What is TEDMED?

TEDMED is a multi-disciplinary community of innovators and leaders who share a common determination to create a better future in health and medicine.

Today’s challenges in health and medicine are rooted in a complex web of poorly understood interdependencies among social, commercial, economic, regulatory, cultural and medical issues.

Progress against our challenges demands our best thinkers and doers from every discipline, whether in health and medicine or not, to figure out how to connect the seemingly unconnected.

The history of mankind is filled with astonishing leaps of imagination and invention that have produced huge gains in our quality of life.

We need a place to celebrate the best in us, to restore our sense of hope and possibility, to connect with people of common goals but varied experiences in search of the unexpected, to reconnect withourselves and meaning in our work, to inspire new thinking and energize ourworldview, to raise the bar on what can be done, to rededicate ourselves to taking a leadership approach in our lives.

That’s why we are building TEDMED.

At its core, TEDMED is a celebration of human achievement and the power of connecting the unconnected in creative ways to change our world in health and medicine.

The Story of TEDMED

Founded by the creator of TED, TEDMED is a unique, multi-disciplinary organization and community. Its mission: help health and medicine move forward faster and better by connecting the broadest possible range of people, science and innovations from every country in the world.

In 2011, leadership of TEDMED was assumed by noted U.S. inventor and entrepreneur Jay Walker and a group of allied investors. Named on more than 750 U.S. and international patents, Mr. Walker is the world’s 11th most patented living inventor. His Library of the History of Human Imagination has been acclaimed as one of the world’s great collections of books, manuscripts and artifacts.

Since 2012, TEDMED has staged its annual gathering at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, attended by many of the world’s most important voices in the realm of health. has shared thought-provoking and inspiring talks with millions of people from students to doctors to policymakers and world leaders.

An important new part of TEDMED is The Hive, an innovation showcase and social engagement space unlike any other. Housed in a 40,000 square foot tent at the Kennedy Center, The Hive brings together in one place today’s health leaders with selected innovators, entrepreneurs and creators of scalable new technologies from across health and medicine. The resulting interactive experiences lead to unexpected connections and life-changing conversations.

In 2014, TEDMED announced that its annual gathering will become a live, simultaneous global event for one week each year in 7 cities worldwide. Along with leading institutions in academic medical research, TEDMED and its community will continue to serve as a catalyst for thought leadership and innovation around the world.

TEDMED will begin this journey by holding its first multi-city event in September of 2014 with a single live TEDMED program at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and simultaneously in the San Francisco Bay Area. This unified event will be held in conjunction with TEDMED’s first medical research institutional partner, the University of California, San Francisco.

Contact Us

Have a question? The answer you seek may be in our FAQs.

  • To apply for TEDMEDLive, please click here.
  • To apply for the event, please
  • To apply for a press pass, please click here.
  • To find out more about our Front Line Scholarship program, click here.
  • To nominate a speaker, click here.

Still need help? Fill out our quick form and we’ll get back to you within three business days.

For General Inquiries

The Library of the History of Human Imagination

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.

Tour the Library

View Photo Gallery | Talks from TEDMED 2012 | Talks from TEDMED 2010

A visit to the Walker Library of the History of Human Imagination is a celebration of human invention. The Library contains some 20,000 volumes and hundreds of museum-level books, manuscripts, maps and artifacts. These precious objects are housed in a unique setting that is itself a work of art. The architecture of the vast room was inspired by the mind-bending designs of artist M.C. Escher; it features multilevel tiers, "floating" platforms, connecting stairways, a glass bridge, illuminated glass panels, dynamic lighting, and specially commissioned art and music.