Do you TED?

Watching programming on the internet is common

Watching programming on the internet is common

You know how you always think that you are the last to know about something? That is the way I feel sometimes. It is especially easy with all the constant changes on the internet to feel that you are always behind.

One of the things that I discovered a few years ago and want to share with you are TED talks. Now, maybe you are familiar with these and watch them all the time but if you aren’t, I think you are in for a treat.


Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with a guy named Ted. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.

Back in 1984, Richard Saul Wurman put together a conference. He  felt that there was a symbiotic relationship between Technology, Entertainment and Design. The first TED conference included a demonstration of the compact disc, the eBook, cutting edge graphics, and a demonstration of how to map coastlines using Mandelbrot’s developing theory of fractal geometry.

A TED conference

A TED conference

Despite how interesting  it sounds, it was a flop. It took six years for Wurman and his partner Harry Marks to hold another conference. This time Wurnam’s ideal time had arrived. The conference was successful and became an annual event in Monterey, California. At first, it was an invitation only event for an influential audience united in their open mindedness and curiosity.

As the years progressed, the speakers represented a wide range of topics. There were scientists, writers, business leaders, musicians, and religious leaders. Atendees found the conference to be the intellectual and emotional highlight of the year.

Chris Anderson at a TED Conference

Chris Anderson at a TED Conference

In 2001, Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation acquired TED from Wurman. Sapling Foundation’s goal is to “foster the spread of great ideas.” The Foundation wants to provide a platform for visionaries, thinkers, and teachers to share their thoughts. This way the biggest issues can be more understandable and that can led to a desire to change the world for good.

The conferences have continued and expanded over the years. There are now community based TEDx talks along with the national conference. The TED talks can are available free of charge on the internet. There are over 2000 videos available at TED talks.

Are you wondering why I would suggest that you find out about these? Here is the thing that might catch your attention. A majority of the talks are less than 20 minutes. That is right, they are not long drawn out talks that can lose you or that you just don’t have time to watch.

I suggest that you watch a few to see what you think. There are also some playlists that you can try. There is The top 20 most popular talks or 5 talks to watch if you want to let go of regret. There are many playlists that you can see what covers your interest.


Elizabeth Gilbert “Your Elusive Creative Genius” 2009

My favorite? Elizabeth Gilbert the author has two TED talks. While both are good, I have turned to her second one several times. I find it so helpful when perhaps I am not feeling my most creative. I find it to be 19 minutes well spent.

I urge you to check out the TED talk selection. Its great to hear the talks from presenter you have heard of but even better from those you haven’t! There are also TED podcasts available through NPR. 


We would love to hear about the presenters and topics that you have enjoyed.  Please let us know either in the comments below or via Facebook or Twitter.




About Carol Early Cooney

I love to read. I love to share my thoughts on books and hope to hear what you think also. Looking to see what books I read beyond those I write about? Check out my Goodreads!
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