Once a year, 1000 people are invited to the TED Conference in Monterey, California, to exchange something of incalculable value: their ideas. What happens there has never been shared until now. TED and BMW today announced they will team up to provide a ground-breaking, free video and audio podcast series of the best talks delivered at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference.

Independent Thinkers and Great Ideas Worth Spreading

"BMW is a natural partner for TED because of their commitment to innovation, their nurturing of great ideas, and their history of supporting ground-breaking uses of new media. We’re delighted that they’re supporting this project," said Chris Anderson, Curator of the TED Conference. “At the heart of TED is a belief that ideas can change the world. For years we’ve witnessed powerful, inspiring talks there. They’ve had huge impact on those who’ve heard them. Now, thanks to the take-off of online video and podcasting, we can share them widely for the first time. This is incredibly exciting. Each of these unique voices has the power to inspire, to change someone’s views, or even someone’s life.”

“BMW’s sponsorship of TEDTalks reflects the company’s deep commitment to nurturing great ideas and the independent thinkers behind them,” said Jack Pitney, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “TED and BMW are both independent organizations, and we truly feel that independent thinkers and breakthrough ideas are the most crucial elements in shaping our future.”

“The main focus is to get these powerful ideas out into the world, these are ideas worth spreading,” adds Chris Anderson of TED.

Pitney noted that BMW has a reputation for being an innovator in the areas that define the TED conference themes: Technology, Entertainment and Design. BMW as a leader in sustainable technology is preparing the paradigm shift for a regenerative hydrogen-powered world with its pioneering CleanEnergy program, which helped spark the partnership with TED. When it comes to entertainment, BMW also has a strong record in using podcasts and online videos like the industry-defining internet BMW FILMS to spread ground-breaking ideas. Not surprisingly, this is not the first time that BMW and TED have been affiliated - in 2002, Chris Bangle, the visionary BMW Group Director of Design, was one of the speakers at the conference.

Speakers Who Have the Power to Change the World

TEDTalks premieres on June 27th with six extraordinary speakers: Former US Vice President Al Gore (giving the talk that followed his now-famous presentation on climate change), Macarthur Award recipient Majora Carter, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, New York Times technology columnist David Pogue, education visionary Ken Robinson, and founder of the non-profit Gapminder Hans Rosling.

Additional talks will be released weekly and will feature rock star Peter Gabriel on his work with human-rights group Witness, evolutionary anthropologist Helen Fisher exploring the future of love, X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis making the case for space tourism, “Ashes and Snow” photographer Gregory Colbert unveiling the idea of an Animal Copyright Foundation, Seattle Library architect Joshua Prince-Ramus explaining how great architecture is made, actress Julia Sweeney performing an excerpt from her play, “Letting Go of God,” 28-year-old blogging entrepreneur Mena Trott on the personal side of blogging, and Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell on what we can all learn from spaghetti sauce.

18 Minutes of Technology & Media Leadership – TED and the BMW Group

The talks are perfectly timed at 18 minutes, so speakers deliver pithy presentations with astounding impact. The talks are being distributed across multiple formats to reach the greatest audience possible (Flash Video, QuickTime, MPEG-4 video, MP3 audio, VideoEgg, GoogleVideo, iTunes music store). The audio and video podcasts can also be downloaded for playback on an iPod or other MP3 player. Viewers can also subscribe for free to receive each new TEDTalk, as it is released. In the spirit of a free exchange, these podcasts are being released under a creative commons license, allowing them to be redistributed freely for non-commercial use.

From July onwards, the ever-growing TED community can listen to the audio version of the TEDTalks in every current BMW model, all of which are available with iPod adapters.

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