What Is the TED Organization?


Quick Answer

The TED organization is a nonprofit dedicated to spreading ideas, typically in the form of short, powerful talks. It covers almost all topics, from science to business, in more than 100 languages.

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Full Answer

TED started in 1984 as a conference where technology, entertainment and design converged. The first TED included a demo of the compact disc, the e-book and cutting edge graphics from George Lucas' company Lucasfilm. That conference also had Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrating how to map coastlines using fractal geometry.

In 1990, the TED Conference became an annual event. It took place in Monterey, California, attracting a growing and influential audience from many different disciplines. Philosophers, musicians and even religious leaders were among the invited speaking guests.

In 2001, Chris Anderson's nonprofit Sapling Foundation acquired TED. Anderson wanted to make TED global, not just a local event, and in the following years created TEDGlobal, a sister conference held in locations around the world. By September of 2006, TED talks posted online had amassed more than a million views. In the fall of 2012, TED talks celebrated its billionth video view. TED celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2014 in Vancouver, Canada, with a look back at its achievements and a look towards its future.

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