The Defining Quotes from TED 2010

“Ideas having sex with each other drives human progress.” Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist

“We spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t care about.” Tim Jackson, Economist

“We’d like to see the elimination of the transmission of the virus from mother to child by 2015.” Annie Lennox, Musician and HIV/Aids Activist

“The value of choice is in our ability to perceive differences between the options.” Sheena Iyengar, Psycho-economist

“The central moral challenge of the 21st century is gender inequity. 19th century was slavery. 20th century was totalitarianism.” Sheryl WuDunn, Woman’s Rights Advocate

“There are too many possibilities and too little human time to do the experiments.” Dimitar Sasselov, Astronomer

“Human Rights Principles are universal – but the way they play out is local.” Auret van Heerden, Labour Rights Activist

“The problem with today’s cultural ghettos is not lack of knowledge – it is lack of knowledge of ourselves.” Elif Shafak, Novelist

“There are 6 million species on the planet, and 80% walk on 6 legs.” Marcel Dicke, Ecological Entomologist

“Is the Middle East all Bombers, Billionaires and Belly Dancers — not true, we don’t all want to kill the Infidel.” Jamil Abu-Wardeh, Producer

“We had our first carbon neutral volcano (with grounded planes).” David McCandless, Data Journalist

“We can make a judgement about a person on a person’s face in 1/10 th of a second.” Ian Hutchison, Facial Surgeon

“The American heartland gets a bad rap, but it’s given us some fantastic music.” Thomas Dolby, Musician

“The Human Species is very smart …. but we can be incredibly dumb when it comes to our decision making.” Laurie Santos, Cognitive Psychologist

“Plants exhibit such a complex behaviour that it can only be described as intelligence.” Stefano Mancuso, Plant Neurobiologist

“I don’t mind playing bad guys, but I’d like to rob a bank with a gun instead of a bomb strapped around me.” Maz Jobrani, Comedian

“Now it is the story and narrative that wins. Great Powers have great stories.” Joseph Nye, Diplomat

“They are not weeds, they are bio-diversity.” Adrian Dolby, Organic Farmer

“We can never loose faith in humanity as long as we are in the company of other species.” Toni Frohoff, Wildlife Biologist

“We should be called coctivors – animals that eat cooked food.” Heribert Watzke, Food Scientist

“There are three keys to reduce conflict in the world: Leadership, diplomacy and institutional design.” Stefan Wolff, Ethnic Conflict Scholar

“Genes have awesome power over us – but I are more than my genes – I am my connectnome.” Sebastian Seung, Computational Neuroscientist

“Information that organizations spend effort to conceal is a signal that it’s information that could do good.” Julian Assange, wikileaks

“The paradigm of governance based on nation-states does not work any more. The economy is global.” Peter Eigen, Transparency International