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daylong talks in February, made no pretense of showing up to expand her intellectual horizons or scratch an altruistic itch: obvious reason here is to hang out with clients and The reason for TED, however, to see how far ideas can spread if you allow them to travel on the backs of people who are passionate about a talk they hear at a conference or says Bruno Giussani, the European director. And they do spread. South Aficanborn Neil Turok is a sof-spoken academic who just happens to be one of the leading physicists on the planet. Formerly holder of the prestigious Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University, he currently is director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada. When not writing about the birth of an universe ask), working toward his goal of creating 15 centers of math and science in Afica through the Afican Institute for Mathematical Sciences, the project he founded in Cape Town, South Afica, in 2003. The institute recruits 50 exceptional students a year fom across Afica for intensive exposure to myriad science disciplines. Turok heard of TED in early 2008, when out of the he was informed that he had won a $100,000 TED Prize, annually bestowed on who are engaged in socially work. The prize went to three recipients each year fom 2005 through 2009; now one person gets it. Prizewinners, in highly anticipated talks, get to make their case for help with their projects. Like a Nobel Prize or an Oscar, winning a TED Prize garners a lot of attention and spurs action. opened doors Turok says, still incredulous. Since his presentation, Microsof co-founder Paul Allen endowed a $200,000 fellowship and Google is donating $1 million to AIMS this year, among other help that poured in. About 300 people signed up to support AIMS and other Turok goals, at overwhelming his small-scale operation, he says. In a good way, of course. is the tabloid journalism of
pop says Turok. shrink everything to 18-minute talks, which grab attention and promote ideas. It could be a quick thrill and then over, but that does not happen. They have a very strong commitment to ensuring that the wishes actually go
amie Oliver, the young British celebrity chef and nutrition advocate who won this TED Prize, says that he could have imagined the number of energy, brains and to help his cause. The jacked-up activist, decked out in a checkered shirt, sneakers and gelled hair in a perfect mess, asked TED supporters in his prize plea to help set up community kitchens and do PR outreach, among other jobs, and says he has been "absolutely overwhelmed with including more than 2,200 fom online supporters and 200 in person following his pitch. and experiences a glimpse into how potent is the mix of celebrity, big-business capital and philanthropy when coalesced around a popular, proven engine of change. is one of the best connectors on the says famed ocean explorer Sylvia Earle, a 2009 TED Prize winner. Afer she delivered her wish to create a global network of marine protected areas, her foundation got a $1 million grant fom Planet Heritage Foundation, and National Geographic, Google Earth and the International Union for Conservation of Nature partnered with her foundation
"TED is the
tabloid journalism of
pop culture. It could be a quick thrill and then it's over, but that does not happen."