Contributors > Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

New York, NY, United States
TED
Curator

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TED
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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:

Culture

Why this might just be the most significant TED Talk ever postedWhy this might just be the most significant TED Talk ever posted

Posted By Chris Anderson

I want to give you the back story behind today’s TED Talk and make the case that it’s one of the most significant we’ve ever posted. And I’m not just talking about its incredible animation. I’m talking about its core idea. Two years ago the psychologist Steven Pinker and the philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who are […]

News

6 reasons I’m excited by our new website6 reasons I’m excited by our new website

Posted By Chris Anderson

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 […]

News

TED not a recipe for ‘civilisational disaster’TED not a recipe for ‘civilisational disaster’

Posted By Chris Anderson

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, […]

Technology

9 reasons to be excited by the new TED Books app

Posted By Chris Anderson

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

Posted By Chris Anderson

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 […]

Global Issues

TED’s first response to Bryan Stevenson’s talk on injusticeTED’s first response to Bryan Stevenson’s talk on injustice

Posted By Chris Anderson

Photo: Duncan Davidson Bryan Stevenson’s talk inspired one of the longest and loudest standing ovations in TED’s history. And it provoked a blizzard of requests from audience members that we find a way to support the work of his nonprofit organization, the Equal Justice Initiative. When I asked Bryan about funding needs, this is what […]

TEDTalks

Welcome to our 1,000,000th Facebook fan

Posted By Chris Anderson

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

Posted By Chris Anderson

[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

Posted By Chris Anderson

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 […]

Q&A

Q&A with Clay Shirky on Twitter and Iran

Posted By Chris Anderson

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

Posted By Chris Anderson

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

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 […]

Art

Pendulum paintings of Tom Shannon

Posted By Chris Anderson

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 […]

TED Prize

How a transformative musical experience came to TED

Posted By Chris Anderson

In a basement studio in Caracas, Venezuela, three weeks ago, I had the most powerful musical experience of my life. TED Prize Director Amy Novogratz and I were standing five feet away from the conductor’s stand in front of 200 Venezuelan virtuoso musicians — their average age 16. Many of these kids had been born […]