Global Launch
Program

More than 50 speakers in five curated sessions that combine TED's signature blend of actionable and research-backed ideas, cutting-edge science, and moments of wonder and inspiration.

Watch and share the entire show.

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Session 1: Urgency

Saturday, October 10, 2020
11:00AM 12:10PM

Launching the Countdown means asking ourselves the big questions: what’s the state of the climate today? What does climate science know? How are we going to achieve a net-zero future? How do we center climate justice in our work? Hear from experts, policymakers and activists in this opening session.

Hosted by Don Cheadle and Mark Ruffalo.

Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo

Actor, director, climate change advocate

Mark Ruffalo advocates for addressing climate change and increasing renewable energy.

Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle

Actor, author, director

Don Cheadle is known for his passionate performances on stage and screen, as well as his philanthropy work on climate change and human rights.

Lindsay Levin
Lindsay Levin

Entrepreneur, activist

Lindsay Levin has dedicated her life to reshaping what leadership looks like, exploring our collective humanity through vulnerability and listening.

Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson

Head of TED

After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading.

Johan Rockström
Johan Rockström

Climate impact scholar

A co-developer of the planetary boundaries framework, Johan Rockström works to understand Earth’s resilience.

Angel Hsu
Angel Hsu

Climate and data scientist

Angel Hsu is a professor and data geek who applies data-driven methods to solve challenging environmental issues.

António Guterres
António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations

António Guterres is at the forefront of fighting the climate emergency and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prince Royce
Prince Royce

Singer, songwriter

Latin superstar Prince Royce is a multi-platinum award-winning singer and songwriter.

David Lammy
David Lammy

Member of Parliament, UK

David Lammy is the first Black MP to hold the Justice post in British Parliament, either in government or opposition.

Christiana Figueres
Christiana Figueres

Stubborn optimist

Christiana Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on climate action and steered the global diplomatic effort that culminated in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Prince Royce
Prince Royce

Singer, songwriter

Latin superstar Prince Royce is a multi-platinum award-winning singer and songwriter.

Session 2: Leadership

Saturday, October 10, 2020
12:10PM 1:30PM

The climate crisis demands leadership at every level. Governments, cities and businesses are three key players in designing and implementing the necessary transition. Speakers in this session will discuss putting climate back on the political and social agenda, rethinking cities, and what businesses can do to transform.

Hosted by Al Gore and Jaden Smith.

Al Gore
Al Gore

Climate advocate

Nobel Laureate Al Gore focused the world's attention on the global climate crisis.

Jaden Smith
Jaden Smith

Actor, musician, activist

Jaden Smith is an actor, rapper and advocate for a cleaner world.

Severn Cullis-Suzuki
Severn Cullis-Suzuki

Environmental educator

Severn Cullis-Suzuki is a lifelong environmental activist seeking justice for future generations.

Ursula von der Leyen
Ursula von der Leyen

President of the European Commission

Ursula von der Leyen believes that green and digital transformations hold the key to Europe's future prosperity and resilience.

Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson

Artist

The transparent simplicity and experiential nature of Olafur Eliasson's work has built his reputation as one of the world's most accessible creators of contemporary art.

Rebecca Henderson
Rebecca Henderson

Capitalism rethinker

Rebecca Henderson is obsessed with finding solutions to climate change.

Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak

Novelist, political scientist

One of the most unique novelists in today's world literature, Elif Shafak's writing blends East and West, feminism and memory, the local and the global, bringing the periphery to the centre, giving voice to the voiceless and the disempowered.

Jesper Brodin
Jesper Brodin

CEO of Ingka Group (IKEA)

Jesper Brodin believes in values-based leadership and togetherness.

Pia Heidenmark Cook
Pia Heidenmark Cook

CSO of Ingka Group (IKEA)

With passion, drive and a team of sustainability professionals, Pia Heidenmark Cook leads the sustainability agenda for the Ingka Group.

Kara Hurst
Kara Hurst

Head of worldwide sustainability at Amazon

Kara Hurst leads the development and evolution of sustainability and social responsibility at Amazon.

Dave Clark
Dave Clark

CEO of worldwide consumer unit at Amazon

Dave Clark leads Amazon’s global supply chain and logistics operations.

Lindsay Levin
Lindsay Levin

Entrepreneur, activist

Lindsay Levin has dedicated her life to reshaping what leadership looks like, exploring our collective humanity through vulnerability and listening.

Aparna Nancherla
Aparna Nancherla

Comedian

A writer and stand-up comedian, Aparna Nancherla is one of the most exciting new voices to hit the comedy scene.

Carlos Moreno
Carlos Moreno

Scientific director, Panthéon Sorbonne University-IAE Paris

Carlos Moreno brings pioneering concepts and an innovative perspective to urban issues.

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr
Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone

As mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is committed to addressing her city's challenges using an inclusive, data-driven approach to urban development.

Yemi Alade
Yemi Alade

Singer, songwriter, composer, actress

UN Goodwill Ambassador and Afropop artist Yemi Alade is known for her electrifying stagecraft and edgy style.

Session 3: Transformation

Saturday, October 10, 2020
1:30PM 2:40PM

Transforming big systems is a huge task. Energy, transportation, industry and infrastructure all pose their own challenges. And yet that transformation is already happening. The experts in this session will show how and where, and offer powerful ideas for accelerating it: developing an economy without coal, decarbonizing fossil fuels, electrifying mobility and more.

Hosted by Jane Fonda and Xiye Bastida.

Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda

Actor, activist

Jane Fonda has had four extraordinary careers (so far): Oscar-winning actor, author, fitness guru and impassioned activist.

Xiye Bastida
Xiye Bastida

Climate activist

Xiye Bastida is one of the lead organizers of the Fridays For Future youth climate strike movement.

Varun Sivaram
Varun Sivaram

Clean energy executive, physicist, author

To combat climate change, Varun Sivaram seeks to scale up clean energy technologies and cultivate innovation ecosystems spanning industry, academia and government.

Myles Allen
Myles Allen

Climate science scholar

Myles Allen studies how human activities and natural drivers contribute to changes in global climate and risks of extreme weather.

Rose M. Mutiso
Rose M. Mutiso

Energy researcher

Rose M. Mutiso works with a global network of experts finding solutions for energy deficits across Africa and Asia. She is also helping African women become scholars and thought leaders.

Raye Zaragoza
Raye Zaragoza

Singer, songwriter

Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer-songwriter who Paste Magazine called "one of the most politically relevant artists in her genre."

Monica Araya
Monica Araya

Electrification advocate

Monica Araya works with leaders in government, business, philanthropy and activism to accelerate the shift toward emissions-free transportation.

Gloria Kasang Bulus
Gloria Kasang Bulus

Climate activist

Gloria Kasang Bulus has dedicated her life to promoting environmental ethics, sustainable use of natural resources and preserving the natural environment for future generations.

Nana Firman
Nana Firman

Carbon footprint activist

Nana Firman wants to unite the world behind a commitment to sustainability and environmental justice.

Ximena Loría
Ximena Loría

Climate education activist

Ximena Loría works to expose the human cost of environmental problems.

Tim Guinee
Tim Guinee

Firefighter and climate activist

Tim Guinee is a passionate advocate for creating a more sustainable world.

Al Gore
Al Gore

Climate advocate

Nobel Laureate Al Gore focused the world's attention on the global climate crisis.

Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes

Photographer

By blending up to 100 still photographs into a seamless composite that captures the transition from day to night, Stephen Wilkes reveals the stories hidden in familiar locations.

Yemi Alade
Yemi Alade

Singer, songwriter, composer, actress

UN Goodwill Ambassador and Afropop artist Yemi Alade is known for her electrifying stagecraft and edgy style.

Session 4: Breakthroughs

Saturday, October 10, 2020
2:30PM 3:40PM

The world around us is mainly made of two things: nature and the materials that we extract from it. To fight climate change, we need to protect and regenerate nature and transform materials into low or zero-carbon alternatives. This session explores the nexus of protection, regeneration and transformation using powerful examples.

Prajakta Koli
Prajakta Koli

Digital content creator

Prajakta Koli, aka MostlySane, is one of India's biggest digital creators with millions of followers across her social media handles.

Hannah Stocking
Hannah Stocking

Creator

Hannah Stocking is a multi-talented creator entertaining millions of followers from around the world with original content ranging from comedy sketches to interview shows to educational series.

Thomas Crowther
Thomas Crowther

Ecosystem ecology professor

In collaboration with vast networks of ecologists around the world, Thomas Crowther works to address the global threats of biodiversity loss and climate change.

Ernestine Leikeki Sevidzem
Ernestine Leikeki Sevidzem

Climate and gender activist

Sevidzem Ernestine Leikeki has a drive to care for nature, foster women's empowerment and build future nature-lovers.

 TED-Ed animation
TED-Ed animation

The future of food production

How can we feed every member of a growing global population a healthy diet while preserving the planet? A TED-Ed animation written by Brent Loken.

John Doerr
John Doerr

Engineer, investor

John Doerr is an engineer, acclaimed venture capitalist, chairman of Kleiner Perkins and the author of "Speed and Scale" and "Measure What Matters."

Hal Harvey
Hal Harvey

Climate policy expert

Hal Harvey works with policymakers to develop a clean energy future.

 Sigrid
Sigrid

Singer, songwriter

From the tiny town of Ålesund in Norway, Sigrid is a remarkable talent with a colossal mind, attitude and voice.

Karen Scrivener
Karen Scrivener

Cement researcher

Karen Scrivener researches how to make cement and concrete more sustainable.

Tom Schuler
Tom Schuler

Cement entrepreneur

Tom Schuler has spent three decades advancing sustainable innovation across global industries.

Rahwa Ghirmatzion
Rahwa Ghirmatzion

Social and climate justice advocate

Rahwa Ghirmatzion is executive director of People United for Sustainable Housing, a membership-based community organization committed to social and climate justice.

Zelalem Adefris
Zelalem Adefris

Social and climate justice advocate

Zelalem Adefris's work in public health addresses racial health and wealth disparities, policy development and climate resilience in low-wealth communities of color.

Don Cheadle
Don Cheadle

Actor, author, director

Don Cheadle is known for his passionate performances on stage and screen, as well as his philanthropy work on climate change and human rights.

Prince William
Prince William

The Duke of Cambridge

Protecting the natural environment for future generations is one of Prince William's key priorities.

 Sigrid
Sigrid

Singer, songwriter

From the tiny town of Ålesund in Norway, Sigrid is a remarkable talent with a colossal mind, attitude and voice.

Session 5: Action

Saturday, October 10, 2020
3:40PM 5:00PM

It’s time to take action. This closing session will explore the road ahead. How to think urgently and long-term about climate change. How to take into account the interests of future generations in today’s decisions. How we as individuals, communities and organizations can contribute to shaping a better future. The Countdown is on!

Hosted by Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Chris Hemsworth.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra Jonas

Actor, producer, activist

Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a multifaceted talent and one of the most recognized personalities in the world.

Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth

Actor

An active philanthropist, Chris Hemsworth is passionate about ocean conservation and finding solutions to climate change.

Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman

Poet, activist

Amanda Gorman made history at the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, becoming the US’s youngest inaugural poet.

Roman Krznaric
Roman Krznaric

Long-view philosopher

Roman Krznaric writes about the power of ideas to change society.

Sophie Howe
Sophie Howe

Future Generations Commissioner for Wales

Sophie Howe safeguards the interests and well-being of the future generations of Wales.

Miao Wang
Miao Wang

Marine conservationist

A United Nations Young Champion of the Earth, Miao Wang prefers to be underwater or in the sky.

Alok Sharma
Alok Sharma

President-Designate of COP26

Alok Sharma is a British politician, Cabinet Minister and President-Designate of COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Nigel Topping
Nigel Topping

UN High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26

Nigel Topping is the UN's High-Level Climate Action Champion. His aim is to amp up climate action ahead of COP26, the 2021 UN climate conference taking place in Glasgow.

Lisa Jackson
Lisa Jackson

Environment and social VP at Apple

Lisa Jackson is an environmental and social impact leader who has dedicated her career to building a greener and more just economy.

Liz Ogbu
Liz Ogbu

Designer, urbanist, spatial justice activist

Liz Ogbu is a global expert on engaging and transforming unjust urban environments.

Ava DuVernay
Ava DuVernay

Writer, producer, filmmaker

Ava DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her nonprofit film collective Array.

His Holiness Pope Francis
His Holiness Pope Francis

Bishop of Rome

Pope Francis is the head of the Roman Catholic Church and a strong advocate of global action against climate change, to which he has devoted his powerful 2015 encyclical "Laudato Si'."

Andri Snær Magnason
Andri Snær Magnason

Writer, poet

Known for his unusual approach to everyday issues, Andri Snær Magnason is a storyteller and environmental activist.

Cynthia Erivo
Cynthia Erivo

Actor, performer

Known for her role in the Broadway revival of "The Color Purple," Cynthia Erivo received two Academy Awards nominations in 2019 for her work on the movie "Harriet," about the life of Harriet Tubman.

Gary Motley
Gary Motley

Pianist

Gary Motley's career achievements as a pianist, composer, performer, arranger and educator garnered his induction into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 2015.

Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson

Head of TED

After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading.

Lindsay Levin
Lindsay Levin

Entrepreneur, activist

Lindsay Levin has dedicated her life to reshaping what leadership looks like, exploring our collective humanity through vulnerability and listening.

Countdown program curation and production: Bruno Giussani, Lindsay Levin, Chris Anderson, Juliet Blake, Logan McClure Davda, Nicole Ng and the Countdown team.