TED’s mission of “Ideas Worth Spreading” now reaches far beyond the yearly conferences, encompassing a variety of projects and initiatives that leverage the power of ideas to change the world.
The TED Fellows are a carefully selected group of extraordinary young innovators. They are chosen for their exceptional work and achievements, tremendous enthusiasm and incredibly proactive spirit. They attend TED conferences without charge, in order to both enhance the community and benefit from it. They are zealous makers and doers, often overcoming great obstacles to realize their goals.
Every year, 40 TED Fellows join the community at the TED or TEDGlobal conference. They bring an infectious energy to both events and have become vibrant members of the community. Their brilliantly original ideas inspire other attendees and they meet leaders across disciplines that can provide the support they need to advance their projects. Some Fellows even take the TED stage to speak about their work and of those, several have seen their talk posted to TED.com, inspiring millions of others and bringing their big idea to the world.
The TED Fellows Story
When TEDAfrica was held in 2007, in Arusha, Tanzania, the idea of the TED Fellows program was also born. The first TED Fellows were established in response to the fact that many of the most promising members of the new generation of African talent could not have attended without the help of a fellowship. 100 Fellows were gathered from all around Africa, and their remarkable ideas and presence made a huge contribution to TEDAfrica’s success. This group inspired a permanent TED Fellows program that would target inspiring individuals from the Asia/Pacific region, Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Middle East, though anyone from anywhere in the world, age 18 and over, is welcome to apply.
Contribute goods or services: Succeeding as a world-changer and telling your story often requires great tools: personal computers, software, phones, cameras, video cameras —and the training to get the most out of these tools. IBM lent their support by equipping each TEDGlobal 2009 Fellow with a Flip video camera, and Nokia has continuously provided the Fellows with cutting-edge cell phones.
Underwrite a TED Fellows project: The TED Fellows program offers an excellent way for your company to achieve its corporate social responsibility, environmental or global citizenship goals. It may even dovetail with your company’s mission. For example, Nokia funded a series of incredible short-form videos to help the Fellows tell their stories to others, which tied in beautifully with their motto: “Connecting people.”
Host an event: Bring together a group of executives or clients to host a dinner or small event with select TED Fellows for a mind-shifting idea exchange.
Above all the TED experience made me believe in my potential to achieve my goals. It gave me a boost of energy to run after my aims as I never had before.
Juliana Machado Ferreira
TED2009 Fellow and 2010 Senior Fellow