TEDx is loved by adults, college students, and even children. There is always something g for everyone. But who is the one that came up with the idea of TEDx in the first place? Who was the one that inspired us all to inspire each other?

What is TEDx?

A TED talk is a short presentation that focuses on technology, entertainment, and/or design. Sorry to disappoint any of you hoping a guy named “Ted” founded the TED Organization. To put it another way, TED is a non-profit institution that partners with individuals to assist in sharing ideas globally. Today, TED boasts a collection of over 3,000 TED talk videos from politicians to scientists to comedians and actors. Additionally, they add new videos day in and day out, so there is never a shortage of engaging content.

As an additional plus, each TED talk is available on their website or their YouTube channel for free. That means more ideas shared with more people and more conversations about the world around us. After all, we can all use a little encouragement to learn and grow, and shouldn’t encouragement come without a price tag? TED sparked an intellectual revolution. The nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading” operates in 3,000 cities, and its 2,000-plus “talks,” or taped lectures, have been viewed more than 2.5 billion times.

Where it all began

TED started out small. In 1984, architect and designer Richard Saul Wurman and his colleague, broadcast designer Harry Marks created the first TED talk for a small audience in California. Unlike today’s TED conferences, in which talks are carefully scripted and rehearsed, there were no speeches. Wurman’s original vision for TED was to create the “anti-conference” — no boring PowerPoint slides and one-hour lectures.

At TED, groups of brilliant people took the stage and talked about the things that fascinated, inspired, and motivate them. Wurman was right on stage with them, running the show. In fact, if he felt bored, Wurman had no problem sending the speaker off the stage. The very first TED conference in 1984 featured a demonstration of the compact disc, an e-book reader, and a presentation by fractal mathematician Benoit Mandlebrot. Despite the acclaimed speakers, the inaugural conference was a financial flop.

One Million Views

The first six TED Talks were posted online on June 27, 2006. By September, they had reached more than one million views. TED Talks proved so popular that in 2007, TED’s website was relaunched around them, giving a global audience free access to some of the world’s greatest thinkers, leaders, and teachers. Accordingly, the years 2001–2006 saw three major additions to the TED family: a sister conference, TED Global, held in locations around the world the TED Prize, which grants its winners one wish to change the world an audio and video podcast series, TED Talks, in which the best TED content is released free online.

Chris Anderson

In 2001, Wurman sold TED to publisher Chris Anderson and, under a new leader, the conference has changed in ways Wurman has not always agreed with. When Wurman created TED, he wanted it to be a radical departure from other conferences. He did not want to see teleprompters or rehearsals — only honest conversation. In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference, then an annual meeting of luminaries in the fields of technology, entertainment, and design, held in Monterey, California. Anderson left the Future to work full-time on TED.

Time to expand

Anderson expanded the conference to cover all topics, including science, culture, academia, and business and key global issues. He added a fellow’s program, which now has some 400 alumni. Chris Anderson also established the TED Prize, which grants recipients $1 million to support their “one wish to change the world”. Ted goes online

In 2006, TED experimented with posting some of its talks on the Internet. Their viral success encouraged Anderson to develop the organization as a global media initiative devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. In June 2015, the organization posted its 2,000th talk online. The talks are free to view. Through a related project, they have been translated into more than 100 languages with the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. Viewership has grown to approximately one billion views per year.

Over The Years

Continuing a strategy of “radical openness”, in 2009 Anderson introduced the TEDx initiative. The TED organization provides free licenses to local organizers who want to organize their own TED-like events. Requirements are that speakers must appear for free, and the events must be non-profit, with talks released to TED through Commons Media. More than 10,000 such events have been held, generating an archive of 100,000 TEDx talks.

In the fall of 2012, TED Talks celebrated its one billionth video view. As TED Talks continue to be watched around the world, with an average of 17 new page views a second, TED conferences and events continue to inspire, motivate, and thrill attendees. In 2014, the annual TED Conference celebrated its 30th anniversary in Vancouver, Canada. The theme of this milestone conference: “The Next Chapter,” both a reflection on developments of the past 30 years as well as a look at what is ahead.

TEDx Winter Park

You can become a speaker and TEDx presenter too. How? Well, one easy way is to keep in touch with TEDxWinterPark and see when we are going to host our next event. See what our theme is for this next event and apply to be a presenter. Let us know what you want to present and how it relates to our theme. Let us know what might make you an expert on the topic you want to speak about. Email us at info@tedxwinterpark.com or reach out to us on our social media.