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Anonymous Speech Is More Important Than Ever. TED Proves It

• by Eric Petersen

That's the theory behind a new creative initiative from TED—and its significance can't be overstated.

TED is of course most famous for its TED Talks, which usually host accomplished speakers such as Bill Gates, Billy Graham, or Nobel Prize winners from various fields; the conference's videos have more than a billion combined views. Now, after 26 years, the organization has a new project that turns its speaker tradition on its head: TED is teaming with Audible, the podcasts and audiobook company, to produce audio content for TED. The twist: The presenter will be completely anonymous.
As TED President Chris Anderson wrote in his Medium post about this new project, "What matters is only what can be shared: an idea that matters." Explaining further why some might choose to anonymously share their ideas, he asked: "How many people have an important message but refrain from 'going public' out of fear of losing their jobs or hurting loved ones? How many ideas worth spreading remain hidden because some speakers simply can't publicly be associated with the very thing the world needs to hear?"

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