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Why good ideas get trapped in the valley of death— and how to rescue them

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  • 443 Questions Answered
  • TEDEd Animation

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All new products must pass through the "valley of death" before they reach the market. Many never make it out, and sometimes that’s ok— if they don’t work, don’t fill a need, or for any number of reasons. One of the fields where this problem is most pressing is zero-carbon technologies. Why is it vulnerable to this trap, and can we change it? Explore how to break the cycle of the funding gap.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Lisa LaBracio
  • Narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Luísa M H Copetti
  • Illustrator Luísa M H Copetti
  • Animator Murilo Jardim
  • Art Director Luísa M H Copetti
  • Music André Aires
  • Sound Designer André Aires
  • Hype Producer Taíla Soliman
  • Hype Executive Producer Gabriel Garcia
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor George Zaidan
  • Fact-Checker Jennifer Nam
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Building a sustainable future will require a multi-faceted approach. Read the book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster, by Bill Gates to dive into a detailed plan to bring global greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero.

While there are big changes governments and businesses will need to make, there are meaningful and effective changes individuals can make in their daily lives as well. Use this carbon footprint calculator created by the Global Footprint Network to measure your carbon footprint. But what’s next? Many people struggle to identify how they can offset their carbon footprint or what action they can take. Project Drawdown’s ecochallenge has you covered. It outlines a series of one-time or daily actions you can take individually, with a group of friends, or coworkers to make a difference in your community.

Our changing climate involves many complex and interconnected issues, and one of the best ways to understand them is to have more conversations about them. The World Climate Simulation allows you to do just that by role playing and simulating UN climate negotiations. Finally, watch this TED animation to learn what is net-zero and why it is our shared goal to build a better future.
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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Lisa LaBracio
  • Narrator Jack Cutmore-Scott
  • Storyboard Artist Luísa M H Copetti
  • Illustrator Luísa M H Copetti
  • Animator Murilo Jardim
  • Art Director Luísa M H Copetti
  • Music André Aires
  • Sound Designer André Aires
  • Hype Producer Taíla Soliman
  • Hype Executive Producer Gabriel Garcia
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Script Editor George Zaidan
  • Fact-Checker Jennifer Nam
  • See more