What is TED and TEDx?

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. In 1984, the TED conference began in California as a way to highlight the convergence of the technology, entertainment, and design industries. Luminaries of these industries were invited to speak, and an exclusive group were invited to attend. Today, TED is a worldwide, well-known platform for ideas worth spreading, now highlighting innovative ideas in more than 100 languages from many disciplines—including science, business, and global concerns. For the public benefit, TED talks are recorded live. They are freely available at TED.com and on digital streaming channels such as Netflix and YouTube.

TEDx is a strictly licensed program of locally-organized TED events in cities around the world, patterned on the success of the TED conference. Since its beginning in 2009, over 8000 TEDx events have been held in more than 130 countries. In short, TEDx is part of a grassroots revolution in global education! It is made possible by local organizers, often volunteers, who passionately desire to engage and activate their communities. Like the main TED conference, which continues today, TEDx brings some of the most fascinating contemporary thinkers and doers to the stage. Like the TED talks, TEDx talks are recorded and made available freely on the TEDx YouTube channel.

What is TEDxTucson?

Organizationally, TEDxTucson is a grassroots, nonprofit initiative based in Southern Arizona. We have recently applied for 501c(3) nonprofit status. The TEDxTucson staff are professionals in their fields who give their time voluntarily. All speakers and entertainers take part on a no-fee basis. Together, we strive to make the ideas and innovations presented within our regular TEDxTucson gatherings accessible to the widest possible cross-section of our community. Here’s how we do it:

Approximately six times per year, so far, we have successfully orchestrated a gathering–we call it a Salon–where we have hosted up to 100 audience members. We record our talks and post them on our website. All of the goods and services for each Salon, including food, wine, photography, and videography, have been donated by our sponsors, for which we are very grateful.

Since we are licensed and chartered by the worldwide TED conference organization, we must adhere to the strictest standards, and we are rewarded for doing so by the possibility of having our local TEDx talks broadcast worldwide!Why are we so passionate aboutTEDxTucson? Just as one example of why we are so passionate about this work, we believe that the Tucson area offers an advanced perspective regarding the social and economic forces that will emerge throughout the larger United States and the world during the mid- 21st century. We can see many differences between the ways things are happening in Southern Arizona, and the ways things traditionally have happened in American culture, and we want to tell you about it! We are proud of our unique Southwest heritage and our integrative approach to social challenges. In fact, because of our location in the Sonoran Desert, so close to the border of Mexico, Tucson struggles now with many issues that we believe will soon face our global population as a whole: water rights; integration of new models for everyday work; the march of technology and the great divide it creates between young and old, rich and poor; the nonviolent, or sometimes violent, clash of cultures and values that naturally occurs as more immigrants join any community; the role of arts and ideas in a society that is so divided as to who controls the majority of power and money. Locally, these concepts form a compelling basis for our cooperative exploration of art, products, and ideas. Globally, the world of ideas is vast, and TEDxTucson hopes to lead the way in stimulating your thinking and preparing you for the future. We hope you will be inspired to take action in your community!