After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading.

Why you should listen

TED's Chris Anderson was born in a remote village in Pakistan, and spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his father worked as a missionary eye surgeon. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in philosophy, and then trained as a journalist. After several years at newspapers and radio stations, he got hooked on the strange new "home computers" which had just started appearing. He became an editor at one of the UK's early computer magazines, and a year later, in 1985, formed a tiny start-up to launch his own magazine. Its unlikely success led to more launches, and his company Future Publishing grew rapidly under the moniker "media with passion."

Anderson expanded to the United States in 1994, where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine, and creator of the popular games website IGN. The combined companies eventually spawned more than 100 monthly magazines, employing 2,000 people. And they allowed Anderson to create a private nonprofit foundation, the Sapling Foundation, which hoped to find new ways of tackling tough global issues by leveraging media, technology, entrepreneurship, and most of all, ideas. Sapling acquired the TED Conference in 2001, and Anderson then left his businesses to focus on growing TED. (He is not to be confused with his super-smart friend, the Chris Anderson who edits WIRED magazine and wrote The Long Tail.)

What others say

“You're part of the crowd that may be about to ignite the biggest learning cycle in human history.” — Chris Anderson, from TEDTalk on Crowd-Accelerated Innovation

Chris Anderson on the TED Blog
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You asked Chris Anderson anything. Here are the highlights.

February 7, 2014

Yesterday, our curator Chris Anderson took an hour to answer rapid-fire questions in a Reddit AMA, sandwiched between AMAs with Matt Damon and Kevin Smith no less. Redditors asked Chris about everything from his dream speakers to the charge that TED has censored speakers. Below, highlights of the conversation. Timbenz asked: What category is hardest […]

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TED not a recipe for ‘civilisational disaster’

January 8, 2014

This morning, The Guardian published this essay written by TED’s curator, Chris Anderson, in response to a column in the paper last week. In this essay, he dives into the misconception that TED Talks oversimplify complex subjects, and explains why we as a company are dedicated to the principle that knowledge should be shared. Seven years ago when TED Talks debuted online, […]

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Chris Anderson on what makes a great talk … great

July 24, 2013

It’s an alchemic question that’s very hard for us to answer: what makes a great TED talk? In this talk, which was given to a gathering of 100+ TEDx organizers from 43 countries during the TEDx Workshop at TEDGlobal 2013, our curator Chris Anderson stresses the incredible power of a well-structured, honest talk. “We’re giving someone […]

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Quotes from Chris Anderson

I discovered that while I’d been busy playing business games, there’d been this incredible revolution in so many areas of interest: cosmology to psychology to evolutionary psychology to anthropology … all this stuff had changed.
Chris Anderson
TED2002 • 265K views Jan 2008
Inspiring, Courageous
Truth, curiosity, diversity, no selling, no corporate bullshit, no bandwagoning, no platforms. Just the pursuit of interest, wherever it lies, across all the disciplines that are represented here.
Chris Anderson
TED2002 • 265K views Jan 2008
Inspiring, Courageous