Skip to main content
Move the World.

The state of the American union is tense. One of the most contentious elections we’ve had in years has left many people of all political orientations feeling defensive, conflicted, and fearful.

If that’s how you’re feeling right now, I won’t suggest that you stop caring. But I hope you’ll consider taking occasional reprieves from the political battlefield, and you consider doing that by watching one of Hans Rosling’s TED Talks.

I know. It sounds kind of unserious to recommend a TED Talk as a fix for existential angst. But if you’ve never seen a talk by Rosling, a Swedish public health researcher and medical doctor, you’re missing out on a very inspiring interpretation of the last 50 years or so of human progress.

Using thoughtful data presentations, Rosling reports that despite wars and despots and famines and pogroms, global humanity has spent much of the last 50 years inching en masse toward prosperity. Even in the developing world, which westerners tend to think of as statically poor, living standards have improved, people live longer, and infant mortality is declining.  

I don’t know about you, but it’s a refreshing reminder that even when things feel tough, this is an incredible time to be alive. If you’re skeptical, just spend a few minutes with Rosling.  

Up Next

Art
‘Seeing’ the World Through Smell
‘Seeing’ the World Through Smell
Art
‘Seeing’ the World Through Smell
Kate McLean wants you to navigate your world by its smells, and is creating unique maps of cities by their scents.

Kate McLean wants you to navigate your world by its smells, and is creating unique maps of cities by their scents.

Music
Chance the Rapper is Bringing Music Back to Chicago Schools
Chance the Rapper is Bringing Music Back to Chicago Schools
Music
Chance the Rapper is Bringing Music Back to Chicago Schools
On the far South Side of Chicago, as far south as you can get — a traffic light away from neighboring Riverdale —...

On the far South Side of Chicago, as far south as you can get — a traffic light away from neighboring Riverdale — the Ira F. Aldridge Elementary School is offering its students something rare in the forever-strapped Chicago public school system: opportunity. With a grant from Chance the Rapper's charity SocialWorks, the school can now offer a more robust music program, ensuring an instrument in every student's hands. "I...

Future of Food
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Future of Food
Clean Meat: A New Protein is Making its Way onto the Chef's Table
Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.

Clean meat is becoming a more widely known, and much loved food category. But do you expect to see it on your gourmet plate any time soon? These chefs think yes.

Thinking Differently
Angels of Debt
Angels of Debt
Watch Now
Thinking Differently
Angels of Debt
These ex-bill collectors got John Oliver's attention and started a movement. They're buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of strangers' medical debt and erasing it.
Watch Now

The average American is one medical accident away from being destroyed financially. These bill collectors woke up to the brutality of their industry - and are using their insider knowledge to save strangers from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Jerry Ashton was a debt collector working on Wall Street when the Occupy Wall Street movement started. He became interested, and eventually partnered with them and his friend...

Clean Decisions
Hope After Prison
Hope After Prison
Watch Now
Clean Decisions
Hope After Prison
This former inmate is cleaning up his city and helping other ex-cons turn their lives around.
Watch Now

When Will Aliva got out of prison, he’d paid his debt to society - but that didn’t help him pay his bills. Like many ex-cons, he struggled to find companies that would take a chance on hiring him. Too often, this roadblock results in ex-cons winding up back behind bars as they turn to old illegal activities to make ends meet. He decided to tackle the problem head on and founded a landscaping company, Clean Decisions, that...

The Exotic Zoo Run by Prisoners
The Exotic Zoo Run by Prisoners
Watch Now
The Exotic Zoo Run by Prisoners
Could zookeeping turn an inmate’s life around? Jeanne Selander who runs the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm thinks so.
Watch Now

“People need to be cared for in order to keep them from corroding,” says Jeanne Selander, who helps run the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm. The farm functions as an zoo for exotic animals. But this isn’t a normal zoo. It’s staffed entirely by convicted felons. Selander has seen the experience transform the inmates. The work gives them purpose and being around animals seems to have a calming effect. Since she...

On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
On The Cusp
This Week in Ideas: Saying Goodbye to Lab Rats and Replacing Bees with Drones
Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.
By Michael O'Shea

Breakthrough could mean the end of test animals, violent crime nearly cut in half, and drones that pollinate flowers.

Culture
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
Culture
This Week in Ideas: Good Things That Happened in 2016
Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some...
By Mike Riggs

Despite 2016 being widely panned, there were also truly good things that happened over the past year. Here are some of the big ones.