- Stephen Stokols
- Oakland, CA
- United States
TED should select "normal people" to attend its primary annual event, i.e. people selected on merit.
TED is very exclusive and that's part of the lure perhaps. Participants generally represent the top .01% as measured by personal wealth. "Normal people" who may be as bright, impassioned and insightful can never have a chance to attend TED, not even a hope if they have chosen to pursue a vocation like academia or social work.
As we do in other parts of democratic merit based societies, there should be a "TED scholarship" set up for people who have no hope to ever be invited based on wealth and achievement.
This scholarship should be merit based in the same way an academic fellowship is. Applicants would be measured based on achievement and a personal essay. I'd suggest 10 scholarships awarded each year, the winners representing different walks of "normal life."