The founders of a better future

In a complicated world, it’s easy to believe that the future is out of our hands. But there are some who understand that the future doesn’t just happen — it’s made. These are the TED Fellows: optimists, activists, artists, inventors, and dreamers.

The TED Fellows program provides opportunities to early stage innovators working across multiple disciplines in over a hundred countries. Individually and together, our 500+ Fellows are sparking future-shaping change in

Health + medicine
Climate solutions
Economic inequality
Human rights
Arts + culture
200M people directly impacted annually by TED Fellows work

Our purpose

What it takes to change the world

It takes a special kind of person to take on the world’s most challenging problems. A person of exceptional courage, and strength of character. A person whose ideas have already accomplished a lot of good on a limited scale— and are capable of seismic change on a grander scale.

Every year, a handful of such rising stars are welcomed into the TED Fellows community. Though few in number, their work directly impacts the lives of over 200 million people each year.

TED created the TED Fellows program to help these extraordinary individuals catapult their world-changing ideas to the next level.

Our Process

Great ideas deserve all the help they can get — and all the help we can give

The TED Fellows program is one of a kind. We don’t just spotlight remarkable thinkers and doers; we help them sharpen their skills, build their networks, expand their impact, and find kinship within a tight-knit global community of world-class innovators. We do this through three broad types of support.

We prepare Fellows with tools and training

  1. Strategic communications training
  2. Professional development workshops
  3. One-on-one staff consultations
  4. Career coaching and mentoring
  5. 80% of Fellows credit some of their success to the support they’ve received from the TED Fellows program

We amplify Fellows with exposure and content

  1. 86% experience a “TED Bump” in attention and impact after being associated with the program
  2. TED Talks viewed by a global audience
  3. Year-round opportunities for network building
  4. Professional-quality video content creation
  5. Support for growing social media influence
  6. Engagement at TED Conferences and events

We connect Fellows with community and industry

  1. Fellows report that acceptance into the program made a difference in their self-confidence, sense of belonging, and other emotional needs
  2. Full-time commitment to community-building among 500+ Fellows worldwide
  3. Introductions to industry experts, policymakers, and business leaders at TED events
  4. Year-long opportunities to meet future collaborators and potential sponsors

In over 100 countries, TED Fellows are making a meaningful difference in millions of lives

About This Project

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Essam Daod

Psychiatrist Essam Daod's organization Humanity Crew provides psychological aid to refugees and recently displaced populations. Photo by Laurence Geai.

Kotchakorn Voraakhom

Chulalongkorn Centennial Park in Bangkok, Thailand. The park, designed by landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom, helps fortify the city against climate change. Its unique inclined structure drains runoff water through a series of green roofs, rain gardens and constructed wetlands into a retention pond.

Michele Koppes

Glaciologist Michele Koppes travels to some of the coldest places on Earth to measure how ice and landscapes are changing in response to warming climate and oceans, as well as how these changes affect natural hazards and water resources.

Kiana Hayeri

In her project Single Mothers, documentary photographer Kiana Hayeri takes a rare, intimate look at the lives of families in Afghanistan. Here, two children hang a portrait of their father on the wall.

Jorge Mañes Rubio

As part of the European Space Agency’s proposed Moon Village — a concept for an inclusive human outpost on the moon — artist Jorge Mañes Rubio imagines a temple to celebrate the moon as a powerful symbol of unity for humankind. Pictured here, the Moon Temple and its main entrance are located on the rim of Shackleton Crater on the south pole of the moon.

Meet the Fellows

Every year, thousands of people doing innovative work around the world seek the distinction of being named a TED Fellow—yet only a handful are selected. Allow us to introduce you to them, and to their ideas we find so inspiring.

TED Fellows impact at a glance

Change that gets noticed


200M people impacted by Fellows work annually


451M TED Talk views


2,234 articles published by/about Fellows per year


1,303 speaking engagements each year


234 businesses launched

The groundbreaking work of a TED Fellow does not stay in the shadows. Each year we study the impact Fellows have on their respective fields, as measured by tangible forms of recognition. Here are some highlights from the past few years.

Our purpose

What makes a TED Fellow?

TED Fellows are some of the brightest, most ambitious thinkers, future-shapers and culture-shakers from nearly every discipline and corner of the world.

Whether it’s discovering new galaxies, leading social movements or making waves in environmental conservation, with the support of TED, Fellows are dedicated to making the world a better place through their innovative work. In 2024 the program will shift to a nomination-based application process.

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