Do you know about TED Talks?
TED started out in 1984 from an idea by Richard Saul Wurman who wanted to hold a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED). Luminaries such as Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, Al Gore, Billy Graham, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, Stephen Hawking, JK Rowling and Bono have spoken on subjects ranging from technology to culture, the environment, science, and social trends. Each talk is limited to 18 minutes, apparently long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. According to TED curator Chris Anderson it forces speakers who are used to going on for 45 minutes to bring it down to 18 “you get them to really think about what they want to say”. You can watch a video by Chris Anderson here on ‘What makes a great talk, great’, although at 23 minutes this is not a typical TED Talk!
Next year, 2014, TED will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Vancouver, Canada with a conference entitled ‘The Next Chapter’, a look back at the most significant developments of the past 30 years as well as a look as to what’s ahead.
The TED Talks ground-breaking audio and video podcast series, which began as an attempt to share what happens at a TED Conference, now has millions of enthusiastic global online fans. The first six TED Talks were posted online in June of 2006. By September, they had reached more than one million views. There are now more than 1,400 talks available online and in 2012, TED celebrated its one billionth video view.
The TEDx program is a series of self-organized TED-like events around the world. In fact I attended one in Marbella, Spain at the beginning of this year on the theme ‘Sustainable City: Initiate, Innovate, Motivate’. There have now been some 2,000 events to date in more than 80 countries worldwide.
TED Talks can change your view of the world and expand your horizons. Go to TED.com to watch some of the most interesting and thought-provoking talks from some amazing people.
Have a look at Sheryl Sandberg, now Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, talking back in 2010 about ‘Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders’ where she gives aspiring female business leaders a few actionable tips to take their career to the next level.
Al Gore’s controversial TED Talk ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was updated by him in February 2009. Watch his talk ‘What comes after an Inconvenient Truth?’ here.