We asked some notable attendees to share their thoughts upon returning home from a TED conference. Here's what they had to say:
"I wasn't prepared for this conference to be so profound. The combined IQ of the attendees is incredible."
Bill Gates, co-founder, Microsoft
"At each TED conference something important happens to me: a new business, a new friend. I return exhilarated."
Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder, MIT Media Lab
"Sign me up for next year."
Al Gore, activist
"It was *&%$ING UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! I can't tell you how much I got out of it. You did more for global warming than you can imagine!!!"
Lawrence Bender, producer
"Thank you a thousand times for inviting me to your wonderful TED conference. I regret not only that I was not at every moment of it, but that I missed all the previous ones! It was a stimulating experience as well as a lot of fun."
Rupert Murdoch, chair, News Corporation
"A mind-opening experience. If it opens any more, I am afraid it will float past the ozone layer."
Amy Tan, author
"It was INCREDIBLE. I had a wonderful time and met a thousand fascinating people."
Malcolm Gladwell, author
"I came to the TED conference with the idea that I wanted to serve a really unique audience in an impactful way, but honestly I gained more than I could ever imagine personally from my attendance. I met so many people ... just phenomenal human beings who had a true social or contribution focus. I learned an enormous amount."
Tony Robbins, motivator
"I wish I'd started coming earlier."
Richard Dawkins, biologist
"TED moments have been echoing in my brain ever since I left Monterey. A wonderful experience."
Dan Dennett, philosopher
"It was our first time. It was like drinking from a firehose."
Jay Dedman, ANT
"TED was simply wonderful, an intellectual spa, a 21st-century Chataqua, superb and singular."
Kurt Andersen, novelist and radio host
"What an amazing opportunity you gave me. I won't waste it."
Majora Carter, founder, Sustainable South Bronx
"Words are inadequate to express my appreciation for the invitation to participate at the TED conference. It was one of the highlights of my entire life."
Billy Graham, evangelist
"Being a part of TED was a genuine privilege. I've never experienced anything remotely like it. I was entertained, educated, enthralled, moved, challenged, intimidated, humbled and most of all inspired!"
Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation
"Truly an amazing experience."
Joshua Prince-Ramus, architect