We are living in an era of astonishing possibilities and an age of ongoing achievements happening in every single field. If we allow ourselves to embrace the wonder in each step that humanity takes forward, to muse and to marvel, to be energized with wonder, great advancements will follow. When we emerge from our silos, we have the opportunity to broaden our laser-like focus. And, when we step back and take time to look deeper, we can see with a wider perspective. The results can be transformative. New doors are opened. New horizons reveal themselves. New possibilities suddenly leap from wild speculation to well-grounded theory to working reality.

Join us at TEDMED 2020, where we will experience the power and possibilities that come to us when we make way for wonder.


Session 1: Monday, March 2, 5:00 pm EST

Our universe is overflowing with wonder, and if we have the wisdom to appreciate it, we can learn many things. In this exciting session, our speakers take us on a series of journeys, showing us wonder in the surprising potential for reconnecting with dementia patients; the astonishing properties of the human brain; and the impact of love and hate on global health. Speakers in this session will also lead us to appreciate the unconventional wisdom required to make a complex diagnosis; and the power of asking big-picture questions from unusual perspectives, whether along a marathon route or at a high-crime hotspot. Join us as we celebrate the amazing people and possibilities that are right in front of us, from our oldest citizens to our most vulnerable populations.


Session 2: Tuesday, March 3, 9:00 am EST

The wonders of the human mind are intimately connected with its frailties. The same imagination that can lead us to scientific breakthroughs, can also haunt us with needless anxieties -- or even push us toward addiction, mental illness or suicidality. In this session, TEDMED welcomes a series of speakers who have confronted the most disturbing, dangerous and tragic tendencies of the mind, and who have found effective coping strategies. Their innovative approaches range from new drugs to fight opioid dependency, to new legal instruments that safeguard the rights of the mentally ill. Along the way we’ll explore the power of music to uplift and heal, and the power of community to rescue self-destructive teens.


Session 3: Tuesday, March 3, 2:00 pm EST

Nature perpetually surprises us – especially if we aren’t paying attention. From the complexities of climate change to the seeming simplicity of water, we take nature for granted at our peril. In this session, TEDMED speakers will demonstrate the power of paying attention as the vital first step toward restoring the harmony of the natural order, and restoring the balance of healthy bodies in a healthy world. Activists and artists alike will share their stories, and experts in vaccine hesitancy and pandemic defense will share their strategies. Hear the call to wonder as our speakers urge us to wake up and reconnect to the natural world in powerful new ways.


Session 4: Tuesday, March 3, 5:15 pm EST

If wanderlust is the romantic impulse to keep on the move, constantly exploring new horizons, then “wonder”-lust must be the scientific impulse to keep pushing into new frontiers of exploration, discovery, innovation and knowledge. Speakers in this session will conduct a tour of cutting-edge technologies of health and medicine, from the promise of gene editing and datachip implants, to the excitement of new views inside the human body. The healing power of surgical robotics, and the healing potential of lab-engineered, transmissible anti-viruses, are also major signposts on the “wonderlust” technological map for this session. We’ll tap into the power of scientific storytelling; and a special stop on the itinerary includes an exploration of the potential for Machine Learning in medicine.


Session 5: Wednesday, March 4, 9:00 am EST

Full of wonder as the natural world is, there is equal wonder in the transformative power of human imagination, inspired by a vision of justice. In this session, TEDMED brings together nature and society with a series of speakers who will stand up for painful truths. Some of their messages are shocking and disturbing, as they reveal the facts behind needless and wrongful deaths in vulnerable populations and in prisons. Other speakers uncover the difficult realities of dangerous generic drugs, or the abuse suffered by legitimate asylum seekers, including children. We’ll also struggle with the challenges of achieving universal coverage, and of living with the uncertainties that follow a life-threatening diagnosis. Finally, we’ll confront the ultimate collision of nature and nurture as we explore how death itself demands the closest bonds of human community.