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TED Vancouver Speakers Will Include Bill Gates, Sting

Billionaire philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, musician Sting and Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be among the speakers when the influential and highly popular TED Conference is held for the first time Vancouver in March.

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, is an ideas forum which gives presenters a maximum of 18 minutes to speak. Organizers, who revealed the Vancouver lineup on Thursday, said this year's theme is "The Next Chapter."

The event attracts incredibly gifted, passionate and charismatic speakers. British explorer Ben Saunders, who is finishing a South Pole trek, and Zak Ebrahim, a peace activist whose father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center attack, will join Amanda Burden, New York's chief city planner, and Geena Rocero, a model and activist, as presenters in Vancouver.

Other speakers booked for Vancouver include jugglers, scientists, and designers.

Last year, organizers announced its keynote event in Long Beach, Calif. would be moved to Vancouver to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Hadfield is one of only two Canadians scheduled to present at TED Vancouver. The other is Michel Laberge, a physicist from Burnaby. He is a privately funded scientist working on building a commercially viable fusion power plant, reported The Vancouver Sun.

The conference will be held March 17-24, 2014 at the Vancouver Convention Centre and a satellite event, TEDactive, will be located in Whistler.

But good luck trying to get in. The 1,200 seats for TED, which cost $7,500 US, are sold out already. However, entry to the Whistler event is still available for $3,750.

Video of the best TED talks are posted to YouTube, but it's up to the discretion of organizers which Vancouver ones will be shared.

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