TED’s Curation Guidelines

TED is a non-profit organization seeking to discover, debate, disseminate and activate ideas that matter. Here are our core values and operating principles.


It all starts here. Open minds infused by curiosity give birth to catalytic questions. Exploration of those questions can open up a world of wonder and create a desire to learn. Thus begins a journey of discovery, bringing together dreamers, thinkers and doers. Curiosity is the spark that ignites every powerful idea.


Ideas must be grounded in truth. But how? The truth is notoriously elusive. Our best tool for pursuing it is reason, that enlightened method of persuasion which shuns personal bias in favor of facts, logic and evidence. This is our path to reliable knowledge and deepened understanding. Reason is also the foundation on which science is built. TED is committed to good science and its mindset of exploration and evidence-based explanation. We ask speakers to provide sources, citations and footnotes, and we review all talks for accuracy. If claims made in a TED Talk are subsequently discredited, we seek to provide clear updates. Not every speaker explicitly uses the tools of reason. But none should fly in the face of it.


Humans are capable of repatterning the world. We celebrate this astonishing ability with many names: imagination, invention, innovation, vision, design, creativity. In each case, ideas are generated that can literally reshape our future. They may do this by providing solutions to challenging problems. Or by conjuring previously undreamed of possibility that people are then inspired to make real.


Ideas are for everyone. They can't be fenced off by borders, whether of geography, religion, politics or culture. And no single origin, race, gender, identity or class can claim preferential ownership over them. TED is committed to a global mindset. We seek to source ideas from everywhere and to make them widely and freely accessible. Powerful ideas, expressed and distributed with care, can bring different groups together and create a shared vision of a future worth pursuing.


Generosity underpins our operating strategy — not just because it is good, but because it is infectious. The two most important decisions in our organization's history were posting our talks online, and allowing local event organizers to use our brand, leading to astonishingly generous responses from countless individuals around the world. Generosity is empowerment. Our best work is not what we do, but what we empower others to do, as evidenced every day by the extraordinary work of our speakers, translators, TEDx organizers, business partners, educators, animators, fellows and donors.


Our content isn't the final word on anything. Skeptics are welcome, and may play a key role in improving an idea or revealing its flaws. Others may find that conversation after a talk is the best path to clarity or figuring out what to do with it. We strive to provide a neutral, open space for vigorous discussion and debate both online and face to face. The tone should, of course, stay respectful. Bigotry and hate speech have no place on our platform. But constructive conversations can be a powerful antidote to division.


All of the above is in pursuit of a better world for humanity, present and future, and for our fellow creatures on planet Earth. We firmly believe in the power of ideas to help create that world. But it doesn't happen automatically. Ideas need to be crafted with care, communicated in a way that persuades and inspires, spread to millions of minds — and then, crucially, turned into action by catalytic individuals and communities. We seek to enable every step on that journey.