An Intro to Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) – Ideas Worth Spreading

Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) is an annual conference that brings in many leading thinkers of today. It puts them on stage for a speech of about 18 minutes. It is an “I have arrived” moment for many of these thought leaders. Here is what it says on the TED homepage:

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.
It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from
those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating
thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives
(in 18 minutes).

This site makes the best talks and performances from TED available to the public, for free. More than 200 talks from our archive are now available, with more added each week. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Our mission: Spreading ideas.

believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives
and ultimately, the world. So we’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? We
want to hear from you.

The TED Conference,
held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a
thousand people now attend — indeed, the event sells out a year in
advance — and the content has expanded to include 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 pieces
of content, 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.

In recent years, TED has spawned some important extensions.

is a sister conference held every other year, and in a different
country on each occasion. The first conference was held in Oxford,
England, in 2005; the second, in June 2007, was held in Arusha,
Tanzania. The themes of the global conference are slightly more focused
on development issues, but the basic TED format is maintained.

The TED Prize
is designed to leverage the TED Community’s exceptional array of talent
and resources. It is awarded annually to three exceptional individuals
who each receive $100,000 and, much more important, the granting of
“One Wish to Change the World.” After several months of preparation, they unveil their wish
at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have
led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.

began as a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world.
Under the moniker “ideas worth spreading,” talks were released online.
They rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions. Indeed, the
reaction was so enthusiastic that the entire TED website has been
reengineered around TEDTalks, with the goal of giving everyone
on-demand access to the world’s most inspiring voices.

TED is therefore best thought of as a global community. It’s a
community welcoming people from every discipline and culture who have
just two things in common: they seek a deeper understanding of the
world, and they hope to turn that understanding into a better future
for us all.


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