TEDWomen Summit Highlights How Females Are Reshaping the Future

BY Hari Sreenivasan  December 9, 2010 at 7:00 AM EST

They’re the presentations that your friends forward you through an e-mail or social network, the ones where you drift off for 18 minutes into the dream worlds of scientists, the powerful stories of social activists and or talks by plain, old-fashioned thinkers. If you’ve never heard of TED or seen their viral idea videos — check them out at TED.com. Gatherings have been held annually in California and England, and for the first time the organizers have convened one focused on women.

The videos from the dozens of presentations will trickle out over time and join the hundreds already in the archive, but we managed to grab some time with three women from Wednesday morning’s sessions. Amber Case is a cyborg anthropologist studying how technology is affecting us, and how we in turn affect one another. Tweeting your lunch can have meaning. Take a look.


Cynthia Breazeal is pushing the edge of robotics at MIT. To her, robots are about people. While our first impressions of artificial intelligence may be R2-D2 and C-3PO from “Star Wars,” the state of robotics in our daily lives is the Roomba. Breazeal is working on changing that.



Deborah Rhodes is literally helping people see cancer in a new way. Remember these letters; MBI they stand for Molecular Breast Imaging. Within a year, you’ll be hearing a lot more about it. Already FDA-approved and shown to be as safe as and more effective than mammography in high-risk women with dense breasts, this technology and these devices will be game changers for everyone affected by breast cancer.