TED comes to Vancouver


the peak ted

The celebrated talk conference to be held here in 2014

By Kelli Gustafson
Photos courtesy of Kris Krug

An announcement earlier this month revealed that the TED conference (Technology, Entertainment, Design) will be hosting their 30th anniversary in Vancouver in 2014, running from March 17-21. TED is an annual West Coast conference that invites some of the world’s top “thinkers” to give 50 or more talks on “ideas worth spreading,” spanning the four day conference. Topics range from groundbreaking scientific discovery to analyses of current events to child-rearing philosophy. Past presenters have included Bill Gates, Colin Powell, Al Gore, and Sir Richard Branson.

The TED conference has been traditionally held in Long Beach, California; however, organizers have decided to move the location to the Vancouver Convention Centre for 2014 to celebrate their anniversary. Organizers suggest on the TED website that Vancouver acts as an ideal location for this conference: “Vancouver, a city that’s itself an inspiration — cosmopolitan, energetic, innovative, yet with unrivaled natural beauty.”

In a statement given by Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson, he spoke highly of TED, stating, “Having the TED organizers choose Vancouver as their new home is a big vote of confidence in the creative entrepreneurs, social
innovators, and community leaders who make Vancouver a leading-edge city.”

The conference is expected to attract an audience of approximately 1,200. Those interested in attending must undergo a competitive application process, and once selected by the TED panel, a single ticket will run attendees approximately $7,500 USD, according to the TED website.

While the main TED2014 conference takes place in the city, TEDActive2014 will run concurrently in Whistler. Both events will share the simple theme of “The Next Chapter,” with the idea of looking back at the significant developments of the past 30 years to give some insight into what’s ahead. Tickets to the Whistler event are estimated at $3,750 USD.

Talks will also be available to view for free on the official TED website, and many past talks can be found on YouTube. For those who seek a less expensive in-person TED conference experience, SFU has its own incarnation of the TED conference, TEDxSFU.

TEDxSFU is an independent TED event, however it is still licensed by TED. TEDxSFU was founded by SFU student Michael Cheng and was first held in the fall of 2011. Cheng said in an interview with The Peak, “The event is open to the public, but we always make an effort to ensure a portion of SFU-related speakers and attendees [are given priority].”

TEDxSFU provides a similar experience and environment as any other TED conference, as attendees must still undergo an application process to be a part of the audience. TEDxSFU will host its third conference at an unconfirmed date this year.