TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. 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, we make the best talks and performances from TED and partners 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.
Our mission: Spreading ideas.
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. 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 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.
The TED Prize is awarded annually to an exceptional individual, and is designed to leverage the TED Community's wide array of talents and resources. In 2012, the cash award was raised to $1 million to provide powerful seed funding for "A Wish to Inspire the World." After several months of preparation, the wish is unveiled during a ceremony at the TED Conference. Over the life of the prize, wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.
TED Talks 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 TED Talks, with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world's most inspiring voices. As of November 2012, TED Talks have been viewed more than one billion times.
The TED Fellows program helps world-changing innovators from around the globe become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. TED Fellows, TEDGlobal Fellows, and TED Senior Fellows are drawn from many disciplines that reflect the diversity of TED's members: technology, entertainment, design, the sciences, the humanities, the arts, NGOs, business and more.
The TEDx program gives communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are planned and coordinated independently.
The TED Open Translation Project brings TED Talks beyond the English-speaking world by offering subtitles, interactive transcripts and the ability for any talk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. We launched the project with 300 translations, 40 languages and 200 volunteer translators; now, there are more than 32,000 completed translations from our thousands-strong community. It's an ambitious project that radically enhances the accessibility of the talks -- for the hearing-impaired, for those who speak English as a second language, for search engines (which can now index the full transcript of a talk), and of course for the vast audience of non-English speakers worldwide.
Today, TED is best thought of as a global community. It's a community welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world.