TED Prize

TED Prize winner announced!

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We’re delighted to announce the TED Prize winner for 2010: the chef who’s transforming the way we feed our children …


The prize grants him $100,000 — and something much bigger: “a wish to change the world.” He’ll unveil the wish on February 10 at TED2010 and we, the TED community, will make it come true.

Some key achievements:

  • 12 television series, seen in 130 countries
  • 10 cookbooks, translated into 29 languages, and sold almost 24 million copies in 56 countries
  • His School Dinners/Feed Me Better campaign pressured the UK government to invest $1 billion to overhaul school lunches
  • Founded the Fifteen Foundation, a social enterprise and chef apprenticeship for 18-24 yr olds. Based in London, it has been replicated through franchising in Amsterdam, Cornwall and Melbourne
  • A new TV series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution USA, is to air on ABC in 2010, bringing Jamie’s unique vision to America

At the heart of Oliver’s work is an assault on the obesity epidemic:
The CDC states that one in four Americans are considered obese. It is estimated that 43 percent of Americans, or 103 million people, will be obese by 2018. The cost of this epidemic is anticipated to reach $344 billion per year. It currently accounts for almost 10 percent of the yearly US health care costs, and that rate will rise to 21 percent by 2018. WHO’s latest projections indicate that, globally in 2005, approximately 1.6 billion adults were overweight and projects that by 2015, that figure will rise to 2.3 billion.

From the New York Times:

“… this British celebrity chef has made it his mission in recent years to break people’s dependence on fast food, believing that if they can learn to cook just a handful of dishes, they’ll get hooked on eating healthfully. The joy of a home-cooked meal, rudimentary as it sounds, has been at the core of his career from the start, and as he has matured, it has turned into a platform.”

Just one winner?

Those who’ve followed the TED Prize in recent years will know that in prior years we’ve announced three winners, not one. For 2010, the fifth-year anniversary of the launch of the prize, we’re doing things differently.

When we first created the TED Prize, we envisioned supporting projects that could be completed in 12 months. But our winners have dreamed up wishes more powerful, more wonderful than we ever could have imagined, and we’ve found that we simply don’t want to stop that quickly! Members of the community are getting passionately engaged in these projects, and they’re not shy to tell us that changing the world can take more than a year … To effect real impact, it’s right to stay involved and sustain the effort.

We agree. And that means it would be a mistake to add three brand-new wishes every year. There are already 15 TED Prize projects, and at least half of them still require our engagement. Adding too many more risks dilution of effort.

Therefore, after discussion with various wise souls in the community, we are moving to a new format of ONE new winner every year. At the same time, we’re increasing our capacity to facilitate your amazing efforts on the existing wishes:

There has been exciting progress on all these projects and we can see that there’s much more to come.

It’s incredibly exciting to welcome Jamie Oliver to join our line-up of change catalysts. And exciting, too, to know that our existing winners are going to stay at the heart of the TED community, as we continue working to realize their inspirational visions for a better future.