TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

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Revision as of 10:40, 1 June 2011 by Reimor13 (Talk | contribs) (Analysis)

Case Study: Civic Intelligence, Spring 2011

Submitted by: Morgan Reisdorfer


TED began as a nonprofit organization in 1984 with the goal of bringing people and ideas from three "worlds" together: technology, entertainment and design. Since then, the scope has become much more broad, encompassing people and ideas from business, the sciences, culture and arts even speakers on global issues. The first TED Conference was located in Long Beach, California during the spring of 1984 as an experiment that spread like wildfire. Now, in addition to the annual TED Conference, there is TEDGlobal which is the European counterpart held in the summer and located in Edinburg, UK, TEDIndia, TEDWomen and TEDx which are talks held by other independent organizations. The website TEDTalks was launched in 2007 in order for the presentations from all the various TED events to be available online for free (translations included).


The TED structure is wonderfully simple: each speaker has a topic and an allotted amount of time, usually up to 18 minutes, to present. The attendees job is simply to listen, and after the day's presentations are over, there are booths which the presenters set up so any attendees can talk to the speakers or performers after their presentations.

How is this civic intelligence?

The definition of civic intelligence can be taken literally from the dictionary by combining the definitions of civic and intelligence:

civic: (adverb) of, or relating to a citizen, a citizenship or community affairs
intelligence: (noun) meaning the ability to learn, understand or to deal with new or trying situations. It also could mean the ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one's environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria

meaning a citizen, citizenship or city's collective ability to learn, understand or deal with new or trying situations.