Apply for TED Global Idea Search 2021

Apply for TED Global Idea Search 2021

Deadline: January 21, 2021

Applications are open for the TED Global Idea Search 2021. TED is hosting two global idea searches in 2021 with a mission: to hear big, bold ideas from every corner of the world. A select group of people from each application pool will be invited to give TED Talks, either virtually or in person.

They are looking for ideas worth spreading — that’s their mission! So… What does that mean? They’re 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 the 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.


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


  • Open to individuals with ideas that are new, unique, and can offer an insight or a new way of thinking to a very large audience.
  • Applicants may be from any country around the world.

Video Setup

Applicants are required to create a 2-minute video as a part of their submission.

  • Film yourself using good lighting angled towards your face rather than coming from behind you.
  • Use a stable camera oriented in horizontal framing (this does not need to be a professional camera — it can be a computer or phone camera), set to the highest resolution. (On most phones, the resolution you want to use is 4k, 1080.)
  • Make sure your sound is clear and audible (avoid filming outside, and prevent objects from rubbing on the microphone).
  • Your combined answers to the four questions should not exceed two minutes. A good way to plan for two minutes is to write out a script that is around 280-300 words.
  • When you are done, upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo and title the video, “your name – TED Global Idea Search”. Make sure the video is listed as “public” or “unlisted” so that we won’t need a password to view it.

Questions you’ll need to answer in your video

  • Question 1. Who are you and what are your credentials?
  • Question 2. What is the idea you want to share?
  • Question 3. What insights will you leave the audience with?
  • Question 4. Why should we invite you to give a TED Talk?


The deadline for the video submissions is January, 21, 2021 (11:59pm EST).

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.

Click here to apply

For more information, visit TED Global Idea Search.