VANCOUVER, BC (April 10, 2018) – TED, the New York-based nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, opens its annual flagship conference here today under the theme The Age of Amazement. TED2018 will host 1,500 attendees from 57 countries for a five-day program of more than 100 speakers and performers, including talks from this year’s 20 new TED Fellows and 7 Senior Fellows. Speakers will share ideas in TED’s signature format of short, powerful talks – from 3 to 18 minutes long.
As part of this year’s theme, speakers will offer up bold ideas, tough truths and jaw-dropping creative visions for the future. The full program, which includes SpaceX president and COO Gwynne Shotwell, actress and activist Tracee Ellis Ross, psychologist Steven Pinker, Canadian Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan, scientist Max Tegmark, Netflix co-founder and president Reed Hastings and many more, is available here.
“Both as a media platform and an annual conference, we strive to be a voice of sanity, reason and insight in today’s increasingly polarized dynamic of outrage,” said head of TED Chris Anderson. “This year’s event is no different: Our theme, The Age of Amazement, is an attempt to compellingly plunge in to the good and the bad of what lies ahead for humanity. Speakers will examine issues like the unbelievable tech innovation today—both its potential and its misuse—and force us to ask ourselves: ‘Do we like what we’ve heard? Do we believe it? Do we dread it?’ For many talks, the answer will be: All of the above.”
The conference opens as TED’s free media platform—which spreads ideas from the world’s brightest thinkers and doers—grows larger and more global than ever. In the last year, the organization has seen a nearly 40% year-over-year increase in views and listens across all channels. To date, there have been nearly 11 billion views and listens of TED content on TED.com and other channels, a number that has accelerated now to more than 3.2 billion views a year. Factors contributing to its growth include:
● A growing global TEDx community, which has hosted 23k+ independently organized TEDx events worldwide to date, and published more than 100k talks on YouTube for a total of 2+ billion views. In 2017, two thirds of views came from outside the US, and overall views increased 80% year-over-year.
● An international volunteer translator network more than 30,000 strong that has published subtitles and transcripts for nearly 130k online TED Talk videos in more than 110 languages.
● Rapid growth of original animated lessons from TED-Ed, TED’s youth and education initiative. Lesson videos were viewed more than 600 million times in 2017, a 47% year-over-year increase.
● Expansion into several new content channels and experimentation with new formats, including podcasts, global primetime television, and original Facebook Watch video series—many in languages other than English. Initiatives include:
○ The production of India’s blockbuster primetime, Hindi-language television series and digital channel TED Talks India: Nayi Soch, hosted by Bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan.
○ Adding podcasts “WorkLife with Adam Grant” and, later this month, “TED en Español,” a Spanish-language production launching in collaboration with Univision Communications Inc., to its existing audio portfolio of “TED Radio Hour” with NPR, “TED Talks Daily” and “Sincerely, X” with Audible.
○ The ability to listen to TED Talks via Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod.
○ TED mobile and TV apps, localized in more than 20 languages with support subtitles in 100+ languages, which now see more than 40% of users experience TED mobile apps in a language other than English.
“To those who think the only way media organizations can be successful these days is to specialize in shouting and divisiveness, we point to our numbers,” added Anderson. “Such healthy appetite for knowledge and inspiration in the world is a hopeful sign, and encourages us to continue our work making ideas available and relevant to billions of people we haven’t reached yet.”
This week, TED has created a number of ways for audiences to participate in and learn from the 2018 conference:
● We’ll be sharing exclusive interviews, live TED Talks and behind-the-scenes stories on Facebook Watch, creating more opportunities than ever before for our online community to participate in the conference. Follow us at facebook.com/TEDBackstage.
● We’re livestreaming Wednesday, April 11’s evening session, in which we will reveal the first recipients of The Audacious Project, a new model for philanthropic collaboration, exclusively on Facebook Watch, also at facebook.com/TEDBackstage.
TED has partnered with a number of innovative organizations to support its mission and contribute to the idea exchange at TED2018. This year’s partners include: Accenture, Altair, BMW i, The Boston Consulting Group, Brightline Initiative, Bonobos, Gender Fair, Google, Intel, JPMorgan Chase & Co., The Kavli Foundation, Marriott Hotels, MassMutual, RIMOWA, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Samsung, Shutterstock, Simons Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Steelcase, Target, The Future Project, TokBox, UPS, Walt Disney Imagineering, Warby Parker, WorkLounge, Kuri, the adorable home robot, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
The official hashtag of the event is #TED2018.