At TED, an acronym for Technology, Entertainment and Design, speakers from a wide range of disciplines gather in Long Beach, California every year to share innovative ideas and groundbreaking work that inform, amuse and inspire, February 27-March 2.
The event curator, journalist Chris Anderson, brings together pioneers and visionaries from around the world for the signature 18-minute talks, developed as "a platform for disseminating ideas worth spreading."
High-wire artist Philippe Petit, author Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) and Nobelist Leymah Gbowee will appear at sessions. The City session features the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, and during The Earth group, a climatologist and ethnobotanist will speak.
At the first session called The Observatory, physicist Brian Greene and the X-Prize founder Peter Diamondis address attendees and at The Lab session, roboticists Vijay Kumar and Henrick Scharfe, and techno/illusionist Marco Tempest will speak.
Talks cover topics from cutting-edge science and innovative business ideas to global issues, such as a crowd-sourcing advocate, a vulnerability researcher and one of several TED fellows, Sarah Parcak, a space archaeologist, who uses satellite imagery to find "lost" sites to excavate.
Representing the "D" or design part of TED, David Kelly of design firm IDEO and Thomas P. Cambell of the Metropolitan Museum will speak.
"E" interludes feature comedians, musicians and artists between headier material, with poet Billy Collins and Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Sympathy.
TEDx events are local, self-organized events that bring people together to watch the event via satellite around the world, and for posterity, speeches are posted online with a vast library of thousands of talks reaching millions who view for free.
Last month the Huffington Post linked to well-received talks from 2011 that will impact 2012, including Wael Ghonim on the Egyptian uprising to Salman Khan about his online education revolution:
Upcoming is TEDGlobal occurs in Edinburgh, Scotland, June 25-29.