The TED Conference

Some Past Speakers at TED

Bill Gates
Bill Clinton
Former President
Richard Branson
Larry Page &
Sergey Brin
Jeff Skoll
Ebay & Participant
Jeff Bezos
Seth Godin
Marketing Guru
Louise Leakey
Burt Rutan
Airplane Designer
Frank Gehry
Malcolm Gladwell
Peter Gabriel
Bob Ballard
Titanic Locator
Thomas Mayne
Chris Anderson
Wired Magazine
Jared Diamond
Isabelle Allende
John Doerr
Venture Capitalist
Gordon Brown
UK Prime Minster

TED is an annual event where some of the world’s leading thinkers and doers are invited to share their passions. “TED” stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three broad subject areas that are collectively shaping our future. And in fact, the event is broader still, showcasing ideas that matter in any discipline. Attendees have called it “the ultimate brain spa” and “a four-day journey into the future.” The diverse audience — CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists — is as extraordinary as the speakers, who have included Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.

TED was first held in Monterey, California, in 1984. In 2001, Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation acquired TED from its founder, Richard Saul Wurman. In recent years, TED has expanded to include an international conference, TEDGlobal; media initiatives, including TED Talks and TED.com; and the TED Prize. TED2010, “What the World Needs Now,” was held Feb 9-13, 2010, in Long Beach, California, with a simulcast event in Palm Springs, California.

About TEDx, x = Independently Organized Event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

Great TED Talks

What makes a great “TED-Quality” talk?  Below are some of the more compelling ones.

Ex- Ebay Founder Jeff Skol on making films that change people

Neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor on her own stroke… with a brain as a prop

Amory Lovins on the oil end game

Dan Ariely on our moral code

Harvard professor Dan Gilbert on happiness

14 year old Jennifer Lin piano improv – See it at about 17 minute mark

Dave Gallo shows deep sea amazing creatures shot from a submarine

826 Valencia Founder and TED prize winner Dave Eggers on how to help kids write creatively

Janine Benyus on biomimicry

Bill Strickland on making massive changes for the good in Pittsburgh

Hans Rosling on the best stats display ever



TEDxMidwest is known for its world class speakers, including inventor Dean Kamen, psychologist Phil Zimbardo, hacker Pablos Holman and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen.
See the TEDx Speakers



There will be over 600 amazing attendees including 400 CEOs and Presidents, 150 artists and performance professionals, heads of major cultural institutions, 50 top high school students, and dozens of MacArthur, Pulitzer, Polk, Peabody, and Nobel prize winners.
More on Attendees



Interested in helping make TEDxMidwest great or helping with TEDxYouth@Midwest?
Visit our Volunteers page to view volunteer opportunities and let us know how you would like to help.