TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. The TED conference is a yearly event where the world's leading thinkers come together in an immersive environment to share more than fifty talks over the course of four days, cross-fertilizing their thinking and inspiring attendees. From the pod casts I've seen of the talks (available for free on the web at http://www.ted.com/) it is truly a magic environment.
Although it's an invitation only event (but still non-profit), and is prohibitively expensive for the average Jane, it's expanded to sister conferences and has reached the people through it's on-line presence. The feel of the organization is not exclusive, but inclusive and community building. Global community building. Interconnection of the world. Check out the website and start to watch some of the extraordinary videos. We all need some inspiration.
Charlie Rose recently interviewed the current curator of the conference, Chris Anderson, who said that in a world where we fear that globalization is a force that is "dumbing down" the population, this global, almost viral phenomenon centered around the excitement of thinking, innovation, connectedness and new ideas is disproving that. It instead creates hope.
Here's the four minute documentary "A Taste of TED" that should give you a feel for the phenomenon. I hope you get a chance to watch some of the pod casts and find inspiration where you can. I know I need some.