TEDMED is the independently owned and operated health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference, dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” TED Talks have been viewed online over two billion times around the world.
Created by TED’s founder, TEDMED convenes and curates extraordinary people and ideas from all disciplines both inside and outside of medicine in pursuit of unexpected connections that accelerate innovation in health and medicine. Best known for our annual event, TEDMED is a year-round global community.
TEDMED finds and shares stories that inform, inspire, engage and provoke action across a broad, passionate community both inside and outside of health and medicine. TEDMED values inclusiveness, multi-disciplinary collaboration and diversity in its mission to catalyze a healthier world.
Our annual event brings the world together to focus on what’s new and important in health and medicine. We forge partnerships with industry leaders, medical research institutions, think tanks, government agencies and foundations, to ensure that cutting-edge biomedical thinking is shared across disciplines and made accessible to the public at large.
Year-round, TEDMED engages a community of dedicated change-makers in dynamic conversations through social media, TEDMED Talks and a variety of programmatic efforts involving speakers, start-ups and everyday breakthroughs.
Connecting Remote Participants Around the World: Our partners enable TEDMED to stream the entire stage program from our annual event at no cost to teaching hospitals, academic institutions, government organizations, research centers and select non-profits in 140+ countries around the world.
Our hope is that by sharing this content, TEDMED is able to spark discussions about the future of health and medicine throughout the world. Learn more about TEDMED Live.
Game-Changing Entrepreneurs: Each year, “The Hive” program provides an immersive experience connecting our attendees (“Delegates”), partners, media and speakers with innovators and entrepreneurs representing scalable ideas and technologies that have the potential of transforming humanity’s health in fields ranging from biotechnology to healthcare delivery to new models of research. Learn more about The Hive.
Tackling Great Challenges: Year-round, TEDMED facilitates important conversations about some of the most complex public health challenges we face today, helping to create a better understanding of these challenges from a truly multi-disciplinary perspective. Learn more about The Great Challenges Program.
TEDMED’s editorial process is guided by five core values. Each year, TEDMED considers thousands of potential speakers and performers for our stage – and selects a few dozen to be featured at our annual event.
Curatorial decisions about our stage program are driven by TEDMED’s commitment to five core values:
TEDMED seeks to shape the biomedical community by selecting people who are qualified to discuss or represent important cutting-edge science, current issues and game-changing ideas across health and medicine. Guided by a distinguished, independent Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) of leading physicians, scientists, researchers, public health experts, academics, journalists, philanthropists, technologists, designers, performers and communicators, TEDMED selects speakers to address high-priority topics. These topics are chosen based on groundbreaking research, significant and underexposed issues, new discoveries and new thinking.
TEDMED believes valuable insights that contribute to breakthroughs often come from fields outside of a particular medical specialty – and even from outside of health and medicine. Accordingly, TEDMED is committed to an inclusive, radically multi-disciplinary approach to health and medicine that breaks down the silos of traditional specialties and considers viewpoints from a multiplicity of fields. TEDMED’s “horizontal” thinking reaches beyond health and medicine to government, technology, business, journalism, philanthropy, entertainment, design and the arts. Our multi-disciplinary philosophy is reflected in the makeup of our global community, in our speaker/performer roster and in our selection of topics for the stage program.
TEDMED believes the most critical issues in health and medicine require the best thinking from all of us. That’s why TEDMED believes it is not only possible, it is urgently necessary to bridge the gap between biomedical science and the general public on the great issues that impact the wellbeing of our planet’s seven billion people.
In creating our annual stage program, TEDMED seeks to engage thought leaders in health and medicine with cutting-edge research, while addressing the educated public by making these rigorous topics accessible non-scientists who are passionate about health and medicine. Our key strategy to accomplish this is to help our speakers find and share stories that inform, inspire, engage and provoke action across our global community.
TEDMED recognizes that scientific ideas change from decade to decade, and even from day to day. Intellectual evolution is the hallmark of science. TEDMED believes that the more responsibly and imaginatively we can challenge today’s medical thinking, the faster we can create a healthier world. Our speakers are selected in part because of their personal, demonstrated commitment to living these values, to embracing the TEDMED mission of catalyzing a healthier world, and to accelerating new thinking that can spur revolutionary approaches to improving health and medicine for all.
In designing the annual stage program, TEDMED is dedicated to openness, transparency and responsibility. We accept speaker nominations and encourage topic suggestions from any and every member of the global community.
TEDMED’s process for creating our program themes and topics, as well as our rigorous process for speaker selection, leverages the insights and wisdom of a distinguished and independent Editorial Advisory Board. The Board’s members and selection criteria are public. Our Editorial Advisory Board consists of leading thinkers and doers from health and medicine, business and technology, foundations and academia, philanthropy and design, and journalism and communications.
The mission of the Board is to assist TEDMED in selecting appropriate themes and topics and to review nominated speakers, ensuring that their qualifications and topics meet the highest standards for scientific relevance. This mission is governed by TEDMED’s Code of Ethics.
TEDMED is a multi-disciplinary community that brings together leading thinkers and doers from all walks of life to explore important issues, ideas and cutting-edge biomedical science to benefit both professionals in health and medicine and the general public. We strive for objectivity and neutrality toward political, religious and economic interests. Like Sesame Street, NPR, PBS and public libraries, TEDMED aspires to be part of the fabric of global civic society.
The integrity and credibility of our stage program is founded on academic-level rigor in selecting themes, topics, angles and speakers, as well as on editorial independence, which ensures that content is unaffected by advertising or commercial considerations.
Personal or business interests that conflict with TEDMED’s vision and integrity, whether in appearance or in reality, undermine our credibility. Under no circumstance are speaker and topic selection skewed toward personal gain, to help TEDMED’s bottom line or to please funders and sponsors.
Decisions about subject matter and how it will be covered is made by TEDMED exclusively, with input from the Editorial Advisory Board.
TEDMED strives to produce and present stories on its stage, its website and other channels that transcend biases and treat all evidence-based scientific views fairly. We challenge our own perspectives and pursue inclusion of a diverse range of viewpoints. We consistently aim to present the facts and science as completely as possible within the context of material intended to serve the scientific community and the general public simultaneously.
TEDMED's talks and performances are composed of diverse voices that reflect the health and medicine community and divergent views that contribute to informed debate.
TEDMED and its Editorial Advisory Board are strongly committed to ensuring the transparency of our editorial process. To that end, we make each of the steps of our general curatorial process (such as the selection of priority topics and speakers) available to the public by posting them on our website in advance of each event.
The values expressed below take into account those that are considered the industry's standard for editorial quality and independence, from NPR, The New York Times and the New England Journal of Medicine's code of ethics.
TEDMED follows a six-step process to nominate, investigate, recommend, select, invite and curate speakers for our annual stage program. Interested in making a nomination? Click here
A speaker may be nominated by himself or herself, by a colleague, by any member of the TEDMED community, by TEDMED’s Editorial Advisory Board and/or by members of the TEDMED staff.
Nominees are referred to TEDMED’s Editorial Team and Editorial Advisory Board. Working closely with TEDMED Research Scholars, we provide independent evaluations of each nominated speaker in order to ensure scientific rigor and credibility, topical relevance and appropriateness and a fresh and compelling message that can inspire TEDMED’s global community and the world to change health and medicine in a positive way.
The Editorial Advisory Board provides confidential feedback to TEDMED’s Editorial Team and votes on recommended speakers.
Based on input from the Editorial Advisory Board and other factors, the TEDMED Editorial Team decides which nominees to invite.
TEDMED invites the nominee to speak at its annual event.
Upon acceptance, the speaker typically works with TEDMED to shape and develop his or her message to ensure the most effective storytelling and presentation.
TEDMED’s editorial process for curating our stage program’s themes, topics, speakers and performers are guided by the combined experience, insights and wisdom of a distinguished, independent Editorial Advisory Board.
Our Editorial Advisory Board consists of 20 recognized leaders in health and medicine, business and technology, foundations and academia, philanthropy and design, and journalism and communications.
Members voluntarily serve on the Editorial Advisory Board and attend two in-person meetings. They receive no financial compensation or in-kind contributions for their devotion of time and effort to TEDMED, other than complimentary passes to TEDMED and a stipend covering travel, room and board for the two annual Board meetings.
The purpose of the Editorial Advisory Board is twofold: (1) assist TEDMED in selecting appropriate themes and topics for each year’s stage program, and (2) review nominations, ensuring that the qualifications and topics of those selected speakers meet the highest standards for scientific relevance and rigor.
Editorial Advisory Board members commit to research and review nominated speakers with whom they have no conflict of interest or institutional affiliation; to present their recommendations to TEDMED and the full Board; and to consult with TEDMED on themes and topics.
The Editorial Advisory Board helps ensure the integrity and credibility of TEDMED’s stage program by bringing academic-level rigor to our selection of themes, topics and speakers. Board members provide their guidance with complete editorial independence, which ensures that content is unaffected by advertising or commercial considerations. Like TEDMED itself, the Editorial Advisory Board is committed to our Core Values and our Code of Ethics.
TEDMED is proud to acknowledge and recognize the members of our Editorial Advisory Board. These outstanding thought leaders generously provide their time and effort in the interest of supporting TEDMED’s mission to inspire new thinking and accelerate change in health and medicine.
Every year, TEDMED’s stage program features innovative thinkers from inside and outside the worlds of science, health, and medicine. We’re looking for speakers who will open minds to new possibilities; change how we think about challenges in science, health, and medicine, and seed unique collaborations.
If you know someone who belongs on the TEDMED stage, or if you belong there yourself, we want to hear from you. Please fill out this nomination form, and tell us:
1) Why this speaker’s vision will change how those in the health and medical communities approach their own work;
2) How this idea will change and improve science, health, and medicine in significant and surprising ways;
3) What experience and evidence your nominee brings to his or her topic; and
4) How this approach or idea might be applied across varied fields and disciplines.
Remember, it only takes one nomination to bring a speaker to our attention. Selection for the TEDMED stage is determined by many factors – including our session themes and programmatic fit. For more information on speaker selection, please see our FAQs.
In many ways, the Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination serves as the philosophical blueprint for TEDMED.
Inside the library is an unusual collection of well-known and obscure treasures from across human history and across different disciplines of human life. Each treasure represents the best of what humans can imagine and create as well as the leaps mankind can make in the relative blink of an eye. The space is a wonderful celebration of our ability to imagine, invent and create a better future.
Much like his role at TEDMED, Jay serves as Library Curator. He convenes important gatherings and leads his guests through a carefully designed experience powered by wonderful storytelling. He does this to honor the very best of us, help us connect dots in unexpected ways, make the impossible seem more possible and to inform and inspire the future.
Each stage talk at TEDMED is analogous to a treasure in the Library. Each talk/treasure has a power of its own but when (1) shared in combination with other talks/treasures and (2) in a context that is carefully curated, their power and impact is strengthened many times over.
Each delegate is similarly analogous to a treasure in the Library. We are powerful as individuals, but ultimately what we can see, do, and impact on our own is limited relative to what we can accomplish through collaboration, especially with people of common values but different experiences.
Our participation serves to stretch our minds, create new possibilities, stir our imaginations and prepare us for our own personal moments of genius.