Sunday, February 27, 2011

The ABC's of TED's Mission

TED is a non-profit and social venture that has captured a lot of excitement and interest around the world.  Thousands of individuals, businesses, philanthropy, education and causes have benefited from TED's mission of spreading knowledge, information and ideas.  Many social entrepreneurs have spoken at TED and companies like Socks For Happy People, which we have profiled here, promote the TED talks, as a source of inspiration. The TED Fellows program helps support innovators  from all around the world in pursuing their projects with the goal of helping them achieve more impact in changing the world.

I was having lunch the other day with a friend who is a licensee for TEDxYouth. She was about to go to the pre-conference for licensees before the big TED conference 2011 in Long Beach, which starts Feb. 28th and runs through March 4th. We were brainstorming ideas about how to describe the value of TED, more specifically the value of  "Spreading Ideas", and even more specifically the value to young people, who are being exposed to ideas everyday in schools already. We were throwing around a bunch of different words, like "inspire others", "change the world"- although very true, but somewhat stereotypical and overused.

So I decided to ponder this question some more and started to brainstorm a list of reasons why I think the ideas at TED conferences are truly worth spreading.

Their mission, that of "Ideas Worth Spreading"  does so much more than spread just ideas, it spreads everything from-well-from  A to Z.

Action. More and more people are crediting TED for their taking action and helping them to start a career, a business, a non-profit, or a movement. Check out the TED conversation: Has TED Talk ever influenced you? 
Brains. There is scientific evidence that learning something new develops new neural pathways in brains.
Creativity. Many of the talks at TED are about the creative process and truly inspire others in their creative endeavors. Elizabeth Gilbert's talk is one of the most popular TED talks of all time, certainly one of mine, and has personally changed my relationship with my creative process.

Discovery. The world has so many wonders that not even all the TED conferences can bring them to light, but it is a great place to go find them.
Energy. A really good idea generates energy that builds momentum around it and spreads like wildfire. 
Fun. Yes, let's have more fun, and see others have it too! Gosh I couldn't stop smiling when I watched the young Bollywood dancers at the TEDxYouth conference I attended.
Genius or Greatness. ( it's a tie) There is something special about being in the presence of greatness. It really does rub off a little.
Health. Bill Gates keeps coming back to speak at the TED conference about his idea of eradicating malaria- Ideas truly can help save lives of millions of people.
Influence. A good idea can influence important people or masses of people to create change.
Joy. Pure joy of feeling alive and part of the wondrous world.
Knowledge. By definition, knowledge is the acquisition of facts and ideas. So by spreading ideas, TED also gives the opportunity to gain knowledge.
Love.What's love got to do with it? Well philanthropy is the love of mankind and you can just feel the love for humanity and for what it can be at TED.
Motivation. Motivation, the drive that keeps people going in spite of obstacles, after they get inspired.
Newness. Bringing together ideas that are new and fresh that spark innovation.
Opportunities. Opening up all the possibilities that any one person can do.
Power. Ideas give people the power to take action. Look at the power of democracy.
Questions. The more you learn the more you ask questions, and the more you learn.
Results. Ideas are provocative in that they motivate people to achieve results.
Society. Great societies have been built on great ideas. Just think about the United States and how it was founded based on some fundamental ideas and principles.
Truth. Embedded in ideas are truths that are fundamental to life.
Understanding . How the world works and what humanity is about.
Well-being. Studies have shown that well-being around the world is based on such factors as freedom, learning, health, work, security. TED helps spread ideas about well being around the world and how to achieve it. 
Values. Many of topics at TED touch upon important values like peace, kindness, and helps spread them.
X-explore. Ideas give the opportunity to explore the world and to learn about ourselves and others.
Yes! Positive attitudes like enthusiasm and excitement for new ideas. As the world seems to become increasingly more cynical, its wonderful to see enthusiasm for such a broad range of ideas.
ZZZ's You can sleep better at night knowing that there are people out there doing amazing and wondrous things to make the world a better place to live.

Thank you TED for making the world a better place to live by spreading ideas that are worth spreading-and so much more, even if you have heard it a thousand times.

1 comment:

Elena said...

Wow Lalia, very impressive post! I'm totally with you about TED; however, I don't think I could have done what you did here! TED would be proud and I sure pray they read this!

"Thank you Lalia for making the world a better place ... even if you have heard it a thousand times." (Which I'm sure you have!). With kindness, Elena