Every year in Vancouver, world-renowned thinkers, artists and storytellers gather to share ‘ideas worth spreading’ at the annual flagship TED Conference. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and the topics covered in the famously fast-paced TED talks are always widely diverse and wildly interesting.
This year we are delighted to screen the first evening of TED 2016: Dream, hosted by TED curator Chris Anderson, live in our cinemas on Tuesday 16 February. In anticipation, we’ve compiled a brief introduction to six of the thinkers, creators and pioneers who will present their groundbreaking ideas.
Teller and his wife, Dr Danielle Teller, spoke at TEDxBoston in 2014 to present the ideas in their book, Sacred Cows: The Truth About Divorce And Marriage, a fresh and surprising take on cultural assumptions about marriage and divorce.
Scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini is scientific advisor and co-founder of start-up accelerator The HUB Trieste and co-director of the Quantum ESPRESSO Foundation, a non-profit supporting the design and dissemination of open-source software.
Sabatini is also the project manager of FoodCAST, a research project that analyses the complex issues surrounding agro-food markets and the future of nutrition. He spoke at TEDxLakeComo in 2014 about complexity smart data and global food concerns.
Often called ‘the Mozart of Madras’, Indian composer, musician and singer-songwriter A. R. Rahman is one of the world’s all-time bestselling recording artists, and is widely recognised for redefining modern Indian music.
Rahman is known in the film industry for his versatility in combining classical Western and traditional Eastern music with jazz, reggae and rock music styles. His hugely influential first soundtrack, Roja (1992), was listed as one of Time‘s 10 best soundtracks of all time, and his work on Slumdog Millionaire (2009) earned him two Academy Awards, two Grammys, a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.
Described as ‘the world’s most prolific and popular composer’, Rahman was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2009. He discussed his art and inspirations at a fireside chat at Google HQ in 2015.
‘Queen of television’ Shonda Rhimes is the creator and show-runner of medical drama and cultural phenomenon Grey’s Anatomy (2005 –), as well as the acclaimed political thriller series Scandal (2012 –). She is also the executive producer of ABC’s award-winning series How to Get Away With Murder (2014 –).
Rhimes and her production company, Shondaland, have been credited with changing the face of television – literally – by producing some of the most diverse shows on air.
Rhimes was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2013. Her new book, Year Of Yes: How To Dance It Out, Stand In The Sun And Be Your Own Person, is an inspiring personal memoir about overcoming social anxiety.
Prime Minister of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay is the leader and co-founder of the People’s Democratic Party, Bhutan’s first registered political party. A lifelong civil servant, Tobgay was elected to the Bhutanese parliament in the first national parliamentary elections of 2008, after the King of Bhutan voluntarily relinquished his absolute power to make way for democracy.
Tobgay’s policies have focused on youth employment, corruption and national debt, and he has criticised the Gross National Happiness paradigm for distracting from material issues. In 2012, Tobgay delivered an address at TedxThimphu in which he discussed the importance of security, identity and purpose for personal and national happiness.
Co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, for which he has choreographed more than 140 works, legendary dancer and choreographer Bill T. Jones has worked with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, AXIS Dance Company, Boston Ballet, Lyon Opera Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet and many others.
Influenced by ballet, as well as African and American modern dance styles, Jones’s works often contain political themes or address issues of race and sexuality. One of his most famous pieces, Still/Here, is inspired by, and contains, interviews with people facing life-threatening illnesses.
Among his numerous accolades, he has received a National Medal of Arts and two Tony Awards for his work on Spring Awakening (2007) and Fela! (2010). He recently improvised a collaborative piece called The Red Circle and the Blue Curtain live at TED 2015.
Tickets for TED 2016 are available online.