News Releases

TED2016 Conference, "Dream", Opens in Vancouver
Annual five-day live event to host 1,400 delegates, 70+ talks and performances

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, opens its annual conference today in Vancouver. Themed "Dream," TED2016 will host 1,400 attendees from 58 countries for a five-day program of 70+ speakers and performers.

The TED2016 program features speakers sharing ideas in quick, powerful talks – 18 minutes or less, TED's signature format – as well as short presentations from this year's 21 TED Fellows. As part of this year's theme, speakers will explore some of the greatest ideas we're capable of dreaming up today, as well as a few nightmares worthy of our attention.

"In the spirit of our theme, this year's TED program includes speakers with truly extraordinary visions of the future," said TED Curator Chris Anderson. "We'll hear ideas – some hopeful, some frightening – that will jolt us awake. It's shaping up to be our most intense TED yet."

TED2016 speakers and performers include:

  • Neuroscientist Moran Cerf
  • Occupational therapist Holly Cohen
  • Artist and photographer Angélica Dass
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann
  • Founder of Global Citizen Hugh Evans
  • Climate advocate Christiana Figueres
  • Justice reformer Adam Foss
  • Co-founder of AirBNB Joe Gebbia
  • Climate advocate Al Gore
  • Organizational psychology professor and author Adam Grant 
  • Meta CEO Meron Gribetz
  • Gun control advocate Dan Gross
  • Dance pioneer Bill T. Jones
  • Science journalist Jennifer Kahn
  • Uber founder Travis Kalanick
  • Inventor of HoloLens Alex Kipman
  • Global strategist Parag Khanna
  • Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara
  • Television producer and activist Norman Lear
  • Singer, musician and composer John Legend
  • Sonic astrophysicist Wanda Diaz Merced
  • Immersive storyteller Chris Milk
  • Muslim studies scholar Dalia Mogahed
  • Charity defender Dan Pallotta
  • Chess grandmaster Judit Polgár
  • Men's health advocate Joseph Ravenell
  • Writer and producer Shonda Rhimes
  • Author and stranger enthusiast Kio Stark
  • Head of Alphabet's "X" Astro Teller
  • Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay
  • Blogger and cartoonist Tim Urban
  • U.S. Digital Service co-founder Haley Van Dyck 

The full speaker list can be found here:

The conference returns for the third year to Vancouver's award-winning Convention Centre. The talks themselves will take place in a custom, reusable wood theater designed and staged to maximize the connection between speaker and audience. Talks by TED Fellows will take place in a separate Community Theater in the building.

The TED2016 experience will extend well beyond the TED theater. On opening night, for the first time ever, U.S. and Canadian movie theater-goers will be able to purchase tickets to watch an exclusive live broadcast of the event's exciting first session in participating theaters. European audiences can catch a recorded version of the session in movie theaters February 16 and those in Australia on March 2. The rest of the week's Talks will be streamed live to TEDx event attendees and subscribing members of TED Live, as well as to Vancouver-area secondary schools, universities, libraries, community centers and NGOs who applied to get free access (application here).

Opening TED up to audiences around the world is foundational to TED's mission of spreading ideas. What was once simply a closed-door conference devoted to Technology, Entertainment and Design has become a global platform for spreading ideas across a wide variety of disciplines. Founded in 1984, the first TED conferences were held in Monterey, California. In 2006, TED experimented with putting TED Talk videos online for free – a decision that opened the doors to a radically new model for sharing ideas: today there are more than 2,100 TED Talks available for free on, which are viewed about a billion times a year. Thanks to the support of thousands of volunteer translators, there are more than 86,000 published translations of TED Talks in over 110 languages. TEDx, the licensing program that allows communities to produce independently organized TED events, has seen 16,000 events held worldwide over the last seven years.

A number of exciting brands and companies have partnered with TED2016 to share ideas and foster an atmosphere of innovation.  This year's partners include: American Express OPEN, The Boston Consulting Group, Black Bond Books, Bluescape, Delta Air Lines, Walt Disney Imagineering, EverFi, GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group), Google, IBM, Infosys, Lands' End, Le Glace by Marked Edible Designs, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, Manulife, Marriott Hotels, Metagenics, MGA, Thomson Reuters, N Square, Omidyar Network, RetailMeNot, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Saje, Seattle's Chocolate, Skoll Foundation, Steelcase, S'well, Target, Toyota, The Future Project, UPS, United Therapeutics Corporation, Vitruvi, Vivreau, Wines of Chile, World Coffee Events and Workspring.

Live blog coverage of the conference will be updated throughout each day at TED will also cover the conference on Twitter at, Instagram at, Facebook at, and, for the first time this year, on Snapchat at @tedtalkshq. The official hashtag of the event is #TED2016.

The detailed TED2016 program and more information can be found online here:

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Contact: Margaret Sullivan,, +1 (646) 519-1350