TED is hosting a new idea search with a mission to hear big, bold ideas -- this time specifically from the Arabic-speaking world. Applications are open to anyone able to share their idea in fluent Arabic.

WhyTEDinArabic?

TED is committed to a global mindset. We seek to source ideas from everywhere and to make them widely and freely accessible. Powerful ideas, expressed and distributed with care, can bring different groups together and create a shared vision of a future worth pursuing. It is with that global mindset that we are focusing on different regions and languages of the world for several idea search events.

Tips for success before applying

Your "idea worth spreading"

We're looking for ideas worth spreading — that's our mission! So… What does that mean? We'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.

Topic

A topic is the high level — the general direction you want to take the talk.

Topic: We need to fix the climate crisis in the MENA region

Topic: How to preserve the Arabic identity through language

Topic: The importance of art and storytelling in shaping a country’s identity

Idea

An idea is a specific angle that stems from the topic — a unique message, solution, or insight that only you can share.

Idea: Women and girls, you are part of the solution

Idea: How I’m using LEGO to teach Arabic

Idea: Globalizing the local, localizing the global

Questions to ask yourself about your idea:

To us, an idea worth spreading can mean several things. Before you submit your application, check your idea against this list — does it check a few of these boxes?

  • Does your idea worth spreading offer the audience a unique insight?
  • Will your audience learn something brand new? Something they’ve never heard before?
  • Will your audience learn about a new solution to a problem?
  • TED is not a platform for product pitches. Do you feel confident that your idea is not a product pitch?
  • Did you check our massive library? Are you sure we don’t already have a talk about your idea?

Preparing your video submission

Please make a 2-minute video as a part of your application. You'll find these instructions with more details on the application form as well. 

Language

For those whose dialects are more difficult to understand across the region, please use the “White language” in order to be universally understood. (Arabic “white language” is a blend of MSA and one’s colloquial dialect and accent

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?

Video setup

  • Film yourself using good lighting angled towards your face rather than coming from behind you. Do not use a green screen as your background.
  • 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 4 questions should not exceed 2 minutes. A good way to plan for 2 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 - TEDinArabic Idea Search 2023”. Make sure the video is listed as "public" or "unlisted" so that we won't need a password to view it.

Applications are open to anyone from the Arabic-speaking world. Additionally, applications with videos that exceed two minutes will not be considered. The deadline for submission is October 31, 2022 at 11:59 AST.