TED Conversations

Tiara Shafiq

Creatrix of Awesome, The Merch Girl

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TED's $6000 price tag limits itself to the most privileged in society, blocking out the marginalised & creating echo chambers.

Many people claim that the biggest value of being at TED is the networking, meeting with people who have the power and ability to affect change on a major level. However, the entry price is prohibitive to all but the most privileged in society - never mind the additional costs of travel, accommodation, and so on. There is a half-price non-profit ticket but even that is cost-prohibitive if you do not come from a developed country and hold a relatively well-paying job.

The people who are *most in need* of access to such networks and resources, and the people that the privileged and the influential need to meet, are priced out of entry. Young people, marginalised people, those from countries with low buying power. People who *actually deal with these issues first hand* but do not have the opportunity to be a speaker.

Sometimes I feel like whenever someone from a marginalised or non-privileged background is on TED as a speaker it's almost tokenistic - "oh look, we filled our quota of poor brown people". In the meantime the rich white folk get to feel better about doing something to "change the world"...even though they've never had to interact with anyone outside their closed circles.

Saying that it's cheaper than other equivalent conferences is not enough, it's still TOO EXPENSIVE.

Even the TEDx conferences are limited in a way because they're local, so you only really get solutions forming from the same pool of people (who often all know each other). Cross-cultural exchanges aren't as apparent or strong.

If TED really wants to change the world, it needs to rethink *why* the conference tickets are so expensive and think about who they're excluding from the process.

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