TED: ideas worth spreading
technology, entertainment and design – 3 seemingly disparate disciplines but all aimed at the improvement and enhancement of the human experience. this is what TED, an annual conference inaugurated in 1984, is about. it is attended by captains and leaders of the aforementioned fields, and features a host of speakers who are also prominent figures globally.
every year, 3 prizes of $100 000 are awarded for each of the genres. the winners are usually among the movers and shakers of the fields that they represent. take for instance the winners this year – neil turok, a cosmologist at cambridge dedicated to bringing scientific education to africa; dave eggers, writer of ‘a heartbreaking work of staggering genius’ and also the founder of 826 Valencia: an after school education programme in america that seeks to provide students with one-to-one tuition; and last but not least karen armstrong, an expert on comparitive religions.
other than the prize money, the winners are also granted a wish that they will share upon receiving the prize. in this public declaration, the winners seek the fulfillment of their wishes with the aid of the audience, many of whom are individuals of means, and of the world at large.
as mentioned earlier, the speakers at the TED conferences are distinguished in their areas of expertise, and more often than not full of innovative ideas that would reap great benefits for the world if sowed. thus the mandate of TED. past speakers have included richard branson (virgin group), larry page and sergey brin (google), al gore (environmental activist), bono (u2), stephen hawking (scientist), james nachtwey (photojournalist) and raul midon (musician), just to list a few. their inspirational presentations definitely open up areas of knowledge previously unknown, and even go as far as to stimulate action where an issue has to be given attention.
the availability of recordings of these speeches is indeed a gift to those unable to physically be at the event, yet able to share in the ideas and discussions transpired.
to learn more about TED and to access the videos, click here.
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