How data constellations tell a story: MAPPing the TED Fellows network and the conflict in Syria

TED Blog

What’s this galaxy-like cluster of dots and lines? It’s the TED Fellows Collaboration Network MAPP, a rich and interactive web that shows the patterns of cross-disciplinary collaboration among TED Fellows over the past four years. This rainbow visualization was created using MAPPR, a cloud-based network mapping tool that Eric Berlow demoed during TED2014. It allows anyone to make shareable, interactive network visualizations.

The TED Fellows program began as a way to support and amplify the work of thinkers and innovators through the conference. But then something unexpected happened – the professionally diverse community, which includes scientists, makers, activists, artists, technologists and more, became its own living, breathing organism. Fellows began reaching out to each other for all manner of cross-disciplinary collaborations. A few examples include:

  • Filmmaker and sitar player Andrew Mendelson working with open-hardware guru Catarina Mota to incorporate programmable Arduino-powered tuners on his Carbon Fiber Sitar project.
  • Satirist and designer Safwat Saleem working with applied…

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How should we talk about transgender issues?

TED Blog

Geena Rocero on stage at TED2014 / Photo: James Duncan Davidson Geena Rocero on stage at TED2014 / Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Geena Rocero did a pretty bold thing at TED2014: She came out. The transgender fashion model chose Vancouver to reveal to the world that she was assigned male at birth. “I am here exposed … to help others live without shame and terror,” she says in today’s talk.

The trans community has had a spotlight fixed on it in this year: a piece in Grantland sparked outrage and sadness after the subject of the story, outed without her permission, committed suicide; Jared Leto won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing a trans woman in Dallas Buyer’s Club; while Piers Morgan was widely criticized after a poorly handled interview with journalist and activist Janet Mock. Meanwhile the US’s new Affordable Care Act bans discrimination against someone based on their “gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical…

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