Teenagers offer a lot. A lot of times, people think of teenagers as not caring, and that’s a big mistake. We do care about a lot of things, we just don’t know where to start. — Julia Bluhm

Julia Bluhm is a teenager who offers a lot. At just 14, fed up with seeing her friends stress over trying to be like the girls they saw in magazines, Julia and friend Izzy started an online petition protesting the overuse of Photoshop in Seventeen magazine.
What started out small soon gained momentum. Within days, the petition had over 25,000 signatures. After a month, Julia was outside Seventeen magazine headquarters presenting a petition that now had over 84,000 signatures.
In the end, her efforts paid off — Seventeen magazine issued a Body Peace Treaty, signed by all the editors, agreeing to show real, un-Photoshopped girls in their pages.
Julia and Izzy dominated TEDxWomen last year with their story, showing how to be a super, A+, no-nonsense, clever, ever-questioning, butt-kicking, media monitor — no matter your age. You can watch their talk here.
And for more evidence why you should never underestimate a teenager with a cause, read our interview with Julia on the TED Blog.

Teenagers offer a lot. A lot of times, people think of teenagers as not caring, and that’s a big mistake. We do care about a lot of things, we just don’t know where to start. 
— Julia Bluhm

Julia Bluhm is a teenager who offers a lot. At just 14, fed up with seeing her friends stress over trying to be like the girls they saw in magazines, Julia and friend Izzy started an online petition protesting the overuse of Photoshop in Seventeen magazine.

What started out small soon gained momentum. Within days, the petition had over 25,000 signatures. After a month, Julia was outside Seventeen magazine headquarters presenting a petition that now had over 84,000 signatures.

In the end, her efforts paid off — Seventeen magazine issued a Body Peace Treaty, signed by all the editors, agreeing to show real, un-Photoshopped girls in their pages.

Julia and Izzy dominated TEDxWomen last year with their story, showing how to be a super, A+, no-nonsense, clever, ever-questioning, butt-kicking, media monitor — no matter your age. You can watch their talk here.

And for more evidence why you should never underestimate a teenager with a cause, read our interview with Julia on the TED Blog.

The Higgs Boson, breaking the sound barrier, Occupy Wall Street, oh my! — 9 TEDx Talks to remember 2012

2012 saw major advances in science, remarkable feats of human achievement, and sea-changes in politics, international conflict, and human relations. These nine talks should help you frame the essential ideas that shaped events this past year.

The Higgs Boson: What You Don’t Know: Dr. Dan Hooper at TEDxNaperville

Earlier this year, CERN uncovered overwhelming evidence pointing toward the discovery of the elusive Higgs-Boson particle — providing experimental backing for some of the most fundamental theories in physics. Dan Hooper explains what makes this discovery so special. (Filmed at TEDxNaperville.)

STRATOS - The longest free fall in history: Dr. Jon Clark at TEDxUSC

On October 14, 2012, Felix Baumgartner lept off a ledge 39,045 meters in the air, broke the sound barrier, and landed safely on the ground. Dr. Jon Clark worked on the suit that helped Felix survive. Watch the talk to find out how he did it. (Filmed at TEDxUSC.)

The aftermath of Occupy: Naomi Colvin at TEDxHousesofParliament

Last year, the Occupy Wall Street movement spread like wildfire across the globe. This year, members have struggled with critics who dismiss the campaign for its inability to articulate specific demands. Naomi Colvin thinks they miss the point entirely; that the protests were not about rushing into specific negotiations based on conventional principles, but about disrupting the way we reform altogether. In this reflective talk, she lays out a new vision of political identity. (Filmed at TEDxHousesofParliament.)

Be optimistic about the US and China: Geoffrey Garrett at TEDxSydney

When, in April of this year, civil rights activist Chen Guangcheng fled from house arrest to seek asylum at the US embassy in Beijing, the US and China faced a delicate situation that challenged both countries’ policies and basic ethics.  Geoffrey Garrett believes that because the issue was resolved with relative ease — he can outline a vision of the future where these codependent superpowers can peaceably exist. (Filmed at TEDxSydney.)

What are your universal rights?: Philippe Sands at TEDxHousesofParliament

In addition to leaving thousands and countless homeless, the ongoing conflict in Syria has tried international stability — forcing every nation to reflect on its philosophy of intervention. In a call for consistent international conduct, Philippe Sands reframes intervention as a moral issue. He makes the case that no government should be free to abuse its citizens, that the rights of individuals supersede those of the state and that those rights must be protected by a powerful international force. (Filmed at TEDxHousesofParliament.)

Fixing election coverage: Jay Rosen at TEDxColumbiaEngineering 

In November, America re-elected Barack Obama. But before they could do that, they were inundated with a barrage of press coverage, most of which, according to Jay Rosen, wasn’t very helpful. In this talk, he lays out the problems with the press’s election coverage and offers a simple fix. (Filmed at TEDxColumbiaEngineering.)

How Curiosity Changed My Life, and I Changed Hers: Adam Steltzner atTEDxNewEngland

Aside from representing a major achievement in science, engineering, and the exploration of space, the Curiosity rover is simply, incredibly cool. Adam Steltzner, landing lead for the Curiosity rover, explains how NASA got a 1-ton SUV onto Mars. (Filmed at TEDxNewEngland.)

Hate Speech Beyond Borders: Nazila Ghanea at TEDxEastEnd

In September, a hate-filled video posted to YouTube sparked a slew of violent protests across the Arab world and left serious questions about how cultures of free speech can peaceably coexist with cultures of censorship. Oxford professor of International Human Rights Law, Nazila Ghanea, gives us a look into the wider international picture of contemporary hate speech and the nature of the violence it incurs. (Filmed at TEDxEastEnd.)

A History of Violence:  Steven Pinker atTEDxNewEngland

Several times this year, headlines described traumatic, violent events. But, through it all, it’s essential to remember that we live in the least violent time in history, says philosopher Steven Pinker. In this talk, he breaks down the numbers behind the decline of violence and lays out his expectations for the future of conflict. (Filmed at TEDxNewEngland.)