Ideas change humanity.

Ideas change

What ultimately changes the world? It’s people, coming together. When minds shift and communities convene, there’s no limit to what they can achieve together. From climate moves made en masse to massive capital raised — explore a few of the ways TED’s convening power led to action in 2023.

Spotlight #1

A countdown for climate

When the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015, the world was headed toward 4-5°C of global warming. While so much progress is still needed, it’s also important to note that expected warming has been cut in half. At the TED Countdown Summit, 55 speakers shared sharp, incisive ideas around addressing the climate crisis, offering new dimensions for action while celebrating key wins — a clutch message for this audience of 830 business executives, scientists, policymakers and next generation leaders, all poised to bring solutions home. With speakers like Simon Stiell, head of the UN’s climate response, positing that we're on the cusp of exponential change, the event was designed to accelerate a tipping point.

The TED Countdown Library now includes 238 talks on climate issues, viewed over 273 million times, equipping our global audience with actionable information.

Hosts Orlando P. Bailey, Lindsay Levin and David Biello open the TED Countdown Summit in July.
Second caption
During a site visit with The Greening of Detroit, attendees helped plant trees.
A panel speaks on protecting and restoring nature at scale, during a breakthrough session.
Anika Goss, the CEO of Detroit Future City, on building a better climate future in her city.
Tennessee State Representative Justin J. Pearson and Member of UK Parliament David Lammy discuss the concept of “brave leadership.”
Hosts Orlando P. Bailey, Lindsay Levin and David Biello open the TED Countdown Summit in July.
Spotlight #2

More nuanced stories on war, democracy and more

The news and social media often paint a picture of humanity, stuck in a doom loop. Over the course of 2023, TED looked at these narratives with open, unwavering eyes — and brought a more solutions-oriented mindset to them. This was the case on climate and AI, but on other issues too. In October, two days after Hamas’ attack on Israel, curator Helen Walters held an in-depth conversation with political scientist Ian Bremmer, focusing on how to find — and parse — reliable information. And in November, TED Democracy brought together a diverse group of thinkers, from academics to elected officials, to discuss global democracy. With South African politician Lindiwe Mazibuko making the case that good democracies learn from past mistakes and strategist Sarah Longwell exploring how countries build coalitions that transcend political parties, the event challenged us to be more expansive in our thinking.

140 leaders came together for TED Democracy and left ready to bring solutions back to their sphere of influence.

Pictured: Lindiwe Mazibuko sharing an inspiring insight at TED Democracy in November.
Lindiwe Mazibuko shared an inspiring insight at TED Democracy in November: that the strongest democracies learn from mistakes.

The TED audience does more than watch talks. They participate in the betterment of society.

This Year:

Nearly 5,000 people

came together for TED events, gathering in person and launching collaborations with other leaders, dreamers and go-getters.

More than 29,000

contributed as TED Members, joining us and directly supporting this work.

Fans of all kinds

shared and saved TED content more than 25 million times on social media, spreading ideas with friends, family, and colleagues.

Spotlight #3

Big, audacious

In 2023, The Audacious Project — TED’s collaborative funding initiative for big, world-shaking ideas — catalyzed more than $1 billion dollars for its new cohort of 10 projects. From transforming foster care throughout the US to accelerating locally-led land restoration across Africa, these powerful ideas received major funding, as well as the credibility, resources and catalytic momentum to work toward change for years to come. These projects offer bold new models, sweeping cross-sector collaborations and full-out systems change. “Each one offers a unique approach to shift the status quo,” says Executive Director Anna Verghese.

Betsy Doyle of The Audacious Project (right) works with Sixto Cancel (left) on his plan to transform foster care in the US.
In its first five years, The Audacious Project has catalyzed more than $4 billion for 49 projects taking on the world’s most urgent challenges.

78% of projects are making strong progress toward their goals, changing systems and lives.

"Girls' education is the silver bullet. But only if you do it right."

—Angeline Murimirwa of CAMFED, whose plan will support 5 million girls across Sub-Saharan Africa in completing their education

“100 million Americans — one in three people — have a record.”

—Sheena Meade of Clean Slate Initiative, whose drive to expand record clearance will give 16 million Americans a second chance

“We’re collaborating with the ultimate partner: nature.”

—Jennifer Doudna of the Innovative Genomics Institute, which is pioneering an entirely new approach to treating disease and fighting climate change