TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. TED started in 1984 as an annual conference held in Long Beach, California with the goal of bringing together people from the three fields to give 18-minute talks about innovation and possibilities. The TED Talks site has more than 400 talks by people from an expanded array of fields and the videos of their talks are available to be shared and reposted without cost.
From the TED Talks site:
Our mission: spreading ideas. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here 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. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you’re an important part of it
TED has also spawned the TED Prize which is “designed to leverage the TED Community’s exceptional array of talent and resources. It is awarded annually to three exceptional individuals who each receive $100,000 and, much more important, the granting of “One Wish to Change the World.” After several months of preparation, they unveil their wish at an award ceremony held during the TED Conference. These wishes have led to collaborative initiatives with far-reaching impact.”