Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A new find....

I came across the TED website via the doorways traveler blog (an amazing blog by one of my fellow Unravellers). TED is a small nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading. They believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So they're building a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. There are topics, themes, speeches and talks on an array of different issues including science, business, the arts and global issues facing the world. I found the history of the foundation and the goals to be particularly inspiring so I wanted to share them here:

Who owns TED?

TED is owned by The Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation, a 501(c)3 organization under US tax code. It was established in 1996 by Chris Anderson, who was at that time a magazine publishing entrepreneur.

The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas. It aims to provide a platform for the world's smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Consider:

  • An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.
  • An idea weighs nothing.
  • It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
  • And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
  • It can reshape that mind's view of the world.
  • It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind's owner.
  • It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others.

Many factors can amplify the power of ideas: mass media, technology and market forces, to name three. In the past Sapling has supported projects that use these tools to leverage every dollar spent and create sustainable change in areas such as global public health, poverty alleviation, and biodiversity. More than $10m has therefore been granted to enlightened organizations such as the Acumen Fund, Environmental Defence, One World Health, and PATH.

Please do visit the site as it is soooooo informative and thought provoking.

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