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The TED Convention and TED Talks

Updated on October 09, 2016

TED Talks - Ideas Worth Spreading

What is TED?

What is TED? No, TED isn't a person. TED is an idea, or rather, a collective of ideas. TED is a hub for some of the most brilliant minds all over the world. TED represents our hope for a better future.

TED stands for technology, entertainment and design.

TED is a nonprofit organization committed to spreading brilliant ideas, as well as showcasing brilliant minds. What started in 1984 as a small conference for the leaders in the technology industry, has now become a global phenomena where some of the brightest minds of our time come together to share ideas and to brainstorm about a better future.

No longer just focusing on technology, TED talks now feature people of all ages and experts from a wide array of industries. Today, TED represents a global community of creative minds who are seeking a deeper understanding of how the world works.

Providing free knowledge for the public through TED's website, and by hosting conventions throughout the year, the people at TED work diligently, believing that big ideas have the power to change attitudes, lives, and ultimately, the whole world.

Sir Ken Robinson's TED Talk on Traditional Education

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TED Conferences

When TED first formed in the early 1980s, it began as an annual meeting of the brightest minds in the areas of technolgy, entertainment and design (hence the name TED). Since then, TED has continued to grow - now hosting two conferences each year, featuring speakers of all ages presenting ideas that are innovative and powerful.

TED experienced rapid growth in the early 2000s when they began to publish their talks online, via YouTube as well as their own website. The talks feature brilliant minds, such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Isabel Allende, Phillipe Starke and more. The talks are not long, ranging from a couple minutes in length to a maximum of eighteen minutes - but each talk highlights a new idea, a new concept, or an innovative strategy to improve society and create a better world.

TED conventions are magical places. Typically a week long event, TED conventions are held twice a year, and are hosted all over the globe. During the convention, speakers and selected guests get to listen to over 50 different talks covering vastly different fields in an effort to educate, as well as inspire new ideas from unlikely places.

The Greatest Minds Around the World on One Stage - TED Convention

A List of the Top TED Talks

Trying to list the top TED talks isn't easy, since each talk is so inspiring and informative. Depending on what topics interest you, certain talks will be more interesting than others. Regardless, every talk is awe-inspiring, showcasing some of the most creative minds of modern day society.

Here is a list of ten of the most popular TED talks to date:

  1. Sir Ken Robinson on Education - this talk discusses creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
  2. Simon Sinek - during his talk, Sinek discusses a powerful, yet simple model that leaders use to inspire action in those who follow them.
  3. Ric Elias - Elias gives a rivoting speech about his near death experience in an airplane that crashed, and what that event taught him that was so thought-provoking.
  4. Benjamin Zander - a composer, Zander talks about the power of classical music and how it could re-shape our brains.
  5. Amy Cuddy - psychologist Amy Cuddy talks about reading body language and how the way we stand, walk, and present ourselves can determine how successful we will be in the future.
  6. Shawn Achor - Achor's TED talk educated on how we have been living our lives backwards, and why happiness fosters productivity, rather than productivity fostering happiness.
  7. Pamela Meyer - famous for her work helping the CIA detect deception, Meyer talks about how we can learn to spot lies in others, and how body language gives away deception.
  8. Susan Cain - one of the most viewed talks on Youtube, Cain discusses how introverts are extremely powerful people.
  9. Chris Hadfield - former astronaut, Hadfield discusses what losing his vision in outerspace taught him about the world.
  10. Ajit Narayanan - this rivoting talk is about a word game that can help people communicate, regardless of their native language.

To view a long list of amazing TED talks, visit TED's website.

TED Features Innovative Minds from All Over the World

About TEDx

TEDx was created in 2009 after millions of people became hooked through TED's online sharing of their talks. TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's core mission - to spread innovative ideas among brilliant minds. TEDx supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community. TEDx is independent from TED - a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

As of November 2012, TED talks had been viewed over one billion times on YouTube - leading to more and more creative and innovative minds searching out places to share their ideas, and brainstorm with other bright individuals.

TEDx events occur many times throughout the year and featuring films of past TED talks, live speakers, discussion groups and other events to encourage the spreading of ideas. Although attendence for TED conventions is only available to carefully selected individuals, TEDx events are sometimes open to the public, and when they are not, they still manage to involve those who would never get another opportunity to attend such a brilliant event.

Why TED is So Important

TED talks have led to some of the most impressive innovations and some of the most brilliant concepts of our time.

Every time a TED convention or a TEDx event is held, another opportunity arises for intelligent minds to bounce ideas back and forth in an environment that encourages thought and action.

TED is a launching point for soul searching that reaches the deepest corners of the minds of the most incredible individuals alive today.

TED unites doctors, lawyers, physicists, scientists, authors, movie stars, educators, or captains of industry, puts them in one room, and encourages them to work together to solve world problems.

These problems range from climate change issues to social injustice, education and governmental reform to diagnosing infectious deceases and providing vaccines.

TED is our hope for a better future.

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    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
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      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      If you have netflix, they have hundreds of fantastic talks available!

    • marieloves profile image

      Marie 2 years ago from Canada

      TED Talks are awesome! I could watch them for hours. :)

      My favourite talk is probably Joseph Kim's story about his escape from North Korea.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      I am simply addicted to TED. I have found I can spend hours on end with TED, so I try not to get started unless I know I have the time.

      TED is much too interesting, educational and all the things I love.

      Hmmmm....come to think of it....This TED is better than a human TED!!....UP++

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Me too Billy! I can't get enough of them! Thank goodness for Netflix

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We watch these videos daily at our house. Love TED Talks....great programming for anyone who wishes to learn.

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      I most certainly will!

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image
      Author

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 2 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      Thank you! I wanted to do a more in-depth piece, but I figured that I would write up a general info piece first for those who don't know what TED is. I am working on some niche TED articles that go into detail about different talks. Hope you check them out when they are up!

    • RachaelOhalloran profile image

      Rachael O'Halloran 2 years ago from United States

      #Kathleen, I love TED Talks!! There is always something interesting and something new to learn. You have done a marvelous job of detailing this for readers who may have heard of but did not really know what TED Talks were before landing here on your hub.

      Voted up and shared. :)

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