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By Chesney Hearst, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last week TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design), a non-profit organization known for global cross-disciplinary talks and the slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading,” announced its plans to hold the 2014 TEDGlobal conference in Rio de Janeiro. It will mark the first time that the conference will be held in South America.

TEDGlobal, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
TEDGlobal main stage, photo by afromusing/Flickr Creative Commons License.

In the previous seven years the TEDGlobal conference has been held in Oxford, England; Arusha, Tanzania; and Edinburgh, Scotland.

“As TED’s international reach has expanded, Latin America has emerged as a clear and exciting next move,” said TEDGlobal Director Bruno Giussani. “Rio is not only a hub of innovation, but presents a rich history and exquisite physical setting.”

The event will take place on October 6-10, 2014 in a yet-to-be-confirmed venue located on the beach of Copacabana with the theme, “South!”

“From the creativity behind the newest architecture to innovative business models that respect the realities of the south … from exuberant art that lives beyond traditional markets to relevant new science, impactful design and social-justice issues … we’ll use the TED lens on issues of interest to not only the Southern half of the world but all of it,” states the program’s description.

The TEDGlobal conferences began in 2005 as a global edition of the annual TEDconferences run by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation. The first TEDconference was created by American architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman and was held in 1984.

It became an annual event in 1990 with a format consisting of guest speakers presenting 18-minute talks that focused mainly on technology and design, points of interest where the conference was held in Silicon Valley, California, United States.

Over the years TED began to host talks that encompassed a wider range of topics. They also added more programs including: the TEDGlobal conferences, TED Fellows, TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize, which consists of a US$1 million dollar investment into an “extraordinary individual with a creative and bold vision to spark global change.”

TED2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes speaking at the TED2012 conference, image recreation.

TED is also known for cultivating the bests talks during the conferences and making them available to view for free on TED.com. Over 1,400 TED Talks are currently available and as of November 2012 the videos have been viewed over a billion times.

Past TED conference speakers have included: Microsoft’s Bill Gates; former U.S. president Bill Clinton; U2 frontman and social activist Bono; architect Frank Gehry; author and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett, founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange and many others.

Current mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes spoke at the TED2012 conference where he presented his talk “The 4 commandments of cities.

There Paes addressed what he sees as the four commandments for making a better city. He stated, “It’s great to be here as a mayor. I really do believe that mayors have the political position to really change people’s lives. That’s the place to be. And it’s great to be here as the mayor of Rio. Rio’s a beautiful city, a vibrant place, special place. Actually, you’re looking at a guy who has the best job in the world.”

“I think it’s great TED is bringing its global conference to Rio next year, I was thrilled to hear as a general fan of TED,” said Theresa Williamson, Executive Director of Catalytic Communities, a non-profit organization based in Rio. “My hope is that they’ll take advantage of this event to present the enormous diversity and creativity inherent in Rio, and to highlight the future visions of the city that are competing for dominance in Rio at the moment.”

Registration for TEDGlobal 2014 will open in October 2013. For more information visit the conference program here.

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