TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

Beginning: February 23, 1984
Owner: Sapling Foundation
Founder (s): Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks
Headquarters: New York City, New York, US, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

TED  ( Technology, Entertainment, Design ) is a media organization which posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”.

Related projects and events


In 2005, under Anderson’s supervision, a more internationalized sister conference was added, under the name TEDGlobal. It was held, in chronological order: in Oxford, UK (2005), in Arusha, Tanzania (2007, titled TEDAfrica), in Oxford (2009 and 2010), and in Edinburgh, UK (2011, 2012, and 2013). In 2014, it was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Additionally, there was TED India, in Mysore (2009).

TED’s European director (and curator of TEDGlobal) is Swiss-born Bruno Giussani.

The Open Translation Project (OTP)

TED Open Translation Project was started in May 2009 and target to “[reach] out to the 4.5 billion people on the planet who do not speak English”, according to TED Curator Chris Anderson. The OTP utilizes crowd-based subtitling tables to translate The text of TED and TED-Ed videos, as well as to caption and translate videos created in the TEDx program (with its technology partner dotSUB until May 2012, and then with open source translation tool Amara). At the time of the launch, 300 translations had been done by 200 volunteer transcribers in 40 languages. In May 2015, over 70,000 sets of subtitles in 107 languages Had been repeated by (an all-time total of) 38,173 volunteer translators.

The project led to a significant increase in international visitors to TED’s website, with traffic from outside the US growing 350 percent, 600 percent growth in Asia, and more than 1000 percent in South America.

Members have several tools dedicated to knowledge management, such as the OTP Wiki OTPedia, Facebook groups, or video tutorials.


TEDx are independent TED-like events, which can be organized by anyone who obtains a free license from TED, agreeing to follow certain principles.TED x events are non-profit but may use an admission fee or commercial sponsorship to cover costs. Similarly, speakers are not paid. They are also relinquish the copyrights to their materials, which TED may edit and distribute under a Creative Commons license.

A TEDx event is organized by volunteers from the local community, and just like TED events, it lacks any commercial, religious, or political agenda. Its goal is to call conversation, connection, and community.

TED Fellows

TED Fellows were introduced in 2007, during the first TEDAfrica conference in Arusha, Tanzania, where 100 young people were selected from across the continent. Two years later, during TEDIndia, 99 Fellows were recruited, mainly from South Asia. In 2009, the Fellows Program is initiated in its present form. For every TED or TEDGlobal conference, 20 Fellows are selected out of more than 1200 applicants; a total of 40 new Fellows a year. Out of the 40 Fellows selected in the previous year, 15 people are chosen Each year to participate in the two-year Senior Fellows program (in which they will attend four more conferences) so, every year, there are 40 new Fellows plus 30 Senior Fellows from the two previous year.


TEDMED is an annual conference focusing on health and medicine. It is an independent event operating under license from the nonprofit TED conference.

TEDMED was founded in 1998 by TED’s founder Ricky Wurman and after years of inactivity. In 2008, Wurman sold TEDMED to entrepreneur Marc Hodosh, who recreated and relaunched it. The first event under Hodosh’s ownership was held in San Diego in October 2009. In January 2010, TED.com began including videos of TEDMED talks on the TED website.

The second Hodosh-owned edition of TEDMED took place in October 2010, also in San Diego. It sold out for a second year and attracted notable healthcare leaders and Hollywood celebrities.

In 2011, Jay Walker and a group of executives and investors purchased TEDMED from Hodosh for $16 million with future additional payments of as much as $9 million. The conference was then moved to Washington, DC.

Other programs

  • TED Books — These are original books from TED. Like the talks, TED Books are long enough to explore a powerful idea but short enough to read in a single sitting. The initiative began in January 2011 as an ebook series and re-launched in September 2014 with its first book in print.
  • TedEd Clubs — An education based initiative to get young people (ages 8 to 18) to share their ideas with peers and others by giving a TED-like presentation on a topic they’re passionate about. TED provides curricula and limited support for the Clubs free of charge.
  • TEDWomen — A series of conferences focused on women-oriented themes, including gender issues and reproductive health.
  • TED Salon — Smaller evening-length events with speakers and performers.
  • TED Radio Hour — A radio podcast program hosted by Guy Raz and co-produced with NPR. Each episode uses multiple TED Talks to examine a common theme.