June Cohen

Director, TED Media

TED's Transition from Conference to Platform
21 minutes, 9.9mb, recorded 2010-05-04
June Cohen

June Cohen, Media Director for TED media, runs through the history of TED. It has grown from a conference, to a media company, to a platform for spreading ideas globally. She has been involved with TED in one way or another since its start in 1984. In 2006 the new owner Chris Anderson, felt the talks deserved a wider audience. He was able to take TED to the internet and offer these talks for free.

The goal was to spread ideas, not to make a brand and sell more tickets. To June's surprise there are now 700 talks on TED. She answers the question "What's causing this viral spread?". Her analysis is most instructive for those wishing to understand how viral messaging works.

Ms. Cohen believes in embracing open models. She shows how this philosophy is working at TED. The struggle with loss of control has led to unintended consequences. The dynamic growth experienced by TED, explains June, is managed through smart scaling.

TED's strategic plan is centered on listening to what people want. June Cohen, a dynamic speaker with a keen mind, shows that the volunteer translation team at TED and their standard of professionalism has encouraged a variety of new programs called TEDx and TED open TV projects. When we stopped imagining ourselves narrowly as a conference, and started aligning ourselves with the spread of ideas, we could remake our audience as team members.

June Cohen is Director of TED Media. She joined the TED staff in 2005, and has been focused on thoughtfully extending the conference in new media directions. She led the development of TEDTalks (the ground-breaking podcast series that launched June 2006). She also produces TED's year-round salons, edits the TEDBlog, and co-produces the conference in Monterey. She first attended TED in 1998, and joined the staff in 2005.


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