Contributors > Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

New York, NY, United States
TED
Curator

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I'm a Brit, born in a remote village in Pakistan, in 1957, and spent my early years in Pakistan, India and (pre-war, beautiful) Afghanistan, where my father worked as a missionary eye surgeon. I have two sisters—one is five years older than the other, and I'm right in the middle. We went to a wonderful (American) school in the Himalayan mountains in India for our early schooling years. At 13 I was transferred to boarding school in Bath, England... followed by Oxford University. Initially studied Physics, but switched to Philosophy and graduated in 1978. I entered journalism training, worked in local newspapers and then spent two years producing a world news service on a radio station in the Seychelle Islands. Back in the UK in 1984 I got hooked on computing, and snagged a job as magazine editor of one of the early computer magazines. After a year, decided to try to launch my own. I started Future Publishing in 1985 with a $25,000 bank loan and no outside equity investors. For seven years, revenue and profits pretty much doubled every year... Then I sold the business to Pearson and moved to the US in 1994 to try again in a bigger playing field. Imagine Media achieved significant success with Business 2.0 and other magazines. I eventually re-merged Imagine with Future and took the entity public in London in June 1999. We enjoyed a year of stock-market glory (2000 people, ridiculous market cap, 130 magazines, etc, etc.) but then... ...the popping of the technology bubble in 2000 meant that our advertisers and investors ran for the hills and Future had to be slashed to its core. Half the company lost their jobs. A tough two years followed, in which, like many other entrepreneurs of the time, I saw 95% of the value I thought I'd built evaporate. (And for a while it looked like it it would be 100%!) Future finally regained financial stability, partly through the timely sale of Business 2.0. I felt re-energized and ready to move on. I left Future at the end of 2001 to focus on TED, which had been acquired by my foundation. Overseeing TED's continued growth, and movement into new areas (such as this website) has been a blast.

Stories by Chris Anderson:

How did Nick Hanauer get onto TED’s home page?!

News

How did Nick Hanauer get onto TED’s home page?!

on

There’s a bit of a back story behind today’s TED Talk, in which Nick Hanauer issues a powerful warning to his fellow zillionaire ‘plutocrats’ that it’s time to take the inequality issue seriously, and makes the case to dramatically raise the minimum wage. Some of you may remember that two years ago there was an online spat between []

6 reasons I’m excited by our new website

News

6 reasons I’m excited by our new website

on

After an 18 month labor of love, we formally launched the new version of our website today.  Here are six things I’m proud of: 1. The team used every opportunity to engage you, our audience, in the new site’s conception, testing and rollout. So your highest priorities were our highest priorities. Beta versions of the site have been []

TED not a recipe for ‘civilisational disaster’

News

TED not a recipe for ‘civilisational disaster’

on

This morning, The Guardian published this essay written by TED’s curator, Chris Anderson, in response to a column in the paper last week. In this essay, he dives into the misconception that TED Talks oversimplify complex subjects, and explains why we as a company are dedicated to the principle that knowledge should be shared. Seven years ago when TED Talks debuted online, []

9 reasons to be excited by the new TED Books app

Technology

9 reasons to be excited by the new TED Books app

on

Via TED Curator Chris Anderson’s personal blog: After a couple of weeks in beta, the new TED Books app launched today on iPad and iPhone and I’m incredibly excited about it. Here’s why. 1. It brings together all of our authors in one irresistible package. 16 current titles with new ones to be released every []

Education

Behind today’s TED-Ed launch

on

TED’s Curator, Chris Anderson, writes this personal note on his blog: Today marks a big new chapter in the TED story, as we unveil the first part of our TED-Ed initiative. Viewed one way, it’s just the release on YouTube of a dozen short videos created for high school students and lifelong learners. But we’re []

TEDTalks

Welcome to our 1,000,000th Facebook fan

on

The warmest of warm welcomes to our millionth fan on TED’s Facebook page … and all 999,999 who came before. You’re right at the heart of the global TED community, and we really love being able to connect with you every day on Facebook. Collectively you’re an amazing army of idea spreaders. THANK YOU. – []

Ai Weiwei detained. Here is his TED film

on

[via YouTube] The news that Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has been detained by authorities has prompted significant concern here at TED HQ. We had shown a film of him at last month’s conference, an unexpected and courageous statement about his treatment by the government, social change, the power of the web, and his hope for []

Culture

Enter the Ads Worth Spreading Challenge

on

There’s a worrying trend in online advertising. Many sites are reporting falling click-through rates — and marketers are responding by resorting to ever more aggressive ways of ambushing your attention. We’re launching an initiative to find a better way! TED’s mission is “ideas worth spreading.” You, our audience, are expert at identifying the things that []

Oceans

Ocean hope at Mission Blue: A collaboration experiment comes good

on

How to describe what happened last week? A Galapagos sea-voyage of 100 people (including Sylvia Earle, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Glenn Close, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Case, Ted Waitt, Bill Joy, Jackson Browne, Damien Rice, Chevy Chase, Jean-Michel Cousteau and 30 of the world’s leading marine scientists) turned into an epic event that may have significant []

Q&A

Q&A with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran

on

NYU professor Clay Shirky gave a fantastic talk on new media during our TED@State event earlier this month. He revealed how cellphones, the web, Facebook and Twitter had changed the rules of the game, allowing ordinary citizens extraordinary new powers to impact real-world events. As protests in Iran exploded over the weekend, we decided to []

Announcing the launch of TEDx — and our first TEDxTalk from TEDxUSC

on

We’re excited to announce the launch of TEDx, a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. As you know, nearly three years ago, we starting posting our TEDTalks freely online. Ever since then, hundreds of people have been sharing TEDTalks in independently organized group settings — in private []

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

on

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 []

Art

Pendulum paintings of Tom Shannon

on

I’m a huge fan of sculptor & painter Tom Shannon, a gentle genius who turns science into art and art into science. We just posted today his 2003 TED talk showing his gorgeous science-inspired sculptures and his vision for the Air Genie video airship. In the last few months he has returned to a form of []