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


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to make coding compulsory in public schools

President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to make coding compulsory in public schools

The President indicated he supports making a new mandatory subject to teach kids to code.

A timeline of revolutions past and present

A timeline of revolutions past and present

Some significant changes can come from small shifts in society. Here are some that affected us in the past and may be at work now.

How Netflix became the 7th largest company in the world

How Netflix became the 7th largest company in the world

World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck interviewed Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings about his company, the ultimate disrupter.

SA may help the world move beyond being CO2 neutral to becoming CO2 negative

SA may help the world move beyond being CO2 neutral to becoming CO2 negative

It is a long shot, but we may one day get much of our fuel from the air.

'Drop shipping' - the shady side of connecting buyers with sellers on the web

'Drop shipping' - the shady side of connecting buyers with sellers on the web

The web was supposed to connect buyers to sellers, but not like this.

Facebook is planning some big changes

Facebook is planning some big changes

The Facebook CEO set out his goals for 2019, and they include more encryption, less sharing and deleting your content.

Popular articles
Is a third-party insurance in place of the Road Accident Fund a better idea?

Is a third-party insurance in place of the Road Accident Fund a better idea?

The transport department has announced that it intends to scrap the embattled Road Accident Fund for a new scheme.

How long to keep tax records available for inspection in South Africa

How long to keep tax records available for inspection in South Africa

Should you keep them "forever"? Tax expert Chris Sloane on the requirement to keep tax records available for inspection by Sars.

'SA's  decline over the past 12 years is similar to that of war-torn countries'

'SA's decline over the past 12 years is similar to that of war-torn countries'

CEO at Eunomix Claude Baissac says even though SA is ranked above these countries, its decline over the years is 'astounding'.

[WATCH] Oil riggers rescue pooch 200 kms out to sea

[WATCH] Oil riggers rescue pooch 200 kms out to sea

The workers in the Gulf of Thailand spotted the exhausted dog clinging to the pipes of the rig and managed to pull her to safety.

Sam Smith cancels remaining Cape Town concerts

Sam Smith cancels remaining Cape Town concerts

British singer, Sam Smith's fans in Cape Town where left disappointed after his concert was cut short due to voice strain.

Direct flight from USA to Cape Town makes Mother City 'a serious contender'

Direct flight from USA to Cape Town makes Mother City 'a serious contender'

Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for economic affairs, James Vos details the exciting new economic opportunity.

Capetonians: Here's your chance to sort out your traffic fines in one fell swoop

Capetonians: Here's your chance to sort out your traffic fines in one fell swoop

Mayco member for corporate services Sharon Cottle explains the Traffic Fines Roadshow at the Cape Town Civic Centre this week.