Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What is TED?

Awhile ago I mentioned that Clint was hired to work at TED Vancouver, and conversations that flowed out of that post invariably began with, "What's TED?"

So this is a follow up post.

What TED is, is written by Tim Urban, a fellow who explained on his blog, what TED is, as well as his whole experience in getting asked to present, preparing his presentation, his experience presenting, and his relief after his presentation. It's a long read, but interesting/entertaining. (To me, at least.)

This is an excerpt:

TED actually started way back in 1984, founded by Richard Saul Wurman, as a small, Silicon Valley annual gathering. The name is an acronym for Wurman’s intention for the focus of the conference: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Through the 1990s, the conference grew both in attendance and in the scope of its topics.
In 2002, media entrepreneur Chris Anderson bought TED from Wurman (through a non-profit he owns) and has run it ever since. He broadened TED’s content focus to “ideas worth spreading,” and in 2006, TED began doing something that would launch the brand into the stratosphere—they put the talks online.
I first heard of TED in 2008, when someone sent me Jill Bolte Taylor’s amazing talk about what she learned from the experience of having a stroke. You probably first heard of TED around the same time. And a few years later, almost everyone knew what a TED Talk was. Anderson describes TED’s rise to global prominence like this:
It used to be 800 people getting together once a year; now it’s about a million people a day watching TED Talks online. When we first put up a few of the talks as an experiment, we got such impassioned responses that we decided to flip the organization on its head and think of ourselves not so much as a conference but as “ideas worth spreading,” building a big website around it. The conference is still the engine, but the website is the amplifier that takes the ideas to the world.1
The TED brand has expanded in a lot of ways, but maybe most notably through TEDx conferences. This can be a little confusing, so here’s the deal: There’s still one annual TED conference, a week-long event in Vancouver, and it’s run by the TED staff. (A TEDx conference is independently run, but it has to follow a set of guidelines laid out by TED so that it fits with the overall brand. There are now over 1,500 annual TEDx events that happen in over 130 countries, some of them major, high-profile conferences; others tiny and little-known. The best TEDx talks are posted on TED.com, alongside the talks that happen at the main conference in Vancouver.)

TED talks are never more than 18 minutes long, and they are (mostly) brilliant. 
Here are some of my fav's:

Is sexy.

Watch what data tells us:


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Smart people.
2. Opportunities to share ideas.
3. Naps.

1 comment:

September said...

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing your favorites and linking right to them! We have no excuse to not watch them.
I adore Brene Brown. I watched the introversion talk because that describes me - one of my favorite things about being an accountant is that for the most part, I get to do it ALONE.
Her remarks on solitude landed with me. It definitely helps me recalibrate. I also appreciated the ending challenge to look at what's in our suitcase and unpack it now and then to share with others.
Good stuff. I'm going to go watch another now. :) Have a super day Jane!