Call for Submission: TED Global Idea Search 2021

TED Global Idea Search is now open for fall 2021. TED is hosting two global idea searches in 2021 with a mission: to hear big, bold ideas from every corner of the world. TED is looking for ideas that are new, unique, and can offer an insight or a new way of thinking to a very large audience.

A TED Talk usually has a topic and an idea. A topic is a high level — the general direction you want to take the talk. Topic example: We need to fix the opioid crisis.

An idea is a specific angle that stems from the topic — a unique message, solution, or insight that only you can share.
Idea example: In the opioid crisis, here’s what it takes to save a life.

Before you submit your application, check your idea against this list — does it check a few of these boxes?

  • Does your idea worth spreading offer the audience a unique insight?
  • Will your audience learn something brand new? Something they’ve never heard before?
  • Will your audience learn about a new solution to a problem?
  • TED is not a platform for product pitches. Do you feel confident that your idea is not a product pitch?
  • Did you check TED’s massive library? Are you sure we don’t already have a talk about your idea?

What to avoid
Only in rare circumstances do they invite people to speak about a very personal experience or a personal philosophy. Here are some examples of ideas that they would likely not consider:

  • How I learned to speak my truth and be my authentic self.
  • How to conquer your fears and achieve your dreams.
  • Find your passion through unleashing your creativity.
  • I had a rare experience and it taught me to face my fear.
  • Find happiness using the L.U.V. method: Light, Universe, Vulnerability.
  • I travelled to India and it changed my perspective on the stock market, even though I’m not a banker.

Applicants are required to create a 2-minute video as a part of their submission. If selected for round 2, you’ll be invited to a virtual event where you’ll talk more about your idea and participate in a Q&A with members of the TED community. Winners will be invited to give a TED Talk, either virtually or in person.


Winners will be invited to give a TED Talk, either virtually or in person.


  • Open to any individuals who want to share an idea that is unique, fresh, and can offer different perspectives to a very large audience.
  • Applicants can come from all around the world.
Eligible Regions: Open for All