It has been at least 7 years since I met TED and our relationship has altered my life—in a good way. TED is not a person, although TED is composed of people.
The three initials—TED—stand for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. “[Born in 1984] the first TED included a demo of the compact disc, the e-book and cutting-edge 3D graphics from Lucasfilm, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines using his developing theory of fractal geometry.” 
The TED conference became an invitation-only gathering place for writers, scientists, filmmakers, religious and business leaders to share ideas. Geek Fest? Harsh words, indeed.
In 2001 the nonprofit Sapling Foundation acquired TED and Chris Anderson became the curator. By 2006 the first six talks were posted online and the following year saw a revamp of the website and more videos were posted.
From 2008 to the present day, TED has launched events and conferences world-wide and by 2012 the online videos surpassed 1 billion views. Even though the TED conferences are no longer invitation-only affairs, the price of a ticket is in the thousands of dollars.
The good news for the working-man is that the videos are free. I signed up for weekly notifications and enjoy watching individual videos, or Playlists, at my convenience. With a little bit of work I have been able to sync my TED videos with my Apple TV and watch them on the flatscreen TV in the comfort of our living room.
It is a great time to be alive, and to be inspired and educated by people from around the world. If you would like to explore TED a bit more, I have included some links to a few sample Playlists after the following video.
Listen to Ron Gutman explain the hidden power of smiling
Source:  The History of TED