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Erin Hathaway

TED Talks are a wonderful resource to hear the world’s thought leaders discuss their passion and research. We’ve picked our top five TED Talks that take a deeper look into the field of ecological restoration – some new ideas, some old with new applications, but all well worth watching.

Eric Sanderson: New York – Before the City

Why: Sanderson’s passion for uncovering New York City’s historical ecologies reminds us all to be conscious of what came before and how much we impact the landscape. Sanderson’s talk resonates with our staff because on September 10th 2001, Great Ecology started in a tiny office space in Manhattan. Great Ecology’s employees, based in large urban centers including New York City, Denver, and Sacramento are inspired by the surrounding urban landscape and the potential to restore what once inhabited the waters and soil.

Shubhendu Sharma: How to grow a tiny forest anywhere

Why: Sharma’s talk encourages viewers to think about habitat from a production value perspective. By applying industrial techniques and the lean manufacturing principles developed by Toyota, Sharma has developed a process to create forests which grow 10 times faster and are 100 times more biodiverse.  A tiny, yet complex, forest functions extremely efficiently and offers many benefits reminding us that quality is often better than quantity.

Allan Savory: How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

Why: The practice of landscape ecology is constantly evolving to serve changing conditions, new technologies, and innovative thinking. Savory dedicated his life to remediating the harmful effects of desertification, and he shares how managed livestock grazing can be integral to restoring grasslands across the world. Savory’s story reminds us to challenge the status quo, take risks, and find sustainable solutions.

Pavan Sukhdev: Put a Value on Nature!

Why: Natural assets are often overlooked and undervalued. Sukhdev discusses the several trillion dollar value of natural capital across the world. As restoration ecologists, we look for ways to increase ecological function, maximize the value of natural assets, add economic value, and introduce public access.

Rob Harmon: How the market can keep streams flowing

Why: This is an incredible story about how partnerships can be formed with businesses to be mutually beneficial and provide ecologically guided solutions. The ecosystem marketplace is just beginning to take shape and we see it moving to the forefront of conversations in government, industry, and environmental organizations.

These are just a few of our favorite TED Talks which highlight the increasing trend of ecological guided solutions to land use, management, and restoration. Do you have any favorite environmental-focused TED talks? Share them!