TED Fellows comes to Nairobi in search of new Visionaries

The TED Fellows team has completed a tour of the region with the announcement of the opening of its application process for the 2017 TEDGlobal Fellowship during a cocktail and networking event at the iHub in Nairobi.

Ten years on, TEDGlobal will return to Africa next year with the highly anticipated annual TEDGlobal conference taking place in Arusha, Tanzania, from August 27 – August 30, 2017. All successful applicants to the Fellowship program will attend the conference and be plugged into a cross-disciplinary network of activists, researchers, entrepreneurs and artists. They will also be given the opportunity to deliver a TED talk, marking an unparalleled opportunity to spread their work as well as inspire, empower and impact others across the globe.

Lisa, Ben, and Kai

Speaking at the application launch event in Nairobi, the TED Fellow Deputy Director, Shoham Arad commented, “We are truly excited to be returning back to the continent on our 10 year anniversary and just take stock of the history has been made over the past decade. In 2007, we were focused on ‘Planting Seeds’, and the ideas and connections forged then have had a huge impact. This year we will be mapping and imagining new directions, showcasing the brave and the bold, the makers and creators, pioneers and builders, the advocates and activists.”

Speaking on how the TED team selects their Fellows and what it means to join this community, she went on to say, “TED is a non-profit with a mission to be a platform of ideas worth spreading. The TED Fellows program is for the idea makers and story tellers. Through a careful curated process, we review thousands of applications every year and only take 20 people. These 20 Fellows are truly remarkable people doing remarkable things. We’re there to support them and make sure that their work gets the amplification it deserves and that is out into the world as soon as possible.”


Erik Hersman, one of the pioneer Fellows and CEO of BRCK and co-founder of the iHub, explained how important the program has been for him and his career, “When I became a Fellow in 2007 and attended the first conference in Arusha, Tanzania, I was fortunate enough to meet people that I eventually went into business with. These are the same people I started the company Ushahidi, the iHub and BRCK with. This is just testament to the network of people you are exposed to at TED and how the network enables you to stay in contact over a long period of time. In 2007, 100 Fellows were brought together, and to this day, those are some of the most interesting people from across the continent.”


Twice a year, the TED Fellows program opens applications to find a new class of extraordinary thinkers and doers, encouraging anyone over 18 years old to apply. The TED Fellows program brings together young innovators from around the world and across disciplines, who display both outstanding achievement and exemplary character, to ignite their careers. The program offers Fellows full participation in the TED or TEDGlobal Conference, a two-day pre-conference of workshops and activities, a biannual Fellows Retreat, ongoing professional coaching and mentoring through the SupporTED program, dedicated PR coaching and active participation in the TED community, including the global TED Fellows network. Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program now includes 397 Fellows from 87 countries.

For more information:  http://www.ted.com/participate/ted-fellows-program/apply-to-be-a-ted-fellow.


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