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New York, New York, United States
Executive Producer, TED Media

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EDGE essay 2010

As Executive Producer of TED Media, I'm focused on extending TED in new directions — particularly those that help spread ideas. I launched TEDTalks in 2006, in 2007, and the Open Translation Project in 2009. I also co-produce and co-host the annual conference in Long Beach, manage our talented media team, and continue to look for new ways to spread ideas. As of 2015, TEDTalks have been watched more than 2 billion times worldwide, and will be watched more than 1 billion times this year alone. TED's Open Translation Project, which allows volunteers worldwide to translate TEDTalks into their own languages, has been buoyed up by 20,000+ translators, who have produced 80,000+ translations in 100+ languages. I'm continually amazed by their dedication. My career has been focused on the intersection of media and technology. In the 90s, while a student, I led the Stanford team that developed the world’s first networked multimedia magazine. It was built in HyperCard, using just-released QuickTime, and distributed over the campus network. It got a fair bit of attention in the press. After that, I was lucky enough to join the team launching, the pioneering website from Wired Magazine. HotWired was one of the earliest web companies, and we introduced many of the conventions now commonplace on the web (from ad banners to discussion threads around news stories to the concept of "membership"). I wrote "Net Surf," one of the web’s proto-blogs, and I also founded, the much-loved developers’ site, which is still used by millions. I ultimately helped lead HotWired to profitability as VP of Content, overseeing all creative development on sites, from Animation Express to the HotBot search engine. The people I worked with and projects I worked on there have influenced everything in my life since then. After leaving Wired, I wrote "The Unusually Useful Web Book," which collected just about everything I'd learned about how to make a successful website. Eventually, I'll make time to write my second book, exploring trends in media, technology and culture. The main idea: That modern technologies are actually returning us to very ancient forms of media, communication and community. And that we're all the better for it. Aside from the direct professional bio, I'm also passionate about the visual and performing arts. I spent a good chunk of my younger life on stage. There have been several periods when I've seen literally every show on Broadway. I'm also a tremendous science geek, a voracious reader, a passionate traveler, an on-again, off-again photographer and a devoted life-long learner. Final CV details: I have a BA in political science from Stanford (minors in Human Biology, Anthropology, African studies). And I was Editor in Chief of The Stanford Daily -- another formative experience that has influenced everything I've done since.

Stories by junecohen:

Chinua Achebe: Some reflections


Chinua Achebe: Some reflections


The world lost one of its literary giants today. Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe has died at the age 82. For Nigerians, Achebe was a national treasure. He was the first African writer to attract international acclaim, and an outspoken leader with far-reaching influence on both politics and culture. Emeka Okafor, who produced the TEDGlobal conference in []


TEDTalks: 5 years and 500 million served


On June 27, 2006, we flipped the switch on TEDTalks, bringing talks from TED to the world for the first time. It was early days for online video — YouTube was just a year old; the video iPod had been around for six months — so we launched with six talks and modest goals, and []

Live from TEDWomen

TEDWomen: Join the conversation


Our announcement last week of TEDWomen has touched off some really vibrant conversations online. Some have embraced the idea; others have reservations. At TED, we’ve been reading with interest and weighing in on occasion. After reading a number of blog posts and articles, I thought I’d take a moment to weigh in here, and clarify []


Q&A with Chef Dan Barber: Can organic farming feed the world?


At TED2010, Chef Dan Barber drew a standing ovation with his unlikely love story about fish: sustainably farmed, outrageously delicious fish, which offers a model for the future of food production. A key figure in the farm-to-table movement, Dan occupies an unusual space as chef-scholar: His op/eds appear regularly in The New York Times and []

New insight on an ancient disease: Malaria, like HIV, came from chimps


At TED2009, Stanford Professor and virus hunter Nathan Wolfe explained that most human diseases — AIDS, SARS, swine flu — originally came from animals. Today, Wolfe and his team announced an intriguing discovery that throws new light on an ancient disease, and provides new hope for its cure: Malaria, long believed to have evolved with []

Live from TEDGlobal

TEDGlobal Day 1: Quotes of the Day


“Imagine if we could combine the power of a global ethic with our new power to communicate and organize globally.” – UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown “Next time you see someone in a Ferrari, don’t think: ‘They’re greedy.” Think: “This is someone incredibly vulnerable and in need of love.” – Alain De Botton, on the []


Unveiling: TED's plans for subtitles, transcripts, translations


Last week at TED2009, we unveiled the next phase of, which will bring TEDTalks beyond the English-speaking world. The new features — slated to launch next month — will bring subtitles and interactive transcripts to all the talks, and will allow anyone, anywhere, to translate any talk into any language. Rather than simply translate []

Announcing the winner of the TED Pumpkin Prize


The winner receives $1, and more important — a wish to change something in the office. They were encouraged to think big (but cheap). Our amazing video team took time out from the Big Re-Upload to snag the prize with Joe the Encoder (left). We didn’t catch their wish, actually. Maybe next year.

UPDATED: Photo of one of the world's last "uncontacted" tribes


If you’ve seen Wade Davis’s unforgettable 2004 TED Talk — where he evokes the magic of the world’s cultural diversity, and speaks so eloquently about the alarming rate with which cultures and languages are dying — then you might find this photo as heart-stopping as I did. It’s so surreal, I thought at first it []

Opening the TED archive (beginning with Negroponte, circa 1984)


Today we’re throwing open the door to our back archive, beginning with Nicholas Negroponte’s talk from TED 1. Yes, TED 1. 1984. TED’s co-founders, Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks, had the foresight to record every conference he held. And I can’t tell you what a thrill it was to see the full archive for the first []

TED2008: Days 3 and 4 in Quotes


Photos: Andrew Heavens “Imagine Martin Luther King saying, ‘I have a dream … But I don’t know if the others will buy it.’” – Boston Philharmonic conductor Ben Zander, on the importance of persuasive leadership “Human progress depends on unreasonable people. Reasonable people accept the world as they meet it; unreasonable people persist in trying []