How the NSA betrayed the world’s trust — and why it’s time to act. Today’s TED Talk by Mikko Hypponen at TEDxBrussels

Ever since the NSA leak last May, the world has been locked in a raging ethical argument that cants heavily toward the opinion: ‘not even remotely okay.’ Recent events have highlighted, underlined, and bolded the fact that the United States is performing blanket surveillance on any foreigner whose data passes through an American entity — whether they are suspected of wrongdoing or not.

That means that, essentially, every international user of the Internet is being watched, says Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure Corporation in Finland. His important rant is wrapped up with a plea: to find alternative solutions to using American companies for world’s information needs. 

Above, watch Mikko Hypponen’s bold take on the recent NSA controversy in what is today’s featured talk at TED.com.

Usually, when people talk about early childhood programs, they talk about all the wonderful benefits for participants: better K-12 test skills, better adult earnings. And that’s all very important — but what I want to talk about is what preschool does for state economies.

If you invest in high-quality preschool, it develops the skills of your local workforce and, in turn, that higher-quality local workforce will be a key driver of creating jobs and creating higher earnings per capita in the local community.

If you look at the research on how much early childhood programs affect the educational attainment, wages, and skills of former participants in preschool as adults … and you take research on how much skills drive job creation, you will conclude that for every dollar invested in early childhood programs, the per capita earnings of state residents go up by $2.78. That’s a 3 to 1 return.

Now, you can get much higher returns — of up to 16 to 1 — if you include anti-crime benefits, if you include benefits to former preschool participants that moved to some other state, but there’s a good reason for focusing on these 3 dollars because this is salient and important to state legislators and state policymakers. And it’s the states who are going to have to act.

Now, one objection you often hear is, ‘Why should I pay more taxes to invest in other people’s children? What’s in it for me?’ And the trouble with that objection is it reflects a total misunderstanding of how much local economies involve everyone being interdependent. When we invest in other people’s children, and build up those skills, we increase the overall job growth of a metro area.

Ultimately, this is something we’re investing in now for the future. Are we willing, as Americans, or are we as a society still capable of making the political choice to sacrifice now by paying more taxes in order to improve the long-term future of not only our kids, but our community? That’s something that each and every citizen and voter needs to ask themselves. Is that something that you are still invested in, that you still believe in the notion of investment? That is the notion of investment. You sacrifice now for a return later.

From economist Timothy Bartik’s TEDxMiamiUniversity talk:The economic case for preschool. For more of Bartik’s insights on early childhood education and economics in the US, watch his whole talk here »

The faces of modern slavery: photographer Lisa Kristine documents the lives of people who are enslaved around the globe

Over 27 million people live in slavery today — a reality that is hard to believe and invisible to many.
After an encounter with an NGO dedicated to eradicating modern day slavery — Free The Slaves — TEDxMaui speaker Lisa Kristine dedicated her life to photographing people whose freedom is not their own.

In her talk, "Photos that bear witness to modern slavery," Lisa shares what she’s learned from over two decades photographing modern-day slavery.

Above, some of Lisa’s haunting photos from brick kilns in India and Nepal.

From Amy Purdy’s TEDxOrangeCoast talk, "Living beyond limits. Amy is a professional snowboarder who lost her legs at age 19 due to bacterial meningitis. In her TEDx talk, she describes how she dealt with this loss, and encourages us to take control of our lives — and our limits.

Watch Amy’s entire talk below,
and learn more about Amy and her non-profit Adaptive Action Sports, dedicated to introducing people with physical challenges to action sports at her website.