Twice a year, we select 20 unconventional change-makers to join the TED Fellows program, a global network of innovators from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Last year’s TED Fellows class included an eye surgeon using low-cost mobile phone technology to make eye care more accessible across Kenya; photojournalists documenting conflicts in Palestine and Bosnia; a biological anthropologist researching cancer […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Talk a walk back through the history of digital media, and you'll find our colleague Tom Rielly every step along the way. He entered the mediasphere with a memorable turn in the 1980 film My Bodyguard. A lifelong performer, he soon found a second love in personal computing. He recognized early on the incredible power of Macs, CD-ROMs and the Web, founding Yale's Macintosh User Group in 1984, then working at SuperMac, Farallon and Voyager, among other pioneering companies.
Rielly is perhaps best-known for co-founding PlanetOut, the first digital home for gays and lesbians, which went public in 2004. He also co-founded the influential nonprofit Digital Queers. As TED's Director of Partnerships, Tom now choreographs the wide range of collaborations that help bring TED to life, at the conference and online. But he's found his true vocation as TED's resident satirist, a role he's played for more than a decade.
Since 1995, Rielly has been hijacking the final session of the conference with his whip-smart satire of all the speakers who came before him -- skewering the egos, mocking the flights of fancy, parroting the doomsday predictions, and imagining a world where Al Gore tells him "I can't quit you."
Fearless and unfailingly funny, Tom's lightning performances bring a flash of brilliance to the closing session and draw a standing ovation every time.
Tom Rielly’s TED talks
From TEDGlobal’s speaker list of more than 90 — including 18-minute talks, demos and TED U courses — 13 of our scheduled speakers already have TEDTalks online from previous TEDs and partners. To find them, check out our new theme, Speaking at TEDGlobal 2009, and watch archive gems from these returning speakers. All of these […]Continue reading
The TED Fellows program helps world-changing innovators from around the globe become part of the TED community. This short video conveys the intense, potentially life-changing experience of becoming a TED Fellow, through interviews with some of the TED2009 Long Beach Fellows and with TED’s Community Director, Tom Rielly: Inspired? Apply for a TEDIndia Fellowship! Applications […]Continue reading