What is TED?
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK.
TEDx events — a new initiative of the TED organization — are independently organized by local teams in various places around the world. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized, operated under license from TED.
In 2010, we organized the first TEDxRedmond conference to focus on “Power to the Students,” highlighting the unique inspiration, activism, and drive of young people—both on-stage and in the audience. That first year, we received tremendous media coverage, corporate support, and over 700 attendees from all over the Pacific Northwest. High school students and children as young as seven sat rapt in the audience, learning from their peers and contributing to the discussion around youth voice and accomplishment.
In 2011, we continued the success we saw in 2010 with the “Spark in All of Us”-themed conference. Almost 900 people registered for the event, breaking our previous year’s already unimaginable scale. Speakers making an impact on both global and local stages shared their stories; ultimately, our work created an opportunity for a diverse group of young adults to share and inspire.
In 2012, we reached a new level in our third TEDxRedmond event, which had the theme “Your Place in the Puzzle.” With a new room for the conference, a new variety of speakers, and over 1000 people signed up for the event, as a whole we were about to teach, discover, entertain, motivate and most of all, learn. Through this event, we continued to pursue the notion that the spirit of TEDxRedmond doesn’t stop after the event. There is always room to explore and inspire oneself and others.
In 2013, we decided to continue TEDxRedmond for a fourth year, pushing ourselves to make it the most inspiring and successful event yet. TEDxRedmond returned to the Microsoft Conference Center for another great year.
In 2014, TEDxRedmond ran with the theme of “Rise.” The idea was to motivate and inspire youth to rise to their true capabilities. With a new venue, the event was held at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.
In 2015, TEDxRedmond migrated to the name TEDxYouth@Redmond to better convey the goal of the event, which is to provide a voice to youth in a global community and show that youth is not a barrier to success. The event was hosted at Lake Washington Institute of Technology with a theme of “Finding Your Light.”
In 2016, TEDxYouth@Redmond returned to the Lake Washington Institute of Technology for the second year in a row. Featuring a myriad of talented and accomplished, yet still relatable speakers, the event was themed “X Marks the Spot” and many discussed how they were able to find their place.
In 2017, our theme was “Dare to be Great”. Featuring a variety of speakers and interesting speech topics, audiences of all backgrounds were brought together to explore the possibilities of strive and achieve their full potentials.
Our goal in 2018 is to make this year’s event a fabulous experience for both the attendees and the presenters! The theme is “TBD,” and we hope to inspire both our speakers and our audience to strive to reach their full potential.