TED (conference)

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Logo from TED
Former US President Bill Clinton at TED 2007

TED (Abbreviation for Technology, Entertainment, Design ) - originally an annual innovation conference in Monterey, California  - is best known for the TED Talks website, on which the best lectures are posted free of charge as videos. Many of these videos have been subtitled in different languages ​​since 2009, including German. The TED Talks videos were accessed more than three billion times worldwide (as of Nov. 2014). The orientation of the innovation conference has expanded over the years, meanwhile the range of topics includes not only technology, entertainment and design, but also business, global topics, culture, art and science.

At the origin conference, which is still taking place, an exclusive group of experts from the most varied of fields exchanges their ideas - according to the motto Ideas worth spreading ("Ideas that are worth spreading"). Each speaker has a maximum of 18 minutes to present their idea personally and in an appealing way. The spectrum of speakers ranges from scientists to entrepreneurs and activists to designers and artists. Since 2005, further TED conferences have also been held outside the USA ("TEDGlobal"). The annual 5-day main TED conference with more than 80 speakers has been held in Vancouver , Canada, since 2014 . Anyone wishing to take part in the conferences must apply for an invitation.

There are also offshoots such as the TEDx conferences - TED conferences that are organized independently around the world. Since 2009, more than 10,000 TEDx events have taken place in more than 2,500 cities in 164 countries. These TEDx events have resulted in more than 50,000 TEDx Talks, which have so far received 360 million views. Almost 300 TEDx Talks have also been added to the ted.com page so far.

TED conference

In 1984, TED was founded by architect Richard Saul Wurman , who wanted to connect technology developers with designers and other thought leaders. Since the first event was a financial failure, it was six years before the next conference. TED has been held annually since 1990. After the 2002 meeting, Wurman quit and sold the TED to journalist and media entrepreneur Chris Anderson , who has been running it ever since. The importance of the TED in the USA is comparable to what the World Economic Forum in Davos is in Europe - one of the most renowned forums for exchange across sectors and interdisciplinary boundaries. However, TED has developed out of the progressive-liberal, technology-loving West Coast milieu and therefore TED is much more concerned with inspiration, positive “looking ahead” and networking with other “changemakers” than Davos.


TEDGlobal 2012 in Edinburgh

In July 2005 the first TEDGlobal was held in Oxford (England). The second TEDGlobal took place in June 2007 in Arusha ( Tanzania ). In 2009 and 2010, TEDGlobal was held in Oxford again in July.

In 2011 it took place from July 11th to 15th in Edinburgh, Scotland . The second TEDGlobal in Edinburgh took place from June 25 to 29, 2012 under the motto "Radical Openness". The TEDGlobal from 10 to 14 June 2013, again in Edinburgh, had the motto "think again".

In 2014 TEDGlobal took place in South America for the first time, in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil under the title South!


In November 2009, the first TED conference was held in Mysore , India , the TEDIndia .


TEDMED is an annual medical technology conference in the United States. The conference was founded in 2009 by Marc Hodosh and Richard Saul Wurman. The focus is on medical technology, cancer research and topics in the field of private and public health care. The recorded lectures can be accessed on the TEDMED website.

Promotion of outstanding ideas

TED Prize

From 2005 to 2017 the TED Prize was awarded for particularly award-winning ideas. The prize was endowed with 100,000 US dollars up to and including 2012, from 2013 the winner was presented with 1,000,000 US dollars. The award winners' courageous ideas to change the world should be supported. The 23 winners were:

The Audacious Project

In April 2018, the decision was announced to replace the TED Prize with a new concept called The Audacious Project (literally “The Courageous Project”). The aim is to reward the best ideas with even more financial support through the participation of financially strong charities and patrons and thus to make their implementation more effective. The goal for 2018 is to fund seven outstanding ideas with a total of 634 million US dollars.

TED talks

Since spring 2006, lectures from TED conferences have been published on the TED website. There are now over 2900 TED Talks on the TED.com site from a wide variety of areas and on a wide variety of topics. The motto of these lectures is Ideas worth spreading (" Ideas worth spreading "). The video recordings of the lectures, which are no longer than 18 minutes, are published under a Creative Commons license (by-nc-nd).

In May 2009, time- coded subtitles in 40 languages ​​were published for the first time - as part of the TED Open Translation Project - for 300 English-language presentations.

The most viewed TED talk, with over 30 million views, is that of British educationalist Ken Robinson, who talks about how school is killing off children's creativity.


Since 2009 TED has enabled independent organizers to organize their own conferences under the name TEDx, such as B. to organize the TEDxVienna in Vienna or TEDxBerlin. Free licenses are given to ensure a uniform appearance. The specifications include, for example, the design of the stage and the publication of the lectures via video. TEDx is aimed at universities, schools, shops, libraries, and all kinds of communities or groups. The aim is to create a local platform for sharing ideas. At the major TEDx events in Germany - such as B. TEDxBerlin, TEDxHamburg, TEDxStuttgart or TEDxMünchen - the speakers and the audience come from the respective city or country as well as internationally from Europe and the rest of the world. Like TED, TEDx are organized on a non-profit basis.

TED Talks in Education and Business

The growing popularity of TED Talks has led to considerations as to whether this format can also be used in education and business. Both the already available content (web videos) and the way in which the videos are created make several areas of application appear sensible. The first activities in the field of education were undertaken by the TED organization itself. The TED Talks Education section brings together TED Talks that deal with educational issues. In the TED-Ed area, a growing library of "explanatory videos" has been created on a wide variety of topics. The majority of these videos are from students who co-created them in TED-Ed clubs. In cooperation with the publishing house Wiley (TED Studies), thematically similar TED Talk are compiled in playlists and supplemented by essays in which the background is explained from the perspective of experts.

TED Talks are now also used in companies to use the inspiring and motivating effect. TED Talks can be used as an introduction to workshops, lunch & learn, etc. on topics such as leadership, success at work, motivation or innovation, while the creation of TED-style videos is used for employee communication or the dissemination of conference contributions. With the increasing spread of TED Talks, more and more companies and executives are realizing that their communication should also be expanded to include the "TED style". These can be individual TED-style talks as well as entire conferences (e.g. TEDx BCG, TEDx JnJ) that are organized jointly with the TED organization.


Columnist Sarah Lacy, who writes for BusinessWeek and TechCrunch , accused TED of being elitist for meeting fees of $ 6,000. In addition, she noted “worse treatment” of less significant participants.

A lecture by Nick Hanauer , in which he analyzed the connections between the highest tax rate and unemployment and economic equality, criticized the widespread notion that a low tax rate creates jobs on high incomes. After the talk, there were allegations that the talk was not published on the TED website. Chris Anderson replied in the National Journal that Hanauer's lecture was probably one of the most politically controversial lectures at TED and that one would therefore have to be very careful about when to publish it. In addition, Anderson argued on his personal blog that TED only publishes one talk per day, which is selected from several. Bruce Upbin of Forbes described Hanauer's presentation as "shoddy and dumb", while New York magazine criticized the way TED did things. A more detailed lecture by Hanauer was published in 2014.

Essayist Nassim Nicholas Taleb called TED a “ monstrosity that turns thinkers and scientists into undemanding entertainers and circus performers” ( monstrosity that turns scientists and thinkers into low-level entertainers, like circus performers ). He claimed curators of TED had his lecture warning about the financial crisis on the TED website initially for "purely cosmetic reasons" ( Purely cosmetic grounds ) not be published.

Some of the points of criticism are commented directly on the TED website ( Debunking TED myths ).

Web links

Commons : TED  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Our organization. In: ted.com. Retrieved July 16, 2013 .
  2. State of the x - TEDx October 2014 . TED; Retrieved December 4, 2014
  3. State of the x - TEDx October 2014 . TED; Retrieved December 4, 2014
  4. TED Global 2009 - The Substance of Things Not Seen ( English ) www.conferences.ted.com. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  5. TEDGlobal . conferences.ted.com; Retrieved January 3, 2011
  6. TEDGlobal . conferences.ted.com; Retrieved August 16, 2012
  7. Adrian Kreye: On the cliffs. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , 22./23. June 2013, page 14.
  8. TEDGlobal 2014 . conferences.ted.com; Retrieved December 4, 2014
  9. ^ TED India - The Future Beckons ( English ) www.conferences.ted.com. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  10. TEDMED Videos ( English ) www.tedmed.com. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  11. ^ TED Prize . TED.com. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  12. Prize-winning wishes List of TED Prize winners and their ideas
  13. Chris Anderson: Introducing ... The Audacious Project, a new model to inspire change at scale ideas.ted.com, April 4, 2018.
  14. A new initiative for launching big, audacious ideas Article in the TED Blog, April 4, 2018.
  15. ^ The Audacious Project homepage of the project
  16. TED Talks ( English ) www.ted.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
  17. 2900+ talks to stir your curiosity ted.com, as of November 2018.
  18. Are TEDTalks copyrighted? ( English ) www.ted.com. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  19. TED Open Translation Project ( English ) www.ted.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  20. TED Talk Ken Robinson: How school kills creativity . Retrieved December 4, 2014
  21. TEDxVienna
  22. TED ideas conference is expanding. Save the world with Max and Moritz ( German ) www.handelsblatt.com. Retrieved July 13, 2013.
  23. ^ Websites on the concept of TEDx ( English ) www.ted.com. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
  24. TEDxBerlin
  25. TEDx Hamburg
  26. TEDx Stuttgart. Retrieved December 22, 2019 .
  27. TEDxMunich
  28. TED Talks Education ted.com
  29. About TED-Ed ted.com
  30. ^ TED Studies eu.wiley.com
  31. TED Talks: What You Can Learn From Web Videos (PDF) Article in the journal Continuing Education , December 2014 (PDF).
  32. TechCrunch.com
  33. ^ The Atlantic .
  34. a b International Business Times
  35. National Journal
  36. Chris Anderson personal blog.
  37. Bruce Upbin. The Real Reason That TED Talk Was 'Censored'? It's Shoddy And Dumb , Forbes , 5/17/2012.
  38. ^ The Approval Matrix , New York magazine. May 28, 2012. 
  39. ^ Nassim Taleb: The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a New Section: 'On Robustness and Fragility' . Random House Trade, 2010, ISBN 0-8129-7381-X , p. 336.
  40. Debunking TED myths . Retrieved July 16, 2013