TED 101 (Or TED For Dummies)

TEDxDubai organiser Giorgio asked me to write a post on “what TED means to you and what you are expecting from TEDx Dubai,” before the first Dubai TEDx conference in 2009.

Oops 🙁

I haven’t exactly done that in this post. But I will. I promise. Next time. Or the time after that. (OK Giorgio?)

I thought it might be more useful to begin at the beginning, because when I posted the TEDxDubai information on another blog, I got comments from people saying they didn’t “get” what TED is/does.

(When I found out TED was coming to town, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone I know, because it’s SO great, so I immediately posted the info and then was surprised by the comments.)

ANYWAY, it made me think that there could be a whole bunch of people in the UAE who are in the same I-don’t-get-TED boat.

TED Basics

If you’re one of the ones in that boat, here’s a simple explanation:

TED is a non-profit organization that invites people who are experts/thinkers/”doers” in their fields to get together at “think-tank-like” conferences to share ideas/tell the stories of their lives and/or interesting experiences.

TED conferences have been held in the USA annually since 1984; they have become ever larger in both the number of speakers and the number of delegates.

The objective of the TED movement is to inspire people to greatness, make positive change and well, obviously, duh, to share ideas.

At the core of the TED initiative is the belief that sharing powerful ideas can change attitudes, lives and ultimately the world.

Each speaker has 18 minutes to share an “idea worth spreading” in a “talk.”

The talks, which are usually powerfully inspirational, are videotaped and made available for free to people around the world (i.e. they are downloadable and embeddable).

What “TED” And TEDx Mean

The talks were initially focused on Technology, Entertainment and Design (thus TED), but the scope has broadened over the years.

TED is now encouraging people to hold similar conferences (called TEDx) around the world to make the TED experience available to greater numbers of people everywhere.

TEDx Dubai is one of those. It will be held October 10, 2009, at Knowledge Village.

The TED site has about 500 amazing videos of talks given by some of the world’s foremost thinkers and doers.

The talks explore a huge array of fascinating topics and ideas – from prosthetic limbs and rain forests to the role of religion in the modern world. New talks are being added all the time.

TED is a lot like a blog in which all the contributors are undisputed experts, and all the readers/subscribers share a passion for making the world a better place.

Hey. No wonder I love it. It’s SUCH a cool concept. I hope to see you at TEDxDubai on October 10 at Knowledge Village.

Related links:
Speak Up, Speak Out, Take The Stage: The World Needs More TED Women
AWR TED Talk Favourites