TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED was conceived by architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman, who observed a convergence of the fields of technology, entertainment and design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.
The two annual TED conferences, on the North American West Coast and in Edinburgh, Scotland, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). On TED.com, the best talks and performances from TED and partners were made available to the world, for free. More than 1400 TED Talks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Richard Saul Wurman (March 26, 1935) is an architect and graphic designer who coined the phrase ‘Information Architecture’ and is considered to be a pioneer in the practice of making information easily understandable. Wurman has written and designed over 83 books, and created the TED conference, as well as the EG conference, TEDMED and the WWW suite of gatherings, now in development
TED’s mission: Spreading ideas.
TED’s team believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So they’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you’re an important part of it. Have an idea? They would be happy to hear from you.
The springtime TED Conference is held annually on the West Coast and simulcast at a nearby city. The breadth of content includes science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter presentations, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.
TEDActive is a curated community of curious and energetic leaders who share an immersive week of watching TED Talks and surprising experiences designed to inspire conversation, exchange and immediate action around ideas worth spreading — all in a creative and casual setting.
TEDGlobal is TED’s summer conference. The themes of the global conference are slightly more international in nature, and the full TED format is maintained, with a wide-ranging roster of speakers and performers over four days of TED mainstage sessions — plus the famous TED University, where attendees share their own knowledge with one another. TEDGlobal was held in Oxford, UK, in 2005, 2009 and 2010, and in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2007. TEDGlobal is now held annually in Edinburgh, Scotland.
TED also hosts events around the globe. TEDIndia was held in November 2009 in Mysore, India, celebrating and exploring the beckoning future of South Asia. TEDWomen was held in December 2010 in Washington, DC, asking the question: How are women and girls reshaping the future? TED also hosts smaller events around the globe, including many TED Salons, evening-length events with speakers and performers, and TED@ events, exploring a topic or location.