TED2009 Speaker Program


TED2009 (Technology, Entertainment, Design) announced their speaker program. Above is a screen shot of the speakers whose last names begin with the letter M. You can click here then on the tab "Program" for detailed information about all the speakers.

I've attended last two TED events and they've been very inspiring and humbling. I'll be at the upcoming TED in Long Beach, California, too, liveblogging like I did last year and the year before!


  1. When did the affectation of cutting off the tops of heads in portraits become so common? It really is dumb-looking. I’m guessing it’s an influence from wide-screen cinema framing. Or maybe portrait photographers do it out of habit of hiding the baldness of male executives.

  2. If TED is so influential and so important, why do they feel the need to release their speaker videos at a snail’s pace? I realize it’s a privilege to attend and TED itself is comprised of an elite group of people but come on, get with the times.

  3. Elvis,

    We appreciate your eagerness to see all the talks after the conference.

    One of the reasons TEDTalks have been successful is that each talk is carefully edited and post-produced. This process takes time to do well. It results in a much more impactful talk that if we just pointed a camera at the speaker.

    We release one talk every business day as a series.

    We hope that TEDTalks are worth waiting for.

    Tom Rielly
    TED Conferences

  4. I have a real problem with TED. It would be much better if the speakers would post transcripts. I can read text in half the time it takes to speak it. I don’t need another video of talking heads.

    I really don’t understand why video of babbling mouths is preferable to clearly written text.

  5. Zeroy, yeah! And I’m sick of people putting salt on their chips and sugar in their coffee. And sex is more efficient if I collect my contribution in a turkey baster first.


  6. All sarcasm aside…

    Transcripts of the TED talks would be lovely, especially for people at work that can’t view video/sound.

  7. Tom – thank you for your response. I will wait patiently for the videos as long as I can get the gist of them via other sources. Perhaps some sort of eagerness scale can be implemented to allow others to vote on a release schedule.

    As far as elitism goes, I have no issue with that. Much like Jon Stewart said, you want your leaders to be elite, or something to that effect. I hope to be in that group someday. I’m going to download the registration form and make it a personal goal to figure out how to get there.

  8. Takuan,

    Yes, we are a non-profit, and proceeds from the events which bring in more money underwrite the things that are free, like providing our videos and audio recordings on TED.com.

    Lots of cool new features coming soon to TED.com. Stay tuned.

    Tom Rielly

  9. Dear Elvis,

    1. Several attendees live blog the entire conference so you can hear at least a bit about nearly every speaker while, or shortly after she has presented. Check out our blog at TED.com nearer to the conference for more details.

    2. Also, we do take into effect the audience reactions as one factor of many in deciding when to post some talks. Jill Bolte-Taylor’s amazing talk is a good example of one our TEDTalks team decided to post on the early side. We can’t promise we’ll post them in any particular order, but you are certainly welcome to express your views at contact@ted.com or on our contact form on TED.com. Believe it or not a real person reads those every business day.

    3. As far as elitism goes, TED is paradoxical. Our gathering certainly brings together an elite group of people. At the same time we make all the talks available for free afterwards. I think it’s fair to say we are both elite and democratic at the same time, but elitism carries a slightly difference connotation than elite.

    Tom Rielly

  10. Elvis, I have a secret wish to one day attend a TED too.

    Until then, I will be more than happy watching the videos on the TED site, and sharing them with everyone I know.

    People are always so happy, so appreciative, when they are introduced to TED. My mum loves it.

  11. Wow. Registering for the conference costs SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS. Thank God we’re spreading wisdom to the masses, ya know?

    Oh sure, the videos of the talks are released, but the real value of a conference is in meeting people and sharing ideas – allowing people from unrelated fields to learn about the thoughts and methods of others, expanding human thought, that whole deal.

    The message of TED is simple – participating in the dialogue of human advancement is for the wealthy only.

    *&%! yourselves.

    We’ll do it without you.

    Have fun in your brand new little concert hall or whatever it is. I’m sure the padding on the chairs is plush and luxuriant.

  12. What happens to TED’s profits?
    They are used to advance TED’s philanthropic goals. TED is owned by the Sapling Foundation, a 501(c)3 private foundation set up by TED’s Curator Chris Anderson in 1996. The main annual conference is financially successful and each year makes a profit of at least $2m. The money is used in several ways:
    + to fund the growth of this website and distribute TEDTalks free to the world
    + to support the TED Prize and the projects that come out of it
    + to invest in other TED conferences, such as the TEDGlobal event recently held in Africa
    + to support philanthropic organizations that leverage technology, media or entrepreneurship to make lasting social change. More on Sapling here.”

  13. @aelfscine: I’m frustrated by the cost too, having wanted to go for the last three years or so and barely making double the admission, but … your vitriol is a little extreme, and may perhaps be tempered by the following:

    1) TED is a 501(c)3
    2) Everything Tom Reilly mentioned
    3) That Tom Reilly cares enough about BB followers to respond in the comments here
    4) They offer discounted and free admission if you apply early enough — I always seem to forget about that option until it’s too late
    5) You can share ideas with brilliant people all the time, anywhere, as similarly-themed unconferences and the like abound. I recommend BIL (bilconference.com); Aubrey de Grey has spoken at both! Also, I’ve written to people whose ideas I admire and sent them my college papers and the like, and I’m surprised by how frequently and thoroughly they respond!
    6) However much you enjoy the ideas, if you had to sit and watch these talks for a couple of days straight I suspect you’d hope for “plush and luxuriant” padding as well.

  14. we live in society. This society has an “E-con-o-my”. In this “Economy, we use “mon-ey”. Beats fish-heads and beads – well almost.

  15. Has TED always done music stuff? I don’t really understand why Regina Spektor is speaking/performing. Her music isn’t really anything too groundbreaking.

  16. Sheesh indeed. I’m not suggesting that text should be used INSTEAD of video. But that text should be used to augment the live presentations. I still think that a video of an oral presentation is an extremely inefficient means to disseminate information. I am far more likely to be swayed by a well thought out, cogent, organized scientific paper, than I would ever be by a charismatic, humorous, entertaining speech.

    I find it difficult to take TED seriously. Mildly amusing. Thought provoking at times. But, not in the business of getting your thoughts straightened out.

  17. Seijihyouronka @23, will you please look up “vitriol” and find out what it really means? There isn’t a single thing in this thread that can reasonably be described that way.

  18. I realize you’re an admin at all… but

       /ˈvɪtriəl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [vi-tree-uhl] Show IPA Pronunciation
    noun, verb, -oled, -olâ‹…ing or (especially British) -olled, -olâ‹…ling.

    3. something highly caustic or severe in effect, as criticism.

    I think aelfscine’s comments did contain vitriol. They certainly weren’t made to be constructive criticism with that undertone of sarcasm and all. Especially the last 1/2 of the text.

    A statement could be made about the high cost, and relative goals of the talks seemingly offering a dichotomy of ideals and availability to the “average person” without invoking language such as “@#$# yourselves”, “We’ll do it without you”, or “the padding on the chairs is plush and luxuriant”.

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