Post-Event Recap: Iconic TED Conference Celebrates 40 Years

May 17, 2024

Since the TED conference was launched by Founder Richard Wurman in 1984, it’s estimated that TED Talks have been seen or listened to more than 30 billion times, according to Head of TED Chris Anderson. 

Over the last 40 years, business leaders, politicians, celebrities and musicians have been compelled to the TED stage.

For the first half of its existence, the annual conference brought together a few hundred people every year to think about Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) and all that connected them, said Anderson in a blog

Just under 20 years ago, online video gave the organizers the chance to start sharing that inspiration more broadly. TED Talks are now available online for free.  


“I think that helped create TED's virality,” said Anderson during an interview with TED Chief Program and Strategy Officer Monique Ruff-Bell, who oversees TED’s flagship global events and conferences, TEDx programs and initiatives, global brand partnership sales and key marketing verticals. 

Watch “Ideas change everything — and what's next for TED,” a conversation with Anderson and Ruff-Bell. 

Held April 15-19 at the Vancouver Convention Centre in British Columbia, Canada, TED2024 attracted about 1,800 attendees who participated in the event’s 40th anniversary with talks, discovery sessions, excursions, dinners, performances and more celebrating this year’s theme, “The Brave and the Brilliant.” 

Event organizers transformed a wing at the venue into the TED Theater: a custom-made, hand-built, 1,200-seat theater that played host to world-changing ideas meant to spark conversation, deepen understanding and drive meaningful change. View a photo gallery of the TED Theater here.


This year’s speakers included Peacemakers Aziz Abu Sarah and Maoz Inon; DeepMind cofounder Demis Hassabis; Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the president of Tompkins Conservation and the former CEO of Patagonia; drag superstar RuPaul Charles; multimedia show director Willie Williams; and Angus Hervey, founder of Fix The News — to name a few.

Strategic partners for TED2024 included PwC, Adobe, Schneider Electric and Northwestern Mutual.

Watch a video of the TED2024 celebration party here.

Want to know more? Check out TED’s live coverage of the conference and watch TED Talks from TED2024. Read daily recaps of the event via TED’s Spark newsletter on LinkedIn.


Don’t miss any event-related news: Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter HERE, listen to our latest podcast HERE and engage with us on LinkedIn!

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