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23 FEB 1984: The Beginning of Something Wonderful...

Visions and Voices

Thirty years ago, Richard Saul Wurman observed the convergence of technology, entertainment and design and brought them together to create TED. Join us as Wurman shares stories about TED’s creation and illuminates the role of innovation in moving civilization forward. 

Thirty years ago, on the 23rd of February, 1984, something special happened. Richard Saul Wurman observed the convergence of the technology business, the entertainment industry and the design profession, and brought them together to create TED. The years from 1984 to 2002 have been named “the early years”—Wurman’s Dinner Party. 
The focus of the TED convergence was usually one conference a year in Monterey, California. It was held once in New York; once in Kobe; once in Toronto—but TED was basically Monterey, basically California, basically Silicon Valley.
Richard Saul Wurman will join us and tell stories of TED’s creation, sharing some of the incredible moments that are not popularly known. This cross-disciplinary dialogue will illuminate the critical role innovation plays in moving civilization forward. We welcome friends who joined Wurman’s Dinner Party between 1984 and 2002—and everyone else who wants to join in this very special reunion and conversation!
About Richard Saul WurmanDescribed by Fortune magazine as an “intellectual hedonist” with a “hummingbird mind,” Richard Saul Wurman seeks ways to make the complex clear. He has continually put himself in the presence of extraordinary people, including (all now all deceased), in the sciences Francis Crick, Richard Feynman and Jonas Salk; in the arts Eva Zeisel, Louis I. Kahn and Charles Eames; in communications Steve Jobs and Frank Stanton; in history and archaeology Schuyler van Renssalaer Cammann and Arnold Toynbee. 
Wurman has had many lives: as an author (83 books); FAIA architect, 13-year partner in Murphy Levy Wurman Architects; cartographer (mapped 1/3 of the Mayan city of Tikal and current project 19.20.21.); teacher (Cambridge University, England; Princeton; Washington University, St. Louis; University of Southern California; UCLA; City College of New York; and Dean, Cal Poly School of Design); urban designer (recipient of MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award in Urban Design); graphic designer (AIGA Gold Medal, membership in AGI and inducted into the Art Directors Hall of Fame); information theorist (Information AnxietyFollow the Yellow Brick Road); in medicine (six books and creator of TEDMED); and as a conference convener. The path of this journey has been paved by one surface: his curiosity.
Wurman created the TED conference in 1984, which he chaired through the 2002 meeting. TED brings together many of America’s clearest thinkers in the fields of technology, entertainment and design. He created the eg conference in 2006 and the TEDMED conference in 1995, which he chaired through 2010. Wurman continues to quell his restless intellect with a series of new projects, including the WWW Conference, an active gathering of some of the brightest thinkers of our time discussing the complexity of emerging patterns on our planet in improvised conversation and intellectual jazz. 
Organized by the USC Political Student Assembly and Mina Chow (USC School of Architecture). Co-sponsored by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative and USC Spectrum.