TED2019: Bigger Than Us Kicks Off in Vancouver, BC

Edited 17/04/19

Annual five-day live event to host 1,800 delegates and 100+ talks and performances  

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, begins its annual flagship conference in Vancouver today under the theme “Bigger than us.” TED2019 will host 1,800 attendees from 53 countries for a five-day program of over 100 talks and performances. Speakers will share ideas in TED’s signature format of short, powerful talks.

As part of this year’s theme, the conference will focus on antidotes to today’s fractured culture, including a search for shared values and common purpose. Speakers will explore technologies that evoke wonder and tantalize with superhuman powers, mind-bending science that will drive the future as significantly as any politician, the design of cities and other powerful human systems that shape our lives, and awe-inspiring, mind-expanding creativity.

“The political and technological turmoil of the past few years has had the unexpected consequence of us asking bigger, deeper, more challenging questions — both collectively and individually,” said Chris Anderson, head of TED. “This year, the theme of ‘bigger than us’ has us considering: Where are we heading? What ideas are truly worth fighting for? What can we do to tackle today’s biggest challenges?.”

TED2019 speakers and performers include:

  • Ella Al-Shamahi, Paleoanthropologist & stand-up comic
  • Wajahat Ali, Writer
  • Peter Beck, Rocket entrepreneur
  • Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Soil scientist
  • Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone
  • Richard Bona,  Musician 
  • Nick Bostrom, Philosopher
  • David Brooks, Op-ed columnist
  • Derren Brown, Mentalist & illusionist
  • Carole Cadwalladr, Journalist
  • Rafael Casal, Actor & writer
  • Jon M. Chu, Storyteller
  • David Deutsch, Physicist & author
  • Es Devlin, Artist & designer
  • Rick Doblin, Psychedelics researcher
  • Jack Dorsey, Entrepreneur & programmer
  • Elizabeth Dunn, Happiness researcher
  • Kristie Ebi, Public health researcher
  • America Ferrera, Actor, director, producer & activist
  • First Aid Kit, Folk music duo
  • Freestyle Love Supreme, Performance artists
  • Adena Friedman, Financial leader
  • Hannah Gadsby, Serious comedian
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Actor, filmmaker & entrepreneur
  • Jon Gray, Food enthusiast & gastro-diplomat
  • Roger Hanlon, Marine biologist
  • Katie Hood, Relationship revolutionary
  • Bjarke Ingels, Architect
  • Judith Jamison and Members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Choreographer & dancer with dance company
  • Suleika Jaouad, Choreographer & writer
  • Sarah Kay, Poet
  • Barbara J. King, Biological anthropologist & writer
  • Juna Kollmeier, Theoretical astrophysicist
  • Daniel Lismore, Artist
  • David R. Liu, Chemical biologist
  • Eric Liu, Civic evangelist & author
  • Karen Lloyd, Marine microbiologist
  • Beau Lotto, Neuroscientist
  • Frank Luntz, Communications advisor, pollster & wordsmith
  • Kishore Mahbubani, Author & public policy expert
  • Andrew Marantz, Writer
  • Rahul Mehrotra, Architect & urbanist
  • Herman Narula, Entrepreneur & coder
  • Sidy Ndao, Research scientist & engineer
  • Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Filmmaker & storyteller
  • Brittany Packnett, Activist, educator & writer
  • Jamie Paik, Robotician
  • Priya Parker, Conflict mediator & author
  • Ivan Poupyrev, Scientist, inventor & designer
  • Rob Reid, Author, entrepreneur
  • Doug Roble, Computer graphics software researcher
  • Janelle Shane, AI humorist
  • Emmett Shear, Entrepreneur & investor
  • Jonny Sun, Screenwriter, author & artist
  • Sarah Sze, Artist
  • Edward Tenner, Historian
  • Baratunde Thurston, Futurist comedian, writer & activist
  • Michael Tubbs, Mayor of the City of Stockton, California
  • Hamdi Ulukaya, Yogurt maker & humanitarian
  • Anthony Veneziale, Actor & producer
  • Bina Venkataraman, Writer & futurist
  • Victor Vescovo, Undersea explorer & investor
  • Matt Walker, Sleep scientist, professor & author
  • Claire Wardle, Misinformation expert
  • Jacqueline Woodson, Writer

There are also 20 new and 6 returning TED Fellows giving talks in a popular pre-conference program.

TED has created a number of ways for audiences to participate in and learn from this week’s conference:

  • The Audacious Project, TED’s philanthropic collaborative dedicated to bold, actionable ideas, will reveal the 2019 Audacious projects live from the TED stage via livestream on Tuesday, April 16 at 5 PM PDT. The session will be available at AudaciousProject.org and on Twitter @TEDTalks.
  • Follow @TEDTalks on Twitter to join the conversation and watch interviews with speakers and attendees backstage.
  • Follow @TED on Instagram for behind-the-scenes access to the conference, such as interviews with speakers, a tour of the venue and daily highlights from the stage.
  • TED will be reporting live from the conference each day in a free, limited-run ICYMI newsletter delivered daily from April 16–20 to anyone who subscribes here.
  • As always, TED will offer a free livestream of the entire conference online to accredited Vancouver-area secondary schools, universities, libraries, community centres and NGOs.
  • TED will also feature on-site installations, including Vulcan Inc.’s “Holodome” and artist Michael Pinsky’s “Pollution Pods.”

Opening TED up to audiences around the world is foundational to TED’s mission of spreading ideas. What was once simply a closed-door conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design has become a global platform for sharing talks across a wide variety of disciplines. Founded in 1984, the first TED conferences were held in Monterey, California. In 2006, TED experimented with putting TED Talk videos online for free – a decision that opened the doors to giving away all its content today there are more than 3,000 TED Talks available on TED.com. Thanks to the support of thousands of volunteer translators, TED Talks are available in 110 languages. TEDx, the licensing program that allows communities to produce independently organized TED events, has seen more than 27,000 events held worldwide over the past decade, and posted more than 125,000 videos on Youtube. And for a youth audience, TED-Ed offers more than 600 animated lessons.  Collectively TED content attracts some 3 billion views and listens annually.

TED has partnered with a number of innovative organizations to support its mission and contribute to the idea exchange at TED2019. This year’s partners include: Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Bonobos, Brightline™ Initiative, Dropbox, DuPont, Facebook, Gatorade, Google, Klick Health, Hilton, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Marriott Hotels, Meyer Sound, Project Management Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Shutterstock, Skoll Foundation, Steelcase, Target, TD Ameritrade, Wells Fargo, The Macallan, and Verizon.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED, on Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted and on Snapchat at tedtalkshq. The official hashtag of the event is #TED2019.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED conferences, including our annual gathering in Vancouver, as well as TEDWomen, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on TED.com and other platforms. Audio versions of the talks from TED2019 will also be published to TED’s podcast TED Talks Daily, available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; the Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TEDSummit, which gathers the most engaged members of the global TED community for brainstorms, discussions, performances, workshops and an eclectic program of mainstage talks; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also has a library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, Sincerely, X, and one of Apple Podcasts’ most downloaded new shows of 2018, WorkLife with Adam Grant.

Press Contact:
Erin Allweiss: TEDPress@thenumber29.com

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