Since 2010, I've had the remarkable opportunity to serve as Design Coach for the TED Fellows.
The program provides transformational support to a global community of over 470+ brilliant individuals who are invited to attend a TED conference, where they give their own TED Talk – an unprecedented opportunity to disseminate their unique ideas to the world.
Jedidah Isler, Astrophysicist, TED2015
Helping a new fellow prepare for her or his first TED Talk takes months of combined and dedicated effort (each class has 20 Fellows + 10 newly minted Senior Fellows) on behalf of the entire TED Fellows team. Every Fellow is guided through the same process as TED's main stage speakers–to build out their idea, personalize their story, edit multiple script drafts, source (more difficult than you might think) and/or create (even more difficult) visuals that are relevant, original, and resonate with the audience. The final weeks before the conference are spent tweaking images, organizing permissions, meticulously crafting slides, helping the Fellow mentally prep, and finally–hours of run-throughs and rehearsals.
Christopher Bahl, Protein Designer & Molecular Engineer, TED2019
Rola Hallam, Anaesthesiologist & Founder of Hand in Hand for Syria, TED2018
Patience Mthunzi, Laser Scientist & Inventor, TED2015
Abdigani Diriye, Computer Scientist, IBM Inclusive Financial Services, TEDGlobal 2017
Mennat El Ghalid, Mycologist & Molecular Geneticist, TEDGlobal 2017
With the program's dedicated support, Fellows have been able to connect with global leaders, business partners, collaborators, and mentors; they have raised millions of dollars in funding and started world-changing ventures.
It's been worth every moment.