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
See all

Truth meets dare: Our curators on the speakers and themes of TED2015

February 19, 2015

At the end of TED2015, curator Chris Anderson and content director Kelly Stoetzel want people to walk away feeling like “they’ve had with their worldview challenged in a productive, satisfying way.” For this conference, whose theme is “Truth and Dare,” they’ve crafted a speaker lineup that ranges from neuroscientists to machine-learning experts to newly minted […]

Continue reading

How did Nick Hanauer get onto TED’s home page?!

August 12, 2014

There’s a bit of a back story behind today’s TED Talk, in which Nick Hanauer issues a powerful warning to his fellow zillionaire ‘plutocrats’ that it’s time to take the inequality issue seriously, and makes the case to dramatically raise the minimum wage. Some of you may remember that two years ago there was an online spat between […]

Continue reading