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The anxiety that comes from being treated like an outsider | Valerie Purdie-Greenaway

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. The stress you may feel being otherized or stereotyped can take a significant toll on your health and well-being. In this thoughtful conversation, social psychologist Valerie Purdie-Greenaway reveals the true source of this anxiety (hint: it isn’t the individual)…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

The stress you may feel being otherized or stereotyped can take a significant toll on your health and well-being. In this thoughtful conversation, social psychologist Valerie Purdie-Greenaway reveals the true source of this anxiety (hint: it isn’t the individual) and shares strategies on building resilient systems of support for ourselves and others — so that we can build a more inclusive, empathic and just world. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED’s “How to Deal with Difficult Feelings” series.)

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

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Transcriber:

[How to Deal with Difficult Feelings]

Cloe Shasha Brooks: Hello, welcome.

You are watching a TED Interview series

called “How to Deal with
Difficult Feelings.”

I’m Cloe Shasha Brooks,
your host and a curator at TED.

Now I will be speaking with
Valerie Purdie-Greenaway,

social psychologist
and Columbia University professor.

She directs the Laboratory of Intergroup
Relations and the Social Mind,

where she researches
the us-versus-them mindset

with the goal of fostering
understanding between groups.

And she has wisdom to share

about the relationship
between feeling like an outsider

and anxiety.

So let’s bring on Valerie.

Hello, Valerie, thank you for being here.

One of the things I’ve been excited
to ask you about is just, you know,

you talk about how there’s two ways
of seeing anxiety, right?

Chronic anxiety and context-based anxiety.

So can you define the two for us?

Valerie Purdie-Greenaway: There’s two ways
of thinking about anxiety.

I think the first way that people
traditionally think about anxiety

is chronic anxiety.

We are still in the midst of a pandemic.

People are anxious.

Some others might think of anxiety
in terms of their personality,

you know, their micromanagers,

and these kinds of anxieties
are sort of everyday anxieties

that are with us
for a long period of time.

What I study is another kind of anxiety

that other people may not be aware of.

And this is the anxiety that comes from
being part of a social group,

whether it’s your race, your ethnicity,
your gender, your sexual orientation,

your size,

and walking around the world

and sort of bumping up to environments
where you’re stereotyped,

where you’re “otherwise-d,”

and that context
makes you feel different.

And in that moment,

you can feel it’s the same
biological kind of anxiety and stress,

but it comes from the context.

So I study the kind of stress,
anxiety, frustration

that stems from being a member
of a group that can be stereotyped,

and I study the kinds of contexts
that make that happen,

whether it’s at work, at school,
church, in your synagogue, you know,

all of the types of contexts that can
either intentionally or inadvertently

make us feel otherwise,
which causes that anxiety.

CSB: Yeah. And so, let’s say
someone’s dealing with anxiety

in association with a specific context,

like being the only
person of color in a classroom

or the only woman on a team at work.

What would you suggest as strategies
for managing that anxiety?

VPG: The first thing
is to just recognize that it’s not you.

If you feel stress, you feel anxiety,

it’s not you.

There’s not something wrong with you.

There’s something wrong with the context.

The second thing is sort of deciding:
Is it really worth it?

Do you actually care?

Because not every environment
really matters.

Once you contextualize,
once you understand it’s not you,

you have to create
a system of support around you

to kind of fact-check your experiences.

For instance, do you have a mentor
who is in a similar situation,

who came some years before you?

When you talk to them, they can help you
to understand that it’s not you.

They can help you fact-check.

They can help you navigate
what’s happening.

I think the other thing which comes
out of some research that I have done

is when you situate that moment

relative to who you are more broadly —
I am bigger than this moment —

sometimes those kinds of affirmations
can be incredibly helpful in that moment

for sort of reducing that stress.

CSB: Well, let’s take
one of our audience questions.

So from LinkedIn, someone asks,

“What can we do to best support
people in our lives

who are suffering
from context-based anxiety?”

VPG: Oh, that’s a great question.

The question of what we can do
to support others in our lives

that are experiencing
context-based identity

is important because oftentimes,
it’s undetectable.

One of the most challenging aspects
of a context-based stress —

the scientific term is called
“stereotype threat” —

the challenge with that is you have
this physiological feeling.

You might feel stressed, you might feel
anxious, you might be overworking.

Are you working at two and three
in the morning,

like, overworking on a presentation?

But the problem is, you might not be able
to actually detect it in others.

You can oftentimes understand

what situations a partner or person
or friend is going into ahead of time

and sort of sharing this idea

that when you’re in contexts
where you are a solo status,

you’re the only one,

this is something that could happen,

this is an experience you could feel.

It’s not you; it’s a common situation.

I have found over and over and over again,

just taking the heat off of an individual

to sort of place it back
where it’s supposed to be in the context

is incredibly helpful.

CSB: That’s interesting and valuable.

I mean, one of the things that
feels connected to that, too,

is obviously, being
in these context-based,

anxiety-producing situations

can create anger and frustration,

especially for those who have been
affected by violence or injustice.

Can you can you talk more about that flow
from anger and frustration to anxiety?

VPG: Violence, frustration is, these days,

far too familiar to many of us.

When we think about all that has
come out of George Floyd,

we think about the continuing challenges
that women face in the workplace,

we think about the trans community,

and what they’re dealing with
in terms of athletes and athleticism

and whether or not they’re considered
truly part of a sport,

particularly in women’s sports —

there are so many different identities
that are being challenged right now.

And what we find in our research

is that there’s a natural flow
from anxiety, stress,

questioning whether,
“Is it something about me?”

“What is it about my group?”

to the shift in understanding that society
is seeing and treating you differently,

and that causes anger,
and that causes frustration.

The problem with this is,
at the physiological level,

it’s still stress,

and stress is debilitating.

It keeps us up at night.

It keeps us overeating.

It keeps us undereating.

You look at the early onset
of cardiovascular disease.

The problem is, stress is debilitating.

So even though those moments of anger

may even make you feel like
you can do something,

you feel empowered as a group,

it still can erode our health.

And so when I think
about inclusive societies,

I think about it
from a justice perspective.

I also think about it
from a health perspective,

because it’s all linked together.

CSB: Absolutely. Yeah.

We have another question
from the audience. Let’s bring that up.

From Facebook: “Is it possible
to use anxiety in a positive way?”

VPG: It is absolutely a good idea.

And when you understand
that you can leverage the power of anxiety

in a positive way,

you can do a lot of different things.

So, for instance, there’s a relationship
between anxiety and performance.

There’s lots of research on this.

It’s sort of an old idea.

And the idea is that some anxiety is good.

My doctoral advisor, Claude Steele,

after giving thousands of talks
and writing books, I would ask him,

“Do you still get anxious
on the first day of class?”

And he said to me, “Valerie, when you stop
being nervous the first day of class,

it’s time to retire.”

CSB: (Laughs)

VPG: Because that’s
a good kind of anxiety, right?

But the problem is, that anxiety
can also shift to being debilitated,

where you’re just stressed,
you start to feel frazzled,

you start to feel like your brain
isn’t working properly.

And so some anxiety is good.

It’s sort of like
the sweet spot of anxiety.

And then if you keep going, it can become
debilitating and erode performance.

So it’s the back-and-forth
between some is good, too much is bad,

that we need to be thinking about,

both as ourselves as individuals

and also when we’re
part of organizations.

CSB: We have a new question
from the audience.

Let’s bring that one up, please.

Thank you.

OK, Kristin Sánchez Salas
from LinkedIn says,

“What can you do if your context-based
anxiety is provoked by a colleague,

client, superior or someone
you work with regularly?”

VPG: My strategy is:
first time, forgiveness.

Sometimes, fact-checking:

What is it that you actually heard?
What is it that someone said?

Trying to understand someone’s intentions,

that’s, I think, the first step.

The second step is,

this is something that is not
going to be tolerated,

because it impacts your ability to thrive,

and it impacts other people
who are members of their group.

So this becomes a manager issue.

This becomes a leadership issue.

And true inclusive leadership is taking
a stand and saying “We’re not doing this,”

and then setting the groundwork
so it doesn’t happen again.

CSB: Yeah, that’s really great advice.

But we’re almost at the end,

so I’m just going to ask you one final
question leading from that, which is:

If you’re told that you are the cause
of context-based anxiety,

what’s the first thing you should do?

VPG: If you’re told that you are the cause
of context-based anxiety,

remember my face: it’s not you,

it’s the situation that you are in.

Trust your judgment,

particularly if you have
experienced solo status once,

you’ve experienced it again.

If you’ve been stereotyped once,

you’ve probably had this experience

over and over.

So trust your intuition that it’s not you
bringing paranoia to the workplace,

that these kind of stereotypes
and otherisms are rife and alive.

I think that’s the first thing.

And then the second thing
is having these layers of support

around mentors and sponsors,

who can tell you
that you are doing just fine,

there’s something amiss
in this environment.

That layer of support
is incredibly important.

It’s important for everyone.

But if you’re a member of a social group

that contends with these kinds of
challenges in society,

that layer of support
that you can go after

in terms of creating
robust social networks,

that is a key.

CSB: This has been so valuable, Valerie.

Thank you so much
for taking the time to talk with me.

VPG: Thank you so much.

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Nonprofits & Activism

How marijuana reform could repair, reclaim and restore communities | Khadijah Tribble

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. The war on drugs in the United States undid much of the progress of the Civil Rights Movement — and today, it continues to derail millions within marginalized communities with arrests, convictions and incarcerations for marijuana possession. As more…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

The war on drugs in the United States undid much of the progress of the Civil Rights Movement — and today, it continues to derail millions within marginalized communities with arrests, convictions and incarcerations for marijuana possession. As more states move to legalize cannabis, social entrepreneur and activist Khadijah Tribble calls for equitable reform that centers on the casualties of the war and its insidious policies and paves a path toward restorative justice.

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

Become a TED Member:
Follow TED on Twitter:
Like TED on Facebook:
Subscribe to our channel:

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

Transcriber:

“What did you want to be when you grow up”

is a question that I’m sure many of you
have heard in your childhood.

But if your upbringing was
anything like mine,

it is a question that you heard
over and over again.

And it wasn’t until I became an adult
that I began to understand

the significance of the asking
of the questions by our community leaders

and my grandparents.

But it was only recently
in the last two years

that I get some true understanding

of just how much significance
and weight there was

in the answer back then and even today.

You see, growing up Black and female
in the South more than 40 years ago,

there are some limitations
to the answer to that question.

Whether real or perceived,
there were limitations all the same.

And so what I want you
to understand at this moment,

as a young girl growing up,

with all that was happening
right after the civil rights movement,

all of the advancements of the struggle,

things that were meant to push and advance
the African-American community;

things like the Voting Rights Act,

The Fair Housing Act
and affirmative action,

and my generation was supposed
to be taking full advantage

of all of those opportunities.

So, when they ask the question,

“What do you want to be
when you grow up?,”

it meant something to them.

I remember hearing this question
one summer at vacation Bible school.

And if anybody is here from the South,

you understand that vacation Bible school

is not to be confused
with BTU training school

or Sunday-go-to-meeting school.

it is vacation Bible school.

I’m still trying to figure out
who thought it was a good idea

to put a vacation,
Bible and school all together …

(Laughter)

But the first week of every summer,
of every summer during my childhood,

it was spent in vacation Bible school.

And this one particular summer
there was a teacher.

She wasn’t too much older than me
and my middle school friends.

She wanted to make sure
that we understood scripture

and was able to connect it
to this real world question

of what you will be when you grow up.

And so as my gaggle of girls
sat around lunch that day,

trying to figure out
what we were going to say,

thinking back now, it was
a really impressive group of girls

because they wanted to be things
like civil rights attorneys,

educators and doctors.

I didn’t want any of that.

I was going to do something different.

You see, I was going to be …

wait for it …

A thinker.

(Laughter)

Yes.

(Applause)

So when it came time for me
to take the stage

and share with the entire
vacation Bible school,

I introduced myself and I said,

“When I grow up,
I’m going to be a thinker.”

There was some laughter, some giggles,

but it was really the disapproving look
on the teacher’s face that made me recant.

And so I said really quickly,

“When I grow up,
I’m going to be a lawyer,”

and then I exit stage left.

But fast-forward to two years ago

and I get an opportunity
to spend time at an institution

known for creating
and cultivating great thinkers.

Little did I know at the time

that there’s a ritual
at the Kennedy School

where students get an opportunity
to stand on the famous forum stage

and they’re given 15 seconds to say

what they were going to do
at the Kennedy School.

And so, you know what I’m thinking, right?

It’s a full-circle moment.
I’m going to get it right.

So I take the mic, I introduce myself
and I say to my peers,

to deans and to faculty members

that I’m here to tell you

that marijuana matters.

Not a lot of giggles.

Actually, it was actually
a lot of applause.

But in my head, I’m thinking,

“Khadijah, did you just stand
on the premiere policy stage

and tell these folks
you’re going to talk about weed?”

(Laughter)

That’s exactly what I did,

and for the next 12 months,

I immersed myself in all things marijuana,

day in and day out, reading, talking,
sniffing, thinking about marijuana.

So much so, my lovely wife Robyn
banned the topic from the dinner table.

(Laughter)

But here’s what I came
to understand about marijuana.

And if you don’t remember anything else
from my talk, please remember this.

That for all of the gains
that we were trying to make

with the civil rights movement —

fair housing,

expanded opportunities in education,

employment opportunities,

building the wealth
of the African-American community,

the failed policies of the war on drugs
single-handedly undid all of that.

(Applause)

And here’s how we know that.

I want to give you guys five numbers.

Five.

Seven.

46.

23

and one.

And no, it’s not
the Mega Millions jackpot numbers.

See, for more than five decades,

this country has waged a war on drugs,

which has been tantamount to waging
a war on Black and brown communities.

Millions of people have been arrested,

convicted and incarcerated
for marijuana-related possessions.

In the last decade alone, 7 million.

And those 7 million people are facing

what’s known as
46,000 collateral consequences.

Now, some of you may be saying,
“If you do the crime, you do the time.”

And I only have five minutes left,
so I can’t argue that point today.

But I will say to you, at this moment,

when 33 states
and the District of Columbia

have some form of regulated

growing marijuana, selling marijuana,

consuming marijuana and distributing
marijuana on a mass scale,

is it still a crime?

I ask because I’ve met people
all across this country

who are living with those
collateral consequences.

People like Keyvette, a young woman,
very energetic about her future.

When she left high school,

she was ambitious
and she wanted to go off to college.

But before she could realize that

she was stopped
for a routine traffic violation,

I think it was a broken headlight.

And in the course of that stop
the police officers smelled marijuana.

And if you’re in the state of Virginia,

the smell of marijuana is probable
cause for search and seizure.

The car was searched,
there was marijuana that wasn’t used.

She was arrested, booked,

and to this day, she still has
a criminal record related to marijuana.

Because of that record,

she often finds it hard
to qualify for an apartment,

employment opportunities.

She also lost the opportunity
to use financial aid to go to school.

Some of you might not even know

there are about 26 licensures
for entry-level employment opportunities,

that if you have
a marijuana-related conviction,

you may not be able to get that license,

like a barber’s license
or a cosmetology license.

But the thing that I find so offensive
about ??? situation

is that she has two kids.

And there’s evidence to suggest
children born to individuals

who have a marijuana-related offense,

they’re more likely to live in poverty.

And I ask you guys, is that fair?

Is that equitable?

Or take the veteran who proudly
and honorably served for 26 years

in the United States Air Forces.

In that service, he actually
lost the use of his legs,

he’s paralyzed and he uses marijuana
for pain management.

He also uses it to deal
with his anxiety and depression

that you can imagine would come
with losing independence and mobility.

And he uses marijuana knowing full well

that he is at risk of losing
the very health benefits

that he earned as a disabled veteran.

You know, people ask me all the time,

“Khadijah, why marijuana?

Why are you so passionate
about marijuana?”

The reality of it is I feel
like this is just a continuation

of the work I’ve done my entire life.

I’ve worked alongside
marginalized communities,

in service of marginalized communities

in hopes that I would be able
to improve their life in some way.

But if I’m being honest and frank,
it’s also very personal to me,

marijuana is a personal issue for me.

You see, that veteran
happens to be my father,

Retired Master Sergeant Willie B. Tribble,

and I will fight for his right
and the thousands of other veterans

to get the life saving —

and we don’t know that yet by research,

but I suggest that it could
potentially be —

medicine that is quality
and safe for veterans.

And Keyvette?
Keyvette is my daughter in law.

And those two kids, King and Titan,

mean so much to me.

And just like my grandparents asked me,

“What do you want to be
when you grow up?,”

I want to be able
to hear from my grandsons:

anything they want to be.

Thank you for listening.

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Nonprofits & Activism

What farmers need to be modern, climate-friendly and profitable | Beth Ford

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. Farming feeds all of us — yet in rural communities, farmers are under pressure from mounting climate volatility and limited access to modern tools like the internet. How can agriculture stay resilient and grow with the times? Beth Ford,…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

Farming feeds all of us — yet in rural communities, farmers are under pressure from mounting climate volatility and limited access to modern tools like the internet. How can agriculture stay resilient and grow with the times? Beth Ford, CEO of the farming co-op Land O’Lakes, shares her plan to establish broadband as a basic right nationwide and talks through an exciting range of climate-friendly innovations aimed at making farmers more sustainable and profitable. (This virtual conversation, hosted by TED business curator Corey Hajim, was recorded March 2, 2020.)

The TED Talks channel features the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and more. You’re welcome to link to or embed these videos, forward them to others and share these ideas with people you know.

Become a TED Member:
Follow TED on Twitter:
Like TED on Facebook:
Subscribe to our channel:

TED’s videos may be used for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License, Attribution–Non Commercial–No Derivatives (or the CC BY – NC – ND 4.0 International) and in accordance with our TED Talks Usage Policy (). For more information on using TED for commercial purposes (e.g. employee learning, in a film or online course), please submit a Media Request at

Transcriber:

Corey Hajim: Here with me today
is Beth Ford, the CEO of Land O’Lakes,

a farming cooperative that works
across the United States

and in dozens of countries
around the world.

And she’s going to share with us
her vision about how to create

a better future for farmers

that’s both environmentally
and economically sustainable.

Hi, Beth, thank you so much
for being here.

Beth Ford: Thanks for the invitation,
I’m looking forward to the conversation.

CH: Let’s first talk
about the broadband issue.

How big of a problem is this

and how does it affect
the farming community,

both as you said,
as families and as businesses?

BF: So the estimates have been

that 18 million Americans
lack broadband access,

14 million are in rural America.

Now, having said that, the broadband —

I’m trying to remember
what the name of the organization is,

did a study and they actually say

the number is more like 42 million.

And the reason is
the mapping is inaccurate.

So what could happen is,

let’s say you have a 7-Eleven in a town

and that has Wi-Fi or broadband access
because they laid a line.

It would show up on the map

as though that community
largely has broadband

and it does not.

And so it’s a significant issue.

Think about the education
of your children.

I know you have three, I have three.

And many of them
were doing remote schooling.

Well, what’s happening on the farm,

this is legitimately what’s occurring,

is that the teacher from the town

is driving paper homework out to the farms

to give them the homework

so that they can continue to go to school.

And that’s just one example of many.

And so this is a major challenge,
because if we don’t have basic wiring,

I can say we need like a 1930s’
rural electric initiative

where we go across the country

and we make this, this should be a right,

this should be something that is a basic,
like mail delivery and electricity.

This should not be just
for those who have.

And the scale of it is,

the estimate is to be 80
to 100 billion dollars

to close this gap.

But the challenge of that
is that you get the funding

and then how is it implemented?

We all know you can’t just say —

I say, well, I don’t go in
as CEO, go to the board,

say I need 100 million dollars
for this tech platform

and then, “Approved. Here’s the return.”

And then I go in and I throw it
to the business unit heads and I’m like,

“You guys decide
who’s in charge of that,” right?

And there’s a little bit about it,

it becomes a jump ball
between the FCC and the USDA

and then the governors,

and suddenly we don’t have enough

and we’re on the couches
looking for quarters and nickels

to pay the pizza guy

so that we can finish this off,

as though it’s not a priority,
as though it’s not a priority.

As though it’s somebody else’s problem.

And it is all of our problem.

This is a national security issue.

I cannot say it more directly.

So it’s a major issue
because I’m concerned about speed here

in addition to the funding.

And the good news is
this has been bipartisan support.

Whenever I speak, I speak
for the National Governors Association,

the State Department of AG,

I mean, name it.

Name the administration
official, I’ve done it.

This isn’t a bipartisan issue.

It has to be a prioritization issue.

It has to be something that we decide
as a country is a priority.

And it means in every state.

CH: I’ve heard stories about,

“Well, you’ve put Wi-Fi”

or in some of these communities,

they’ve put Wi-Fi on the buses
and then, you know,

kids are sitting outside
the local library or the local McDonald’s

to do their homework.

And it’s just so unfair.

BF: It’s unacceptable.

CH: Unacceptable.
Unacceptable is the right word.

It also affects the businesses, right?

Farming as a business

because there’s so much
technology being used.

BF: Well, there is.

So oftentimes I’m at an event

and they’re talking
about all this cool new tech.

And listen, I just say
we use satellite technology,

we have big data, data and analytics,

John Deere’s tractors are auto-steer.

And I’m like, “Are you using that?”

“No.” “Why?”

“Well, because I lose connection.

And so I can’t I can’t utilize it.”

You know, there’s so many
exciting investments and innovation

occurring in the sector
that will make farmers more efficient,

will be better for climate
and the environment,

I’ll talk a little bit
about that in a minute,

but none of that can be used

if we don’t have the appropriate
technology access,

if we don’t have broadband.

These are data-intensive models

and they require bandwidth to do so

and to utilize them effectively.

So it’s a major issue
so that from a business perspective,

it’s an efficiency,
it’s a sustainable production issue.

And then back to the community,

again, stable operating environment.

You know, I constantly have
my mother in my ear,

like, “You’re only as happy
as your least happy child,” right?

And why is that?

Because, you know,

if you can’t feel confident
your child has the best education,

has access to a doctor,

pretty hard to be focused
on your business.

And farming is a business.

And so we have to recognize
if there’s a number of hospitals,

local hospitals have shut down,

there’s no banking,

no housing.

It doesn’t work to have a stable
operating environment

in these farming communities.

And yes, directly, you cannot use
the new innovation and technology

that hide the data utilization
if you do not have broadband.

CH: So the technology is a challenge,

and as you said, it’s so important
for the business,

and you mentioned climate.

So I’d love to dive into that

because in addition to, sort of,
challenging market dynamics,

you also have climate volatility
and an increasing weather volatility

and technology’s helping to address that.

Can you talk a little bit
about the technology

that’s being used by farmers
to manage that volatility?

BH: Well, first of all,
what you’re helping them do

is make improved decisions
that make their farms more resilient

and that they can make
more sustainable business practices.

So what we’ve started,

we have a business called Truterra,

it’s run by Jason Weller,

who used to run in our CS
under the Obama administration.

And what this business does,
it works in multiple ways.

We work through our local
retailer, the agronomists.

They get insights from
our Truterra insights engine.

It literally is at the farm level,

acre by acre,

where they can understand
what the soil type is,

what the water situation is,
all of those things,

what kind of tractor do you use,

how many passes at the field do you make.

So, we can make improved,

sustainable production decisions.

More recently, probably just last week,
we announced our Trucarbon platform,

which is a systemic way
that we can work with farmers, databased.

This is partnered with
the Soil Health Institute,

with many environmental groups,

to create a carbon credit.

So where the farmer is making a decision
that is improving carbon capture

and at the same time is improving
their own profitability,

and then is able to monetize that.

Our first customer was Microsoft,

and they’re using this for carbon credit.

So why is this so important?

In addition to the fact
that we have validation

and this is an evolving marketplace,

carbon and carbon credits,
carbon offsets,

it’s an unstructured pricing environment.

And I think all the studies would show
that agriculture is a great way

for us to address this issue
using basic photosynthesis.

So if we if we agree that,

then we have to say,
what is that pricing environment?

One of the fundamental things
we started with is the farmer.

In fact, Secretary Vilsack more recently
said in his confirmation hearing,

we’ve got to start with the farmer

and that farmer has to be profitable
when making that decision.

It’s a virtuous circle.

So we want the farmer to take action.

But you can’t just say,
“Everybody put on cover crops.

That’s the best.”

Because then that farmer isn’t profitable,

and then how do we make sure
that we can sustain our food production

and the farm?

So we’re working with this inside engine,

with our agronomic advice,

with soil health and soil testing,

with any number of pieces of data
and process and expertise.

And that’s what differentiates,
I think, our approach,

that it goes right back to the farm level

but leverages technology.

We have a partnership with Microsoft,

their FarmBeats program, their airband.

They’re working with us

on closing this digital divide
in different communities

so we can take advantage
of these opportunities.

And at the same time, as I said,

they were our first customer
for our carbon credits.

And one of the reasons
I’m so focused on this,

not just because this is
an evolving marketplace,

and because climate change
is something we have to address

and we want to address,

and I believe farmers
are part of the solution.

They are a major part
and a major opportunity for solution.

It also is another
revenue source for farmers.

And go back to that statistic I gave you
about the “hobby” farmer,

about the fact that they’re working
off the farm to retain their farms.

And the reality is, there’s going to be
even more disruption

in the coming years in this sector.

It will be in some ways driven

by the electrification
of the transportation sector.

That means biofuel utilization

and a significant portion of the corn crop
goes into biofuels, ethanol.

And if that is no longer needed,

because we’ve gone to electric vehicles
over the next 10 years,

what happens to corn price,
to land values?

And at the same time soybeans,

some of that is used for biodiesel.

So that will be a major disruptor
to row crop farming.

So we’ve got to point farmers,
they’re pretty smart,

to the right levels
of investment they can make

for other sources of potential
revenue for their farms.

And I think that this is a great way
to think about it.

CH: Right, so you feel like

the things that farmers can do
to be more environmentally sustainable

can also help them economically?

BF: Exactly. And it must.

It must.

And that’s why this model that we have,
Truterra Insights Engine,

is iterative almost.

Hey, if I do these three things,
what happens to my profitability?

And it might be tied to a program
that’s available at the state level,

it might be tied to improve variable
rate application of your fertilizer

where you don’t put everything
on at the same time

and then have it seep into the soil.

Instead, you look and you use
your satellite technology and everything

and you say, “Oh, I’m going to
put partial on now,

and maybe I don’t need as much later.”

Every piece, every acre
on a farm is not the same

and doesn’t have the opportunity
to yield as much,

one acre to the next.

And with that then,

where do you make the right investments?

And a model like this helps you understand
where to make those investments.

We also have applied research plots,

answer plots, where we help
with our agronomists

to help improve the planting
decisions a farmer may make.

So there’s any number of variables,

and I say it makes a farm more resilient.

And let’s agree,

we’re going to get into a situation
where the financial markets

and the bankers are going to say,

you need to be making investments
that make your farm more resilient,

given the amount of disruption
we’re seeing already, right?

Climate.

Think of the fires in the west,
the freeze in the south, in Texas,

and we’re going to see these events
over the next number of years.

We have to make the farm more resilient.

That makes it more profitable
for the farmer.

It helps their ability
to make an investment

that we all know is necessary.

CH: But you mentioned
that it can also be a revenue source.

Can you give an example of how, you know,

a climate mitigation technique

also provides revenue for a farmer?

BF: Well, there’s two things.

One, I was just mentioning
more directly, this true carbon,

where you’re generating a carbon credit

because you’re able to prove

the new practices you’re putting in place
is going to reduce that.

You use that proof
for the soil test in advance,

and then a number of years later.

You may use a stabilizer, for instance,

and that would mean that you don’t have
some of your nitrogen you’re putting on

or using, kind of, seep into the soil.

That, in and of itself,

means you have less of investment
you have to make in those products

as you’re putting on fertilizer

or planting different crops.

But then more directly,
that credit that you develop,

because this market is evolving,

can be sold.

So what we’re doing with the Microsoft
partnership here and their purchases,

if you are able to prove
this tonnage reduction,

it’s like 20 dollars a met ton
for carbon credit,

so it’s a more direct line payment
for that in and of itself.

And that’s an evolving marketplace
we’re going to see.

We’re also partnered with Nori,
it’s a platform like eBay,

and they want to be the eBay
of carbon credit trading.

This is very early stage,
but it’s an exciting opportunity

because we know it’s going to take
this kind of innovation, this creation,

this technology to address climate change.

And the farmers can be in a position

where they can be part of the solution.

CH: Thanks for being here, Beth.

BF: You bet.

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A queer journey from shame to self-love | Crystal Rasmussen

Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more. If you’ve sanded down your edges to fit in, it’s time to bring them back — there’s power, value and beauty there, says Crystal Rasmussen. With candor and humility, Rasmussen shares their experience navigating shame, how it manifests in…

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Visit to get our entire library of TED Talks, transcripts, translations, personalized talk recommendations and more.

If you’ve sanded down your edges to fit in, it’s time to bring them back — there’s power, value and beauty there, says Crystal Rasmussen. With candor and humility, Rasmussen shares their experience navigating shame, how it manifests in ourselves and the world and the ways drag revealed a path toward self-love and acceptance. A talk for anyone struggling with becoming exactly who they’re meant to be — and a reminder that it’s rarely easy but always worth it.

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Transcriber:

These days, I find it easy
to look in the mirror.

This used to be the case, too,

because I learned
to be a drag queen alone,

Back then, in the early noughties,

there was no cultural mirror
for someone like me.

There was no chance
of switching on Netflix

and finding someone who looks like you,

and Lily Savage never quite made it
to the Woolworths bargain bin

if she ever made it
to the dizzying heights of VHS at all.

So there was me and a mirror,

and that’s the only place
I saw myself for a long time.

It will be over a decade until this part
of me became more than a mere reflection.

And in that time,

what happened would change
my relationship with that mirror.

In that decade, I came out as gay

at a Catholic state comp
in the working class North West,

and I survived.

But as with anything that unsmooths
the edges of normal society,

that coming out brought with it
a daily dose of judgment

and therein shame
from almost everyone around me,

shame that was heard
and felt and internalized

and often replicated by me.

Commonly, when we think about shame,

we imagine it at the extreme end
of the spectrum,

anything from years of intense dieting

to keep up with extreme
Western beauty standards,

all the way to things like honor violence.

But for me,

my shame existed at the long end
of the tail of the shame monster,

as self-hatred.

Now, this didn’t really
affect anyone else.

On the surface, I was fat,
feminine, gay, spotty, ginger.

I didn’t really have much going for me,
by society’s standards.

But what I did have was a killer,
if not overcompensatory,

bitchy gay personality,

and I was not afraid to use it.

If you were going to throw a rock
at me and call me a faggot,

then I’ll barb you back by telling you
that one day when I’m famous,

you’ll be licking my boots clean
and begging me for employment.

(Tsk)

We all reproduce shameful
and shaming behaviors,

because we’re all trying
to escape our own shame.

And as the shame monster
swallowed me whole,

I couldn’t find myself in the mirror.

Eventually, I left my hometown
and went to a rather posh university

that my whole town had celebrated
my acceptance at with glee.

And when I arrived there,

I started to tell lies
about my upbringing.

Not big ones.

There’s only so many vowels you can drop

until someone realizes
you’re not landed gentry.

But I started to say things like,
“I’d read that book” when I hadn’t,

I started to tell people
I’d grown up in Manchester,

when really, it was two hours
north of there.

I spent time alone in the mirror,

like I had with my drag persona
all those years ago,

trying to change
the way I speak just a little.

To the world, I was easy.

I worked hard to fit myself
into a neat storyline,

the friendly gay Mancunian,

when really I knew that the swathing
complexities of my identity

couldn’t fit inside a storyline.

And if I was found out,
I was terrified that I’d be cast out.

And so the self-hate ensued once again.

Now, what does self-hate look like?
What does it feel like?

It sounds pretty intense,
but it’s actually way more boring

and way less dramatic than vile gouts
of hatred towards who you are.

For me, self-hatred
was about not believing things

that were objectively true.

It was about looking in the mirror
and seeing something monstrous.

It was about looking in the mirror

and seeing something not deserving of love
or respect from myself and others.

It was about looking in the mirror
and wanting to change parts of myself:

my weight, my gender,
my sexuality, my class —

so extremely that you commit
acts of self-harm and self-denial.

I lied, I judged, I bitched.
I changed the way I spoke.

And I had so much extreme sex

that I would find myself, years later,
recalling all

the times my consent had been breached

because it’s what I thought I deserved.

Sidebar, to say that extreme sex,
when practiced safely and consensually,

can be some of the best sex.

But as my grandma would have said,
I was in a pickle.

I looked in the mirror
and I saw something monstrous.

But I managed to persuade
those around me that I was fabulous.

The first time I performed
in drag, I was 19,

and to put it lightly,

I was not fabulous.

But so was everyone.

And the standard back then, in 2011,
was much lower than it is now.

And, you know, the people of my repressed
generation

were just pretty happy
to see something different.

But …

As bad as I might have been,

this experience
was such a liberatory process,

something that Oprah
might have called an aha moment,

because for the first time,

this thing I’d only ever really seen
in a mirror was real.

She was tangible.

And what’s more, she was adored
by a crowd of people.

Drag continued this way for a while,

until the barrier between the mirror
and the real world faded away.

I had admitted my most shameful
desires to the world,

and somewhere in some pockets
of some worlds that I never knew existed,

she was adored.

So I started to drop my vowels more.

I started to talk about Lancaster more.

I started to wear ball gowns
in the street,

and I started to fall back in love
with what I saw in the mirror.

Eventually, everyone around me
followed suit —

my friends, my family, my lovers.

She became a place of value,
and of power, and of uplift.

She became what she’d been in the mirror
all those years ago —

a savior.

So I did what anyone who found
their power source would do,

and I leaned in as archcapitalist
Sheryl Sandberg would say,

and I journeyed to the heart
of the queer motherland,

East London.

There, I had queer sex,
I made queer friends,

I wore queer clothes,

and I built myself a job
where I could dress like this every day,

worshiping at the feet
of the Northern women who raised me,

and be celebrated for it.

It’s kind of a wild thing
to get your head around,

the idea of being celebrated

for something you were
so painfully derided for before.

But my journey
to shamelessness was not over.

Funny how years of deep embedded circuitry

takes a little while to untangle.

See, I’d made this bubble,

this shame-free bubble

where everything about me
was celebrated.

And one night on the way home
from a gig in drag,

I was beat so badly
that I was hospitalized,

by a homophobic passer by.

The shame flooded out
of my internal boxes and filled me up.

I went to so many dark places in my head.

I’m loathe to repeat them,

but I asked myself questions like

“What if everyone who’s ever said
anything bad about me was right?

What if I deserve all of this shame?”

I had some work to do,

and I was a bit too shaken
to stay around in London,

so I took a train from Euston
back home to Lancaster,

and I spent some time healing.

And I worked hard to fall in love

with the things I thought I’d left behind,

the things I’d loved
about Lancaster, growing up.

The people there, the way we connect,

Jan down the SPAR shop, who sells fags,

the boys who give you a bit of a look
but respect you nonetheless.

And I came back to London
with more of an awareness

of my value,

of my history.

I had been dressing differently
since the attack.

I was wearing all black,
plain clothes, trying to blend in,

because when I was at home in Lancaster,

I realized that safety was more important
to me than curing myself of shame,

and I can’t do the latter
if I don’t have the former.

But while I was up in Lancaster,
I’d also had another realization.

I realized that everybody
suffers with shame.

Even my attacker.

This was another aha moment,

a moment so liberatory
that it confused me for a while.

The fact that I wasn’t alone in this,
that everyone suffers from shame.

Normality is God and everyone’s
a sinner, I realized.

I got obsessed with that.

I started looking everywhere

and seeing shame in people’s behaviors,

from their silence to their violence,

from their gender-reveal parties
to their big white weddings.

Even my attacker.

He was so filled with shame because
of what masculinity had done to him

that upon seeing my difference,
he lashed out at me with his fists.

Rather than curing my shame,
I had to work hard to reimagine it

as something that we all
carry around with us,

like little pebbles attached
to our back in a rucksack.

It’s something that affects us all,

that causes harm in us all

and causes us to perpetuate harm
outwards to others too.

I also realized I was existing
in a complicated interplay

of narcissism, self-hate and shame too,

where I wanted everyone
to accept everything about me.

And until then, until that moment,

I would see something
monstrous in the mirror.

But I realized that I don’t need everyone
to accept everything about me.

Jan down the SPAR shop who sells fags

has way bigger problems than my gender,

my class, my sexuality.

She’s got her own shame to deal with.

But what we do need —
well, I need —

is the ability to live safely.

The ability to walk down
the street in drag

and not have some homophobic passerby
do what he did to me.

And the way we do that
is by doing some shame-work.

It’s about looking inside

and realizing that all the boxes
that had been put there by the world

are a lie.

All the things that you’ve had
to shave off to make yourself smooth,

bring them back.

There’s power there, there’s value there.
There’s beauty there.

Shame-work is social work —

it’s time we all did a bit.

These days, I find it easy
to look in the mirror.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

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