A nugget from Pakistani journalist (and former Nieman Fellow) Beena Sarwar's always-interesting e-mail list. "Check out this amazing video talk by Amy Smith, an MIT engineer," she says. It's from the legendary TED conferences ("Inspired talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers"). You can spend hours learning new things from the videos on the site. The online talks are free; the actual conference itself costs thousands of dollars.
About this Talk: Fumes from indoor cooking fires kill more than 2 million children a year in the developing world. MIT engineer Amy Smith details an exciting but simple solution: a tool for converting farm waste into cleaner-burning fuel. Plain-spoken and passionate, Smith talks about some other tools she and her students are creating, including an incubator that stays warm without electricity and a grain mill that frees women from hours of grinding every day. These are basic tools with world-changing results.
About Amy Smith: Amy Smith designs cheap, practical fixes for tough problems in developing countries. Among her many accomplishments, the MIT engineer received a MacArthur "genius" grant in 2004 and was the first woman to win the Lemelson-MIT SPrize for turning her ideas into inventions. [ More on Amy here ]
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.
The annual conference now brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).
This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 100 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.