TED’s Curation Guidelines


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


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.


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.


TED brings the most relevant, groundbreaking and awe-inspiring ideas to the stage/screen. We’re also a space to discuss the ideas that are shaping global conversations. This means TED will sometimes invite speakers who address charged issues or with whom you might personally disagree.

Our mission

TED's mission is to discover and spread ideas that spark imagination, embrace possibility and catalyze impact. We are devoted to curiosity, reason, wonder and the pursuit of knowledge. TED will always welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek both a deeper understanding of the world and connection with others.

Mutual respect

TED's global community is built on principles of mutual respect and the idea that people can work together to address challenges and opportunities. TED believes that powerful ideas, expressed and distributed with care, can bring people together and create greater understanding.

Modeling respectful engagement

We are working to evolve the TED Talk format to incorporate varying points of view on complex issues. Our intention, always, is to model respectful engagement. By grappling with ideas that challenge us, we demonstrate our commitment to lifelong learning, a key tenet of TED.

Bridging divides

At a time of growing divide, TED invites a broad range of speakers to our events to try to share ideas and seek deeper understanding. There are few places where nuanced conversations can still happen; we aim to foster such an environment at TED.

No hate speech

Bigotry and hate speech have no place on TED's stages or in TED content.

Finding shared meaning

TED believes it's important to consider the ideas presented by speakers even when disagreeing with aspects of their work or beliefs. TED is committed to being a place where people with differing viewpoints can come together and participate in meaningful conversations.

Expertise and accuracy

TED invites speakers to share ideas on which they have proven expertise and reviews all content for accuracy. We also recognize that people are complicated, multi-faceted and hold views on a variety of topics. We do not universally endorse all viewpoints and perspectives of our speakers.

Not everyone will agree

TED recognizes that not everyone will agree with all of the organization's curation decisions. We welcome respectful and productive debate about topics presented on the stage and have created multiple forums at our conferences where speakers and attendees can come together to discuss the topics raised on the stage.