TED: A Celebration of Ideas Worth Spreading

This is a conference like no other. Speakers are asked to speak from the heart, to share their passions and knowledge, in 18 minute segments, which can then be viewed by anyone online.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

This year marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the TED Conference. Founded by Richard Wurman, TED, stands for Techonology, Entertainment, Design. In 2002, Chris Anderson, a successful entrepreneur, used his Sapling Foundation to purchase TED. While there are still threads of Technology, Entertainment and Design, many attendees this year suggested that the trend was more toward Technology, Environment and Democracy. Chris' passion for solving some of the world's toughest problems, influences the TED agenda.

This is a conference like no other. Speakers are asked to speak from the heart, to share their passions and their knowledge, in eighteen minute segments, which can be viewed by anyone at On this site, viewers can enjoy talks from past years by Jane Goodall, Jill Bolte-Taylor, Dave Gallo, Phil Zimbardo, Majora Carter, Dan Gilbert, and a host of others. High School teachers report using TED talks to spark curiosity and expose students to world-class authors, artists, scientists, activists and thought leaders. Friends gather in small groups all over the world to watch talks together and discuss.

I began attending the TED Conference twenty years ago. The passion of the speakers is contagious and the audience is comprised of fascinating people from all over the world. Every aspect of this conference, from the intellectual stimulation, the opportunity to learn, and the chance meetings with remarkable people, opens one's eyes and feeds one's spirit.

Talks from TED 2009 are being posted now. For starters, be sure to check out:
Elizabeth Gilbert, Willie Smits, Dan Ariely, Sylvia Earle, Sarah Jones, and Lena Maria Klingvall.

What's your favorite TED talk? What's your favorite idea worth spreading?