snags. Hear her dramatic story.

David Agus: A bold new plan to end illness before it starts

David Agus at TEDMED 2011

We may not wholly understand complex diseases, but we can stop them before they start, says oncologist and author of the new book, “The End of Illness,” David Agus. In this talk from TEDMED 2011, he proposes a new preventive approach to healthcare, boosted by genomics, technology and a hard look at existing research data.

Announcing TEDMED 2012 Speakers!

With the release of the first names of those who will take the Opera Stage at the Kennedy Center this April, we declare the season of the TEDMED 2012 gathering open.

This first crop is particularly notable for the immensity of the tasks they have undertaken and the millions of lives they will influence, from responding to human tragedy on a massive scale to leading the charge against cancer and disease.

We’ll be announcing new speakers periodically, so stay tuned.  We’ll also release more speaker videos from our 2011 conference here as well.

New TEDMED 2012 Speakers 

Sneak preview of Agus on “The End of Illness”

David Agus, at right, with Lance Armstrong at TEDMED 2011.

“The End of Illness,” by TEDMED 2011 speaker David Agus, is near the top of the Amazon best-seller list and is one of the most-discussed books in America right now. We’ll be releasing his video tomorrow, but you can get a sneak peek here. Need more now? He’s also recapped his book in a Wall Street Journal piece. We’ll be releasing two more speaker videos plus a sing-along of the TEDMED 2011 theme song tomorrow, too. See you soon!