TED tailors 'ideas worth spreading' for TV

May 04, 2013 by Glenn Chapman
PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger is shown in 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. TED conferences has teamed with the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting to create an education-focused version of its real-world conferences for a show set to air on PBS stations nationally on Tuesday and again on Thursday.

The prestigious TED gathering known for perspective-shifting presentations by the brilliant and famous is tailoring "ideas worth spreading" for a television audience. TED teamed with the US Corporation for Public Broadcasting to create an education-focused version of its real-world conferences for a show set to air on PBS stations nationally on Tuesday and again on Thursday.

"Re-imagining education is the key to a more hopeful future," said TED curator Chris Anderson.

"What better time to gather some of the country's most respected and forward-thinking education advocates, and make this the theme of TED's first-ever original television broadcast special."

The program is hosted by Grammy-winning musician John Legend and features presentations by Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist as well as by social activist Ken Robinson, the most watched speaker at Ted.com.

Online videos stemming from —which are renowned for mind-bending mixes of creativity, passion and innovation—passed the billion-view milestone late last year.

The number continues to rocket, with more than a million TEDTalks watched daily, according to the organization behind the prestigious TED gatherings that give rise to the presentations made available free on the Internet.

The nonprofit Sapling Foundation behind the conferences began making its recordings of talks available online as podcasts in 2006, then began streaming videos free at a TED.com website the following year to reach a global audience.

The move to original television programming is another step on the path to reaching as many people as possible with ideas for making the world a better place.

"TED, at its core, is about spreading ideas," said Juliet Blake, who produced the "TED Talks Education" program.

"Public television reaches a huge audience," she continued. "I hope people who watch the show on PBS come graze more videos at the ted.com website."

The PBS broadcast will be the first of more to come, and a project is already in the works in Europe, according to Blake.

"The plan is not necessarily to do a lot of television; but to do tough, provocative, exciting ," Blake said.

The TED program on PBS will live on at public broadcasting and TED websites, available to anyone in the world with Internet access.

Funding for the PBS program came from the Corporation for , according to TED.

"This collaboration between PBS and TED is a natural fit as our organizations both aim to educate, engage and inspire," said PBS chief programming executive Beth Hoppe.

TED started in 1984 as a private gathering in California.

With Anderson as its "curator," has become renowned for 18-minute talks devoted to mind-bending perspectives on anything from music or dance to climate change or futuristic technology.

Explore further: Non-emergency lines still need a back up plan in case of another meltdown

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

TED shedding elite conference image

Mar 15, 2011

The TED conferences are forging ahead with a transformation from elite intellectual gatherings to global exchange of thought-sparking ideas.

TED Talks take to iPad

Oct 14, 2010

Perspective-shifting TED Talks took to culture-changing iPads with the release Thursday of an application that lets the popular videos be viewed on Apple's hot tablet computers.

TED Talks take to TV

May 06, 2010

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

Recommended for you

Shedding light on solar power

18 hours ago

Everyone wants to save energy, but not everyone knows where to start. Grid Resources, a startup based out of the Centre for Urban Energy's iCUE incubator, is developing a new website that seeks to help homeowners ...

Energy transition project moves into its second phase

18 hours ago

Siemens is studying new concepts for optimizing the cost-effectiveness and technical performance of energy systems with distributed and fluctuating electricity production. The associated IRENE research project ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.