The event takes inspiration from the American TED model: an acronym for Technology Entertainment and Design, it’s a non-profit organisation devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. TED began 25 years ago in California and since then TED organises annual meetings where the leading “thinkers” and “doers” are invited to share their ideas with the audience during presentations that last no longer than 18 minutes. Lectures are made available free of charge on www.ted.com.
Bill Gates, Al Gore, Richard Branson, Philippe Starck, Stephen Hawking, Isabel Allende, Gordon Brown and thousands of other influential thinkers and opinion leaders have all attend TED meetings as speakers.
TED also launched a program of local events, called TEDx: events organised independently, with the objective of bringing people together to share a similar experience to that of the TED meetings.