IBM has worked with companies, cities, and communities around the world to explore the ways that data analytics can improve our lives. Power grids, cars, health care, and even political campaigns benefit from the analysis of huge amounts of data. TED worked with IBM to frame these big ideas by teaching, rather than telling.

IBM and TED explored big data through engaging, digestible pieces of original content. In 2013, TED worked with IBM to identify employees within the company who had stories and expertise to share with the world. TED used these insights to create two animated TED-Ed lessons: “The New Era of Cognitive Computing” and “The New Science of Marketing,” taught by IBM employees Eric Brown and Deepak Advani. The lessons creatively address the ways in which data analysis is transforming healthcare, marketing, and humanity’s relationship to computers.

TED distributed the lessons to our network of business school partners, and targeted the videos against related talks on as post-roll advertising. By collaborating to identify innovative IBM employees and developing their ideas into digestible lesson plans, both TED and IBM were able to provide Eric and Deepak a platform to share their wonky, clever, and funny insights on the possibilities of big data.

IBM was also able to communicate its commitment to intellectual creativity at a TED conference. IBM’s space at TEDGlobal brought to life how we can use data to make informed, everyday decisions about energy use through social media and mobile phones. Tweets fired off when too much water flowed through a spigot; text messages took flight at the snap of a mousetrap.

TED is the ideal platform for brands to become teachers. Our influential, socially conscious audience visits to discover new ideas. Through our partnership, IBM was able to spotlight forward-thinking employees and communicate its role as an intellectual brand with an eye for social good. And the TED audience learned something new about the role of technology and data in marketing, healthcare, and human relationships.

How to connect: Email Lisa Choi Owens - Head of Global Partnerships, at

At the core, we’re trying to leverage knowledge the way humans record and communicate it — natural human language.
Eric Brown on “Cognitive Computing”, IBM