Ideas change people.

Ideas change

When you hear an electrifying idea, it stays with you. As it works its way into the folds of your mind, an idea can change your perspective, your daily rituals, your sense of what can be, even the shape of your life. Here are a few ways TED changed individuals in 2023.

Spotlight #1

Toward being a better human

Pictured: Alua Arthur speaking on the end of life.
Alua Arthur’s powerful talk on the end of life has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times.

Often, the most compelling ideas come in the form of reframes — simple, transformative notions that adjust the way you think about your life. In 2023, three talks in particular helped millions do that. Clinical psychologist Dr. Becky Kennedy shared a profound take on what it means to be a good parent (hint: not never messing up but getting good at repair). Former NFL linebacker Emmanuel Acho offered delightfully counterintuitive advice on how to be successful: stop setting goals (which can unintentionally cause you to limit your ambitions). And death doula Alua Arthur showed how clearly thinking about the end of life can help you feel the magic within it. Then there was the podcast, How To Be A Better Human, which hit #3 on Apple's charts. Through the year, this show offered reframes aplenty, from new ways to think about chores to how to edit the story you tell about your life.

TED content has many overlapping scales of impact.
Each and every day, our ideas:

Shift someone’s 
Demystify complex
concepts for a classroom
Motivate compelling
individuals to lead
Give thousands of listeners a new way to think
Transform global
Spotlight #2

Seeing AI, from all angles

2023 was the year AI went mainstream. As interest mounted, TED was there — ready to help everyone, everywhere think through its complexities. In a special session at TED2023, OpenAI cofounder Greg Brockman demonstrated the latest capabilities of ChatGPT and Sal Khan of Khan Academy showed AI's potential to provide individualized tutoring for all. Representing a more cautious point of view, computer scientist Yejin Choi raised the challenges that AI poses at the societal level and AI researcher Gary Marcus called for urgent global governance. The conversation continued at the first-ever TEDAI conference in October, where many of the field’s dreamers and builders shared their current thinking. The conclusion: this technology will revolutionize each of our lives, and as it shimmers with possibilities, we must also shape it with long-term intention.

Of the top 10 TED Talks of the year, nearly one-third were about AI.

Caption of carousel images.
Alexandr Wang, on the need to consider national security in developing new tech.
Art curator Eileen Isagon Skyers, on how AI can help artists create worlds beyond their imagination.
Sal Khan, on the potential he sees for AI in education.
Greg Brockman talks ChatGPT at TED2023.
TEDAI took place in San Francisco, CA, in October.
Spotlight #3

Inspired to action

TED talks are like seeds; they plant ideas that can blossom over time. In late 2022, Peter Ford was at the gym when he heard a talk that took his breath away: Ned Brooks’ “What makes a person decide to donate a kidney to a stranger?” Months later, Ford was in surgery, donating a kidney to police officer Michael Foster, a man he’d never met. Now friends, the pair has inspired others toward living donation too.

It’s a beautiful illustration, but there are many others too. Psychology researcher Jiaying Zhao was inspired by a talk to study the impact of cash transfers on homelessness; her work, published in August, inspired a basic income bill in the Senate of Canada. Nonprofit CEO Jocelyn Wyatt was moved by Elizabeth Dunn's talk , in which Dunn describes the joy of sponsoring a refugee family, to head Alight, an organization that helps US citizens sponsor refugees through the State Department’s Welcome Corps. And arts education consultant Rodney Eric López was inspired by Sara Lomelin’s talk on giving circles to start one in Providence, RI, bringing together men of color in his community. In June, they distributed $10,000 to local youth organizations, and plan to give another $10,000 away by the end of year.

Pictured: Peter Ford and Michael Foster together.
Peter Ford (right) donated his kidney to Michael Foster (left) after hearing a TED talk.
A headshot of Jiaying Zhao.
Jiaying Zhao’s talk-inspired research led to a Senate bill in Canada.
A headshot of Jocelyn Wyatt.
Jocelyn Wyatt now leads a nonprofit focused on sponsorship of refugees.
A headshot of Rodney Eric López.
Rodney Eric López has started his own giving circle.

In 2023, TED had a monthly global audience of 141 million people across 248 countries and territories.

That’s more than 2,250 Olympic stadiums full of people, with minds shifted by fresh ideas.

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