First TED Conference Held

TED was founded by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks in 1984, and has been held annually since 1990.

Wurman left after the 2002 conference; the event is now hosted by Chris Anderson and owned by his non-profit organization The Sapling Foundation, devoted to "leveraging the power of ideas to change the world". In 2006, attendance cost $4,400 and was by invitation only. The membership model was shifted in January of 2007 to an annual membership fee of $6,000, which includes attendance of the conference, club mailings, networking tools and conference DVDs.

TED was born in 1984 out of the observation by Richard Saul Wurman of a powerful convergence between Technology, Entertainment and Design. The first TED included demos of the newly released Macintosh computer and Sony compact disc, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines with his newly discovered fractals and AI guru Marvin Minsky outlined his powerful new model of the mind. Several influential members of the burgeoning digerati community were also there, including Nicholas Negroponte and Stewart Brand.

Ideas worth spreading”

— TED motto