TED Talks take to TV

Thought-sparking TED talks that have won legions of followers on the Internet are spreading to television stations around the world.

TED Open TV Project announced at a Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco marked the latest step in a transformation from a private gathering of brilliant minds to a public platform for people worldwide to collaborate on "ideas worth spreading."

"Since we first launched TED Talks, our goal has been to distribute on all available video platforms; anywhere people watch video," June Cohen, executive producer of media for TED, told AFP on Wednesday.

"And the fact is, people everywhere still watch an awful lot of TV."

Annual Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conferences began 30 years ago in California as a haven where elite thinkers got together to explore life from challenging or unusual perspectives.

Renowned scientists, political leaders, artists, entrepreneurs and musicians have taken to the stage at the technology-focused gatherings.

TED "curator" Chris Anderson urges speakers to give the "talk of their lives" in 18 minutes.

In 2006, TED began making video recordings of talks available free online at a TED.com website.

"Putting the talks online free was risky and it turned out really well for us," Cohen said. "It turned our audience of 1,000 conference attendees into an audience of 150 million people worldwide."

Last year TED opened its doors even wider by enlisting an army of volunteers to translate talks into scores of languages and allowing private groups to host spin-off gatherings called TEDx events.

As TED talks have been posted in more languages, traffic to the website has more than tripled overall while soaring six-fold in Asia and a thousand percent in South America.

"By pursuing what seems like a risky strategy of openness the only unintended consequences have been extraordinarily positive," Cohen said.

"Our global audience has now become a global team. This has radically expanded our ability to innovate."

The non-profit Sapling Foundation behind TED is bringing insights and optimism earned by its strategy to the television project.

TED talks will be provided free to television broadcasters who are encouraged to build programs around them.

TED hopes that television broadcasts will get conference talks to people in developing countries and other places where Internet service is poor or non-existent.

"The Open TV project expands our reach greatly," Cohen said.

Dozens of television broadcasters worldwide have signed on to the TED TV project.

"TED's focus on giving a public window to 'Ideas Worth Spreading' is a natural fit for our members, the main European broadcasters," said Nicoletta Iacobacci, head of ITV & Crossmedia for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

"Their public-service approach is built around making the best knowledge and information available to vast audiences."

The EBU has signed on to make TED talks available for its 75 member broadcasters with a combined reach of 650 million viewers weekly, according to Iacobacci.

"As the largest association of television broadcasters in the world, the EBU is pleased to be entering into this partnership with TED and to participate in facilitating and encouraging the new global conversation."

While TED is known for grappling with bold subjects such as saving the world's oceans, its talks run the gamut of topics from whether genies should get credit for genius to a brain scientist recounting her own stroke.

"We look at ideas that delve into why the world is an interesting place," Cohen said.

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment
Relocation, relocation: Zawe Ashton travels the pathway to Northampton
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

    Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy