TED Fellows Program

The TED Fellows program provides transformational support to a global community of over 470+ remarkable individuals who are collaborating across disciplines to spark positive change around the world. 

How it works

Every year, through a rigorous open application process, TED selects a group of rising stars to be TED Fellows. We choose Fellows based on remarkable achievement, their strength of character and on their innovative approach to solving the world’s tough problems. Fellows are invited to attend a TED conference, where they meet, exchange ideas and connect with the larger TED community. They also give their own TED Talk – an unprecedented opportunity to disseminate their unique ideas to the world.

Program resources

Once selected, Fellows receive transformational support. Fellows participate in professional coaching and mentoring and work with a public relations expert dedicated to sharing their latest projects with the world. TED Fellows participate in an active online network and attend regional meet-ups and retreats for an explosion of conversation and ideas. All TED Fellows also have the opportunity to apply for a Senior Fellowship and grow their leadership in the Fellows community.

The results

After joining the network, TED Fellows report increased clarity of mission and improved self-confidence. Access to the TED community enables Fellows to connect with global leaders who become business partners, collaborators, funders and mentors. With the program’s support, TED Fellows have received millions of dollars in funding, been awarded prestigious prizes and grants, started speaking professionally and been published widely. TED Fellows join the vibrant Fellows community, sparking cross-disciplinary collaborations and ventures. Most significantly, the program has helped the Fellows to expand and intensify the impact of their remarkable ideas and projects, often preserving some of the most important places on the planet and enhancing conditions for people around the world.

Who should apply

We look for different applicants than many other leadership-oriented programs. Instead of business people, professionals, policy wonks and government officials, the TED Fellows program focuses on doers, makers, inventors, advocates, filmmakers and photographers, musicians and artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, NGO heads, and human rights activists.

In addition to impressive accomplishment, fine character and a good heart are also important traits we look for in TED Fellows. More than anything, this focus on character has defined the success of the TED Fellows program.

The selection process

TED Fellows are selected by the program staff, with extensive reference checking and consultation with experts across all fields. Selections are made by the group as a whole, not by individuals.

There is no algorithm for how we select our TED Fellows. We select Fellows based on their accomplishments in their respective fields, the potential impact of their work and also their character. The ideal applicant is multidisciplinary in their pursuits and is at a moment in their career to maximize the support of the TED community.


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