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TED (conference)

TED (conference)

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TED is a global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading".

TED was founded in 1984 as a one-off event and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California
Monterey, California
The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of...

. TED's early emphasis was largely technology and design, consistent with a Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a term which refers to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The region is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations...

 center of gravity. The events are now held in Long Beach
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

 and Palm Springs
Palm Springs, California
Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego...

 in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can. Past presenters include Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE , is a British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National...

, Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell, CM is a Canadian journalist, bestselling author, and speaker. He is currently based in New York City and has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996...

, Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

, Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

, Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins
Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

, Bill Gates
Bill Gates
William Henry "Bill" Gates III is an American business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author. Gates is the former CEO and current chairman of Microsoft, the software company he founded with Paul Allen...

, educator Salman Khan
Salman Khan (educator)
Salman Amin 'Sal' Khan is an American educator and the founder of the Khan Academy, a free online education platform and nonprofit organization....

, Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 founders Larry Page
Larry Page
Lawrence "Larry" Page is an American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Sergey Brin, is best known as the co-founder of Google. As of April 4, 2011, he is also the chief executive of Google, as announced on January 20, 2011...

 and Sergey Brin
Sergey Brin
Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin is a Russian-born American computer scientist and internet entrepreneur who, with Larry Page, co-founded Google, one of the largest internet companies. , his personal wealth is estimated to be $16.7 billion....

, and many Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 winners. TED's current curator is the British former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson.

From 2005 to 2009, three $100,000 TED Prizes were awarded annually to help its winners realize a chosen wish to change the world. From 2010, in a changed selection process, a single winner is chosen to ensure that TED can maximize its efforts in achieving the winner's wish. Each winner unveils their wish at the main annual conference.

Since June 2006, the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under a Creative Commons license, through TED.com. As of November 2011, over 1,050 talks are available free online. By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, reflecting a still growing global audience.

Background





TED's mission statement begins:
We 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.


The TED staff is headquartered in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

. The conference was held in Monterey, California
Monterey, California
The City of Monterey in Monterey County is located on Monterey Bay along the Pacific coast in Central California. Monterey lies at an elevation of 26 feet above sea level. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,810. Monterey is of historical importance because it was the capital of...

 until 2009. It was then relocated to Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

 due to a substantial increase of attendees.

TED was founded by Richard Saul Wurman
Richard Saul Wurman
Richard Saul Wurman is an architect and graphic designer who is considered to be a pioneer in the practice of making information easily understandable. Wurman has written and designed over 80 books, and created the TED conferences, but remains associated only with TEDMED.-Early life and...

 and Harry Marks in 1984, and has been held annually since 1990. Wurman, credited with having coined the term information architect in 1979, left after the 2002 conference; the event is now hosted by Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson (TED)
Chris Anderson is the curator of TED , which hosts conferences in the US and Europe each year and an open-access website where TED talks can be viewed by the public. Previously he founded Future Publishing....

 and owned by his non-profit organization, The Sapling Foundation, devoted to "leveraging the power of ideas to change the world". In 2006, attendance cost was $4,400 and was by invitation only. The membership model was shifted in January 2007 to an annual membership fee of $6,000, which includes attendance of the conference, club mailings, networking tools and conference DVDs.

Since June 2006, TED Talks have been made available online on the websites of TED, YouTube
YouTube
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created by three former PayPal employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos....

, and iTunes
ITunes
iTunes is a media player computer program, used for playing, downloading, and organizing digital music and video files on desktop computers. It can also manage contents on iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad....

, and since late 2009, there have been free apps for iOS
IOS
iOS is an operating system for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV.IOS may also refer to:-Companies and organisations:* Illinois Ornithological Society, American state-based bird club...

 (iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

, iPad
IPad
The iPad is a line of tablet computers designed, developed and marketed by Apple Inc., primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, and web content. The iPad was introduced on January 27, 2010 by Apple's then-CEO Steve Jobs. Its size and...

), Android, webOS and Windows Phone
Windows Phone
Windows Phone is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft, and is the successor to its Windows Mobile platform, although incompatible with it. Unlike its predecessor, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market...

 7. In 2009, the TED website won the award for Best Use of Video or Moving Image at the 13th Annual Webby Awards
Webby Awards
A Webby Award is an international award presented annually by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for excellence on the Internet with categories in websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile....

.

TED Talks are transcribed and translated into a number of languages as part of the TED Open-Translation Project, which aims to "[reach] out to the 4.5 billion people on the planet who don't speak English," according to TED Curator Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson (TED)
Chris Anderson is the curator of TED , which hosts conferences in the US and Europe each year and an open-access website where TED talks can be viewed by the public. Previously he founded Future Publishing....

. At the time of the launch, over 300 translations were done by volunteer transcribers in over 40 languages.

TED 2011, The Rediscovery of a wonder, was held in Long Beach, California
Long Beach, California
Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257...

, from February 28 to March 04, 2011. The TED conference has a companion conference, TEDGlobal, held in the UK each summer. The 2009 TEDGlobal, The Substance of Things Not Seen, was held in Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

, UK, July 21–24, 2009. 2010's TEDGlobal (again in Oxford) was themed And Now The Good News; in 2011 the conference moved to a new home in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 and was held from July 12-15 with the theme The Stuff Of Life.

TED Prize


The TED Prize was introduced in 2005. In prior years, three individuals were each given $100,000 and granted a "wish to change the world", which they unveil at TED. However, starting in 2010, only one prize is awarded since "at least half of [the wishes] still require our engagement," and, "adding too many more risks dilution of effort."
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Bono
Bono
Paul David Hewson , most commonly known by his stage name Bono , is an Irish singer, musician, and humanitarian best known for being the main vocalist of the Dublin-based rock band U2. Bono was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and attended Mount Temple Comprehensive School where he met his...

 
Larry Brilliant
Larry Brilliant
Lawrence "Larry" Brilliant is an American physician, epidemiologist, technologist, author, and the former director of Google's philanthropic arm Google.org. Brilliant, a technology patent holder, has been CEO of two public companies and other venture backed start ups. From 1973 to 1976, he...

 
Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 
Neil Turok
Neil Turok
Neil Geoffrey Turok is the Director of Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. He is the son of Mary and Ben Turok, activists in the anti-apartheid movement and the African National Congress.-Career:...

 
Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Alice Earle is an American oceanographer. She was chief scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1990–1992. She is a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, sometimes called "Her Deepness" or "The Sturgeon General".-Education and career:Earle received a...

 
Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver
James "Jamie" Trevor Oliver, MBE , sometimes known as The Naked Chef, is an English chef, restaurateur and media personality, known for his food-focused television shows, cookbooks and more recently his campaign against the use of processed foods in national schools...

JR
JR (artist)
JR is the name of a photographer and artist whose identity is unconfirmed. He has described himself as a "photograffeur", he flyposts large black-and-white photographic images in public locations in a manner which is similar to the appropriation of the built environment by the graffiti artist...

Edward Burtynsky
Edward Burtynsky
Edward Burtynsky OC is a Canadian photographer and artist who has achieved international recognition for his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes. His work is housed in more than fifteen major museums including the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Bibliothèque...

 
Jehane Noujaim
Jehane Noujaim
Jehane Noujaim is an Egyptian American documentary film director best known for her films Control Room, Startup.com and Pangea Day.- Career :Jehane Noujaim is a filmmaker, born in Washington DC and raised in Kuwait and Cairo....

 
Edward O. Wilson  Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers
Dave Eggers is an American writer, editor, and publisher. He is known for the best-selling memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and for his more recent work as a screenwriter. He is also the co-founder of the literacy project 826 Valencia.-Life:Eggers was born in Boston, Massachusetts,...

 
Jill Tarter
Jill Tarter
Jill Cornell Tarter is an American astronomer and the current director of the Center for SETI Research, holding the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI at the SETI Institute.-Education:...

Robert Fischell
Robert Fischell
Dr. Robert Fischell is a physicist, inventor, and holder of more than 200 U.S. and foreign medical patents. His inventions have led to the creation of several biotechnology companies. He worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory full time for 25 years, and part time for an...

 
Cameron Sinclair
Cameron Sinclair
Cameron Sinclair is the co-founder and 'chief eternal optimist' for Architecture for Humanity, a charitable organization which seeks architectural solutions to humanitarian crisis and brings professional design services to communities in need.- Education and personal life :Educated at Kingswood...

 
James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey is an American photojournalist and war photographer.He grew up in Massachusetts and graduated from Dartmouth College, where he studied Art History and Political Science ....

 
Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong FRSL , is a British author and commentator who is the author of twelve books on comparative religion. A former Roman Catholic nun, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical faith...

 
José Antonio Abreu
José Antonio Abreu
José Antonio Abreu is a Venezuelan pianist, economist, educator, activist, and politician.-Politics and academics:...


Programs



TED Fellows: The TED Fellows fellowship program brings together young world-changers and trailblazers who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage. The program targets individuals from the Asia/Pacific region, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East, though anyone from anywhere in the world, age 18 and over, can apply. TED keeps a directory of past Fellows available on its website.

TEDx: TED grants licenses to third parties to hold free TEDx events in cities around the world. These one-time only licenses are free, but franchisees
Franchising
Franchising is the practice of using another firm's successful business model. The word 'franchise' is of anglo-French derivation - from franc- meaning free, and is used both as a noun and as a verb....

 must be approved by TED and agree to adhere to a strict set of rules including format, duration, limiting the number of invited guests to 100 people and agreeing that half day events show "A minimum of two official, pre-recorded TEDTalks" and that all-day events "at least 25% of the total number of talks must be official, pre-recorded TEDTalks." Speakers are not paid and they must agree to give TED the right to edit and distribute their presentation.
According to TED these franchised events were "created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level...TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis." , some 750 TEDx events are scheduled to happen in over 60 countries.


TEDWomen: Popular topics for TEDWomen include gender issues and reproductive health.

TED Conversations: In 2011, TED released a new platform for sharing ideas. You can start conversations with the TED Community in one of the following 3 categories: Ideas, Questions, Debates. Conversations expire at a specific time.

Ads Worth Spreading: In 2011, TED released Ads Worth Spreading as a way to raise standards in the advertising industry.

TED Books: In 2011, TED released TEDBooks, books that are shorter than traditional ones, with fewer than 20,000 words each that aim to be long enough to explain a powerful idea, but short enough to be read in a single sitting.

TED Open Translation Project: Started in May 2009, the TED Open Translation Project makes TED's videos available in many languages, through translated subtitles, using technology partner dotSUB's crowd-based video captioning and subtitling platform. By the second anniversary of the project in May 2011, volunteer translators collaborated to complete over 18000 translations in 81 languages. The interactive time-coded transcript available on the TEDtalks pages enables accurate, content-based navigation in the videos, in any language, and make the videos searchable. The translations include the videos' metadata as well, such as the titles, and the descriptions, and the system generates a language-specific URL, that plays the video with the subtitles in that language by default. The project contributed to a significant increase in international visitors to TED's website, with traffic from outside the US growing 350%, 600% percent growth in Asia, and more than 1000% in South America.

Controversies and criticism


Sarah Silverman
TED drew some controversy when in 2010 Sarah Silverman
Sarah Silverman
Sarah Kate Silverman is a Jewish American comedian, writer, actress, singer and musician. Her satirical comedy addresses social taboos and controversial topics such as racism, sexism, and religion....

 was invited to speak at the conference, and in response to her speech about adopting a "retarded" child, TED organizer Chris Anderson posted to his Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 account, "I know I shouldn’t say this about one of my own speakers, but I thought Sarah Silverman was god-awful…" Anderson later deleted his tweet, but Silverman responded via her Twitter account "Kudos to [Chris Anderson] for making TED an unsafe haven for all! You're a barnacle of mediocrity on Bill Gates' asshole." Anderson apologized for his tweet on his Posterous
Posterous
Posterous is a simple blogging platform started in May 2008, funded by Y Combinator. It is based in San Francisco.Updating to Posterous is similar to other blogging platforms. Posting can be done by logging in to the website's rich text editor, but it is particularly designed for mobile blogging...

 account, but also wrote "Call me stuffy, but I still think humor about terminally ill 'retarded' kids is an acquired taste... And not a taste I personally want to acquire."

Nassim Taleb
Nassim Taleb
Nassim Taleb
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a Lebanese American essayist whose work focuses on problems of randomness and probability. His 2007 book The Black Swan was described in a review by Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II....

 criticized TED for intellectual dishonesty and lack of substance in the latest edition of The Black Swan (2010). He calls TED a “monstrosity that turns scientists and thinkers into low-level entertainers, like circus performers.” Taleb spoke at TED2008. He claimed that the curators did not initially post his talk "warning about the financial crisis" on their website on purely cosmetic grounds.

Sarah Lacy
Sarah Lacy
Sarah Lacy
Sarah Ruth Lacy is an American technology journalist and author.She co-hosts web video show Yahoo! Tech Ticker and is a columnist at BusinessWeek...

 of BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...

and TechCrunch
TechCrunch
TechCrunch is a web publication that offers technology news and analysis, as well as profiling of startup companies, products, and websites. It was founded by Michael Arrington in 2005, and was first published on June 11, 2005....

has criticized TED with claims of elitism. Lacy cites TED's $6,000 ticket price, poor treatment of less important attendees, and such events as a friend being "de-invited to TED after quitting an ostensibly prestigious San Francisco job" as evidence of her claims. Lacy did credit TED for moving the event to a larger venue in Long Beach and posting videos of its talks online for free.

External links