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TEDWomen Conference to Focus On Female-Centered Innovation


TED, the nonprofit known for its conferences promoting "Ideas Worth Spreading," produces conferences—TED, TEDGlobal, the TEDx series—featuring quick, inspiring talks. But too many of TED's speakers are men, which is why the organization is launching TEDWomen, a two-day conference for female presenters and woman-centered ideas (the audience will be mixed).

The first TEDWomen, set to take place in Washington, D.C. on December 7 and 8 of this year, will likely have an impressive array of speakers. The website lists "the physician who discovered the life-saving importance of treating men and women differently," "the women who redesigned their country’s financial system in the wake of near-catastrophe," the anthropologist who traces altruism to the mother-child bond," and "the sports champion who defies convention with her ability and her appearance" as just some of the women making appearances on the TEDWomen stage.

The reason behind the conference, explains the TEDWomen site, is that women are more influential than ever:

Over the last several years, our ideas about women have changed. Investing in women and girls was once seen as a radical notion today, its value is clear.... To track this emerging story, the first-ever TEDWomen will explore in depth: Who are the women who leading change? What ideas are they championing? How are they shaping the future? TEDWomen will also reveal how women and men, in concert with one another, orchestrate different but complementary approaches to ideas worth spreading.

Indeed, our values have changed over the years, and women are shaping the future more than ever. But these changes should be reflected in the TED and TEDGlobal conferences. Do women really need a separate venue to express their ideas? From our vantage point, all of the speakers described on the TEDWomen site could just as easily fit into the regular TED event. Still, we wouldn't turn down an invitation to TEDWomen—and that has to mean something.


A TEDWomen representative has informed us that the conference will feature both male and female speakers. Check out the updated program page here.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.