Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to TED!
Updated: December 11, 2009
On the Internet these days there are billions of videos we could spend our time watching. And there is some great stuff out there.
But on a website named, simply, TED all the videos world changing and life altering.
TED’s mission statement is simple: Spreading ideas.
Additionally, TED is self-described only as “…a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading”.
So, because of the simplicity, it may, at first glance, appear TED wouldn’t have a great deal to offer.
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
A second look at TED and you’ll find videos of some of this “world’s greatest thinkers and teachers” speaking on three subjects: Technology, Entertainment , Design.
Though it would seem a “new” company because of the Internet technology explosion of the last five years TED was conceptualized in 1984 by Richard Saul Wurman.
In that first go round, TED lost money and, so, it was six years before Wurman and his partner, Harry Marks, gave it another shot.
Though I am sorry for their original struggles, it is fantastic irony that TED was an idea which at one time failed because it was implemented way ahead of its time yet is, now, wildly successful because it is predicated on many whose ideas are way ahead of their time.
From Billy Graham to Bono, Jane Goodall to Peter Gabriel and those you’ve probably never heard of like Li Lu, one of the major organizers of the student protest in Tiananmen Square or Aimee Mullins – you’ll have to watch TED to find out who she is – these speakers tell the stories of their amazing triumphs, their miserable failures, their fears and their dreams for not just themselves but the universe as well.
Over the years, though the name has stayed the same, Chris Brand and his foundation, The Sapling Foundation, acquiring TED from Wurman and Marks in 2001, has focused on expanding the roster of TED speakers with no boundaries placed on their field of expertise.
Chris made the same commitment as the founders…to put the world’s most interesting people on a stage thereby giving them a platform from which to speak about that which they are most passionate.
As importantly, Chris grew TED’s reach to a global one rather than keeping it solely in the United States. This means everyone with Internet access, anywhere in the world may view the videos on TED…oh…did I forget to mention all the content on TED is FREE?
Of the many reasons there are to fall in love with TED and all its speakers, I believe its success may be attributed to the strides being made, by TED, in the reconnection of all things.
As you know, I speak incessantly about all things being interconnected. I believe that interconnectedness is what our souls are truly working to back to.
Today, December 11, 2009, the videos on TED have been viewed over 150 million times.
You don’t need a TED speaker to tell you that means over 150 million human beings are reaching out to each other by seeing the stories and, then, sharing them.
Spend some time on TED.
Get knowledge, be inspired and reconnect.
That is one of the ways we’ll remember and get back to our future.