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Why we're posting a Michelle Obama speech as today's TEDTalk

Posted by: Chris Anderson

Today’s TEDTalk is unusual. It wasn’t recorded at a conference, but at a public event. And it features America’s first lady, Michelle Obama, who’s never been to a TED conference. What happened here?

Well, first of all, TED is strictly nonpartisan. In fact, we tend to stay away from politics altogether. But our mission is “ideas worth spreading” — and this talk features an idea that absolutely belongs in that category. Michelle Obama visited a girls’ school in London during her recent trip to the UK, and issued a passionate, personal plea for the students to take education seriously. It’s hardly a new idea. But we felt that the way it was expressed was eloquent and inspiring — and well worth a slot here at TED.com, especially considering that young adults are the fastest growing section of our audience.

So we informed the White House of our plans, contacted the BBC to obtain the footage, and created the edit posted here.

In the coming months we plan to feature a number of talks that we consider “best of the web.” So long as they’re short and powerful and contain an idea worth spreading, we’re eager to feature them.

We’d love your feedback on this first one. Love it? hate it? Appropriate for TED? Please view, ponder, and comment!