Steven Pinker Psychologist, 2003, 2005, 2007
Julia Sweeney Actress/ Comedian, 2006, 2007 Natalie Merchant Singer/songwriter, 2010
Stefan Sagmeister Graphic designer, 2004, 2008, 2009
Kavita Ramdas Activist, 2009
Jane Goodall Primatologist, 2002, 2007
Malcolm Gladwell Writer, 2004
Dean Kamen Entrepreneur/ inventor, 2002, 2007 Jamie Oliver Chef, 2010
Samantha Power Journalist/government 2008
action afer Sunitha revelatory talk about rescuing thousands of women and children fom sex slavery in India and her search for funds and political allies to help house and employ the rehabilitated women. It always this way.
ED founder Richard Saul Wurman makes no bones about the fact that the current incarnation of the organization is a far cry fom his original mandate of simply surrounding himself with I was interested he says. wanted to do the best conference in the world, and Chris wants to change the Wurman, 75, says. goal is one is generous. interested in good work, but in a self-centered way. just a schlepper fom Steve Jobs just makes computers. When Wurman launched TED in 1984, the conference included demonstrations of a new computer called Macintosh and a compact disc fom Sony. Stars showed up, but the conference sputtered. Six years later, Wurman and his partner, Harry Marks, relaunched TED, to great success. The exclusive, annual confabs were held in Monterey, California, until 2009, when Anderson moved it to Long Beach and opened a smaller, European sister version, called TEDGlobal, in Oxford, England. Wurman has since launched the conferences EG, or Entertainment Gathering, and
TEDMED, a separate entity fom TED that uses the same format. It focuses on medical and health-care issues. Some TEDMED talks are online at ted.com. Anderson, meanwhile, expanded reach and put TEDTalks online. There are currently more than 650 talks available for fee online, with more added daily. been viewed more than 250 million times since June 2006 and have been translated into languages so far through the Open Translation project. TED speakers are aware of their global audience and the fact that fellow presenters are in the audience listening to them; every conference participant experiences the presentations together. Talk about a tough room. Facing the Who audience is daunting, and some speakers say more wowed by sitting in the audience than the other way around. my talk, I saw Morgan Spurlock, the Super Size Me guy, sitting in the third row. He came up and talked to me says violin virtuoso Robert Vijay Gupta, who at 22 is the youngest member of the LA Philharmonic. His talk recounted the violin lessons he gave to a gifed schizophrenic cellist, made famous in the 2009 The Soloist. also met Matt Groening. It was motto is Worth done by word of mouth, online videos and a torrent of tweets, Diggs, blogs and social-networking discussions. TEDsters use terms such as a to describe their craving for the talks, and some make career corrections based on their conference experience. says Jack Oswald, founder and head honcho of San Franciscobased SynGest, who changed his career afer attending his third conference. The onetime digital entertainment techie now is a clean-energy entrepreneur. Scratch a TEDster and a cause to support. New Yorker Paulette Cole, chief executive and creative director of storied ABC Carpet Home in New a four-time TED conference sells furniture crafed fom reclaimed and salvaged wood. She also spearheads the ABC Home Planet Foundation, which leverages gifs to deserving organizations. sparked the desire to do important she says.
THE LUCKY FEW
ou necessarily have to be retail royalty or have letters afer your name to gain admission to TED conferences (Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz and Goldie Hawn have never hurts to be a movie star). Nor do you need them to be invited to speak. Conference-goers, however, do have to apply to attend. Asked about the application process, TEDster Spier joked that have to give up your to be accepted. have no idea how a lowlife like myself got the whole point, says Anderson. goal is to bring together not the (Continued on page 95)
deltaskymag.com June 2010