TED IS A NONPROFIT DEVOTED TO IDEAS WORTH SPREADING. IT STARTED OUT (IN 1984) AS A CONFERENCE BRINGING TOGETHER PEOPLE FROM THREE WORLDS: TECHNOLOGY, ENTERTAINMENT, DESIGN.

TED's mission is spreading ideas. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

The TED Conference, held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend. Indeed, the event sells out a year in advance and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn’t work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.