What can be accomplished in 18 minutes or less? The spreading of ideas, inspiration, motivation, and knowledge through TED Talks.
In 1984, the first TED Talk was born, which even included a demonstration of cutting edge technology: the compact disc. Richard Wurman, and his partner Harry Marks, lost money on this first conference. They tried again 6 years later, this time with success. Reservations for the annual TED event now cost $7,500 and sell out within hours of each offering. TED is a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation committed to the sharing of knowledge.
What started as an annual conference for the wealthy transformed into a global sharing of ideas. In June of 2006, the TED founders added six videos to the internet, so everyone could benefit from these talks. Chris Anderson, TED chief executive, felt that “success would be if…10,000 people viewed the talks.” They managed that on day one, and it grew each day thereafter. Now, they have over 2,000 videos online which have garnered over 8 billion views.
TED Talks were based on the premise of technology, entertainment, and design ideas coming together in one forum. There are many categories of TED talks and certain topics hold the attention of an audience more than others. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist, observes in her popular talk “Your body language shapes who you are,” how our posture affects not only how others view us, but also how our confidence is directly affected. Cuddy has had over 40 million views. Pamela Meyer’s “How to spot a liar” has over 16 million views, as she shows how to recognize deception. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her talk “The danger of a single story,” which has over 12 million views, warns people how limited our perception of the world is if we only hear one story about another’s culture.
TED speakers are thought provoking and inspiring speakers who are at the top of their respective fields. Sting, Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, Monica Lewinsky, and Sarah Silverman are just a few of the celebrities who have graced a TED talk stage. Professors, doctors, scientists, musicians, and even children are some of the many individuals who impart their message to the world. Recently, the Pope himself gave his first TED talk, on power and the need for humility.
TED makes ideas freely accessible to people across the globe. TED is more than a trending conference- it is a haven for “ideas worth spreading”.