How to get into TED

I came across this article recently, and it got me thinking critically about the way TED presents itself as ‘accessible’. Because  TED makes the talks accessible online for free, many people assume that TED as a whole is a transparent and entirely noble company on every front. Here, I was surprised to find out the extensive lengths people must go to in order to be ‘vetted’ by TED and deemed worthy of TED events. The high ticket cost also brings many questions about the nature of spaces- why are these venues chosen to hold the talks? Are they accessible? Clearly they cost a lot- is it necessary to use such expensive spaces to host these events? This article is from a few years ago, so I would also be interested in seeing whether or not anything has changed. Furthermore, I’m wondering about TEDx Events (events in the spirit of TED, but are independently organized and curated, sans essay-format applications and at much lower prices). I was considering attending Montreal’s TEDxMontrealWomen event. Some of the speakers look really interesting, but I’m not sure if I can support TED at all. What do you guys think??

A link to the Montreal event:




    Nadia Goodman
    As TED’s social media editor, I have seen a lot of nasty comments. I’ve seen grown men and women deride a 14-year-old girl for her choice of dress. I’ve seen them say they’re revolted by a beautiful transgender woman. On every talk about race, I’ve seen a slew of racist comments. But none have ever been as bad as the comments we got when we published Monica Lewinsky’s TED Talk, The Price of Shame. At least at first.

    When Monica spoke at TED2015, held in March in Vancouver, the audience in the room received her with warmth and generosity of spirit. Many who’d had reservations were swayed by her talk. We saw this kind, vulnerable, strong woman who wanted to be heard — a woman who knew what was at stake for the victims of public shaming and who deeply hoped to get her message right. For someone scarred by years of public abuse, we gave her a safe space.

    When we posted her talk online a few days later, the safety we’d created in that room went out the window.

    As soon as her talk went up on Facebook, in too little time for anyone to have actually watched the 20-minute video, the comment thread was deluged with vitriol and hatred. People called her a slut and a whore, made jokes about sucking dick, and said she deserves the shaming because “shaming is an important part of how we shape our culture.” They attacked her character, her appearance, her choices, even her right to live. One commenter blamed her both for Al Gore losing the presidency in 2000 and the 9/11 attacks.


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