Business Unusual

TED, three letters with a plan to change the world

You may not have realised it, but the odds are good that at some point you have watched a TED talk. Possibly many. You may have shared them or quoted them, they may have even changed the way you think about something.

TED is a media organisation that was founded in the 80s to showcase technology (T), education (E) and design (D). It was centred around a conference that was held every year with speakers from those disciplines sharing new ideas to inspire those attending. A journalist and successful publisher Chris Anderson became involved in the early 2000s when the foundation he created from publishing acquired the rights to TED.

In 2006 the first major change took place with the talks being posted online. Rather than only reaching those attending the conference, many more could access the “ideas worth spreading”. It has since opened up the talks to cover all topics but caps them at 18 minutes. Initially, even that seemed long for an online video audience but it has proved to be long enough to tell a great story, but not too long to become a lecture.

They have featured celebrities, academics, activists and business leaders. The conferences are now hosted in many locations and focus on a range of issues. In 2011 TEDx was created to allow independent events to be run using the TED guidelines all over the world, provided they adhered to the licence.

Thousands have been held to date including annual versions in Johannesburg and Cape Town since 2013. As a result, tens of thousands of talks are available to free to add to what you know and help you with whatever project or life challenge you may face.

It was not just ideas they wanted to see being spread, but action too. In 2005 a TED Prize of $100 000 was awarded to a speaker who did not just have an idea to change the world but a plan. The prize increased to $1 million in 2013.

This year they have taken it a step further, based on the ideas that limit social entrepreneurship and charity from reaching the scale and impact of for-profit organisations. This year's prize will aim to raise over $600 million and include support for other speakers to enable the idea to be realised even quicker.

The winner of the Audacious Project will be announced in April 2019

Besides creating a powerful platform to launch a new idea or even finally enable an old one, TED may be changing the way philanthropy works.

Rather than addressing those most at risk or overcoming global challenges that prevent business, as usual, taking place, it may sideline the role of traditional governments with inefficient procedures and officials that are sometimes an obstacle to success.

Highly committed, well resourced and funded teams could achieve a lot more in far less time than even global bodies that need to pass all decisions through a bureaucracy. It may well not succeed with all the attempts, but then neither do the government and world body efforts, but it should add momentum to tackle long-standing issues with a combination of Technology, Education and Design.

Enjoy The Money Show, but miss it sometimes?

Get the best bits emailed to you daily, right after it ends:

Subscribe to our Business Wrap Newsletter


This article first appeared on 702 : TED, three letters with a plan to change the world


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
The businesses that boomed and went bust on Business Unusual

The businesses that boomed and went bust on Business Unusual

Predictions, products and personalities featured in "Business Unusual" in the last three years.

TVs are becoming so good, our eyes may not be able to perceive the improvements

TVs are becoming so good, our eyes may not be able to perceive the improvements

When technology exceeds humanity's' capacity to use it

Surviving disruption - two global brands that dodged the bullet

Surviving disruption - two global brands that dodged the bullet

Disruption almost killed a 70-year-old toy company and a 250-year-old publisher.

Three moonshots that could change the world

Three moonshots that could change the world

A material that could turn friction into fiction; a bee to end our dependence on plastic and a single atom transistor.

To buy or not to buy? That is the question

To buy or not to buy? That is the question

The pros and cons of subscribing to versus buying digital content.

It took a war to change shipping. What will it take to change transport?

It took a war to change shipping. What will it take to change transport?

As hype begins to grow around the Hyperloop, will it change how we travel or run out of track?

Popular articles
Ramaphosa announces details on SA's economic stimulus package

Ramaphosa announces details on SA's economic stimulus package

The President made the announcement at a briefing in Pretoria on Friday.

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

'My hubby is 75 and we still do it' - stories about sex on the other side of 50

Is biology putting the brakes on your sexuality? Callers share their experiences of sex and growing older.

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

'Some weed plants with high levels of chemicals have been linked to psychosis'

Naked Scientist, Chris Smith shares his insights on some of the risks associated with smoking marijuana.

[Watch] Dad breaks down when reunited with car sold to pay wife’s bills

[Watch] Dad breaks down when reunited with car sold to pay wife’s bills

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

Charity loses R39k event deposit after previous Ritz Hotel management goes awol

Charity loses R39k event deposit after previous Ritz Hotel management goes awol

The Ritz Hotel is under new management and the money paid to previous management has still not been refunded.

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv Premium on a downward spiral, warns tech guru

DStv has lost about 140 000 Premium subscribers to Netflix over the past two years, tech expert Arthur Goldstuck.

Dr Eve busts myths about the female orgasm that could change your sex life

Dr Eve busts myths about the female orgasm that could change your sex life

As many as 1 in 3 women have trouble reaching orgasm when having sexual play, clinical sexologist Dr Eve explains.