I have been fascinated by the development of the World Wide Web and Internet in general ever since I first heard of the concept. After studing Internet Technologies and being immersed in the web for many years I still find myself delighted at the amazing uses to which we have put this global communications system.
One of the websites which never fails to impress and inspire me is the TED website.
“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”
So begins the very understated About page on the TED website. The TED conference also features many of the worlds greatest minds sharing ideas about science, environmental issues, anthropology, music, art, society and so much more.
The common theme among all these talks is making the world a better place and overcoming the huge environmental and social problems we now face. What is particularly inspiring is the fact that all these short talks are available to stream for free on the TED website with a new talk added every day. Watch a few clips and you will hear about the latest research on how we can keep the global ecosystem in balance, see a prototype for a new computer interface powered by brainwaves or find out about a project to prevent cancer through food. Speakers include everyone from Benot Mandelbrot and Bill Gates to LA Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Robert Gupta, nuclear physicist Steven Cowley, musician David Byrne and hundreds more.
The TED conference and talks have sparked a huge wave of interest, collaboration and progress in tackling some of humanity’s toughest problems and celebrating our greatest achievements,
If ever there was an example of how to use the Internet to make a difference, this it is. I would encouage everyone to take a look.
The most recent talk at the time of writing is unusually by the curator and host of TED, Chris Anderson and is about the impact of web video and the future of TED and their plan to involve more interaction and two way communication with the global audience.
The most exciting thing is that you don’t have to be one of the world’s top thinkers to run a website like TED. The web is an open platform that everone can use. The next world changing idea could be yours.