The Global TEDx Phenomenon

Starting life as a one-off, money-losing conference in 1984, how did TED grow to the internationally acclaimed non-profit conference and global community that it is today? 

At the heart of it, is curiosity and the desire to instil change on both a local and global scale.

Cat Leaver - Comms Lead at TEDxGlasgow

Following a rocky start and a six year hiatus, TED was reintroduced to the world in 1990 and became an annual event that welcomed an inspirational and influential audience and speaker list. As this list grew in strength and numbers, embracing leaders in science, philosophy, philanthropy, business, technology, religion and beyond, the TED legacy grew to include TEDGlobal, TED TalksTED Prize, TEDActive, TED Fellows and TEDx amongst other initiatives.

TEDx was created to allow independent organisers from around the world to run a TED event in their own community that aligns with the original vision of “ideas worth spreading” and leverages a powerful network of change-makers. And, this is where we (and our many TEDx brothers and sisters around the world) come in.

TEDx events are designed to showcase TED Talks or a combination of hand-picked live speakers and TED Talks, sparking debate, relationships and community-based change. Led by a group of entrepreneurial volunteers, TEDx events are planned under a licence from TED. The TEDx stage can catapult previously unheard of ideas and individuals to global stardom, providing a platform to share their thoughts and innovations with a captive audience.

Here at TEDxGlasgow we acquired our licence back in 2012 and have since went about building a strong and dedicated team and wider community of supporters. It’s incredible the passion and commitment we see everyday as part of TEDxGlasgow and its this fire that spurs us on to do bigger and better things.

Personally, I feel privileged to be part of such an incredible team and movement, where every meeting leaves me feeling newly invigorated and every event brings together a fresh group of awe-inspiring individuals. I think it is this that has made TEDx such an undeniable success.



  • Written by Cat Leaver
  • Posted on April, 28 2015

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