Since 1984, TED has hosted some of the world’s most inspiring thinkers, with the aim of “leveraging the power of ideas to change the world“.
Initially a one off event, the TED lecture series has been held annually since 1990, firstly in Monterey, then Long Beach and Palm Springs, and now internationally. Initially the focus was largely on technology and design, and more recently they deal with a wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture.
No matter who famous you are, you are allotted only 18 minutes to present your ideas. What a great concept – clearly designed to perfectly match the attention span of a GP!
Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, educator Salman Khan, Presentation Zen Guru Garr Reynolds, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners.
TED is now hosted by Chris Anderson and his not-for-profit Sapling Foundation. For an annual fee of $6000, you can join the TED network and attend any TED conference.
However, if an idea is worth spreading, TED believes it should be set free. All TED talks are available free – either via live streaming of through a complete online archive – which now hosts more than 700 talks!
“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”
In addition to allowing access through your normal web browser, iPhone and iPad apps make it easy to track TED talks.
TEDxSydney 2011 takes place this Saturday at CarriageWorks, Sydney.
Tickets to the theatre itself were free, but all have been allocated. You can attend the live simulcast next door in the CarriageWorks, or watch it live on YouTube. You can also listen to a special Radio National ‘Big Ideas’ broadcast from 1pm – 7pm.
Speakers are listed on the TedxSydney web site.
Here is a selection of interesting TED talks from over the years:
- Shai Agassi’s Bold Plans for Electric Cars
- Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling
- Sir Ken Robinson and Creativity
- Deb Roy – The Birth of a Word
- Cynthea Breazeal – The Rise of Personal Robots
- Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work