TORONTO – Over the next week Vancouver will play host to some of technology’s brightest minds during TED Talks 2014.
TED – which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design – has become a cultural phenomenon of sorts, thanks to famous names who take to the stage to discuss their philanthropic efforts and provide insight into their areas of expertise. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the event.
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The collection of talks has been viewed more than 1.9 billion times online.
The idea behind the conference is to curate speeches from world influencers, with the motto “Ideas worth sharing.”
This year’s theme is “The Next Chapter,” which aims at understanding and discussing the most significant developments of the last 30 years.
To celebrate the milestone, TED is bringing back some of its most influential and big name speakers to update listeners on their projects, or expand on their previous talks.
Dubbed the “All-Stars,” speakers include the inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
But if you weren’t lucky enough to be one of the 1,200 people who bought TED Vancouver tickets at $5,700 a pop, there is always a chance that you might catch a glimpse of some of the brightest minds in tech while they’re in town.
Bill Gates, Microsoft Founder
Bill Gates, who will be speaking at the conference alongside his wife Melinda French Gates, will discuss some of his philanthropic work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Microsoft founder recently stepped down as chairman at the tech giant to assume the role of Founder and Technology Advisor on the board, after having spent many years focusing on the Gates foundation.
In previous TED Talks, Gates has discussed the spread of Malaria, how to improve education systems by giving teachers “real feedback,” and even the idea of eliminating global carbon emissions by 2050.
His 2010 TED Talk on carbon emissions has 2.6 million views to date.
Del Harvey, Senior Director of Trust and Safety at Twitter
Del Harvey is in charge of protecting user rights and creating and enforcing policies for Twitter’s Trust and Safety department.
Harvey previously spoke at the TED@BCG conference in 2013 where she discussed how her team works to keep users safe and protect their privacy on a social platform that grows by billions every few days. She has been with Twitter since 2008.
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
In 2001 Jimmy Wales and his partners launched a free online “open content” encyclopedia called Wikipedia. Today the popular site has more than 4.5 million entries written in English alone.
Wales spoke at TED Talks in 2006 on how he came up with the idea for the reference site. His talk has more than 700,000 views on the TED Talks website.
Margaret Gould Stewart, Director of Product Design at Facebook
Have a problem with the latest Facebook timeline? Then Margaret Gould Stewart is the person you want to talk to. As director of product design at Facebook, her team oversees the visual elements of the social network and implements new features.
Stewart previously was the head of the user experience team at YouTube, overseeing the biggest redesign of the media player to date.
During her 2010 TED Talk she discussed how YouTube thinks about copyright.
Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web
Tim Berners-Lee will be speaking at the TED Talks Vancouver conference just days after the 25th anniversary of his invention – the World Wide Web.
In 1989 Berners-Lee submitted a proposal for an information management system that would lay the road for the World Wide Web. Today, he is calling for a digital bill of rights to protect Internet users from surveillance and to keep the web neutral.
He now leads the World Wide Web Consortium, which oversees the web’s standards and development.
Until this year, TED Talks have only been held in California. Now,Vancouver will keep the conference until 2015 but negotiations are under way to keep the conference in the West Coast city until 2020.
For those in Vancouver, TED will be live streaming the talks at various locations around the city. Click here for a complete list of venues to catch your favourite speaker.