February 2nd, 2011
08:46 AM ET

TEDMED: A meeting of minds

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert couldn't attend TEDMED this year, but the conference did benefit from the wit and expertise of its own hosts: Marc Hodosh and Richard Saul Wurman. Colbert talks about some of the 2010 highlights, including the results of Ozzy Osborne's genome mapping and David Blaine's magic tricks.

Hodosh moved to Boston, Massachusetts, originally to attend medical school, but didn't pursue that as a career. Instead, he started consumer products companies, selling to places like QVC and Toys R Us. And while he was leading the Archon Genomics X PRIZE, a challenge to create better ways of sequencing genomes, Wurman approached him about relaunching TEDMED, which hadn't taken place since 2004.

Wurman, an architect and the author of more than 80 books, created and chaired the TED conferences from 1984 to 2002. TED stands for "Technology, Entertainment, Design," and it aims to bring together the world's most fascinating "thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes)." These include inventors, scientists, physicians, entertainers and fashion designers. TEDMED, which focuses more on health, is a spin-off.

The two innovators took about one-and-a-half years of planning to start TEDMED 2009, which they envisioned as a "cross-pollination of leaders" - in other words, a place where amazing people can meet and start collaborations. This event took place in October 2009 in Coronado, California

"We really look for people who have something novel to talk about. Someone who can share a story or idea they haven’t shared before," Hodosh said. "We look for connections that people might not always think about."

In the coming weeks, CNN will be pairing videos of speeches from TEDMED 2010 with interviews with the speakers about their passions and goals.

Speakers aren't necessarily doctors, but have some connection to health - even if its their own. In 2009, magician David Blaine shared the story of how he broke the world record for holding one's breath, cracking the 17-minute mark through rigorous training.

The conference organizers typically have an understanding of what the speakers will talk about, and they don't like PowerPoint presentations with a lot of text.

"It’s more about telling a story in the right way, and we certainly will coach and work with presenters," Hodosh said.

Some of Hodosh's favorite moments from 2010 included opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick's performance of an aria, followed by her moving story of having a double-lung transplant. The same night, Dr. Shaf Keshavjee brought a breathing pig lung on stage for audience members to observe and even touch.

The most powerful moments of TEDMED don't necessarily happen in the lecture hall, Hodosh said. And the audience is just as distinguished as the speakers - Martha Stewart, AOL founder Steve Case, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak were among those who were just there to listen to the talks in October.

Those unique  TEDMED moments  can be  sitting around a fire pit on the beach, or taking an elevator together, or snacking on organic cereal between talks. That's when researchers and thinkers from disparate fields meet one another and realize they can collaborate in meaningful ways beyond the conference.

Because of TEDMED 2009, Greg Lucier and Dr. Eric Topol decided to collaborate to establish the College of Genomic Medicine at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California, which is slated to open this year. Topol is the director of Scripps Translational Science Institute, and Lucier is CEO of the gene-sequencing equipment company Life Technologies.

TEDMED 2009 is also where the idea to sequence Ozzy Osbourne's genome took root. Results were presented at TEDMED 2010, with Ozzy and wife Sharon Osbourne on stage talking about the process.

As for TEDMED 2011, Hodosh promises mysteriously that the conference will "really grow in a number of ways, and I don’t mean people per se."

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Thomas in Vancouver

    While the article was informative, I feel a bit of the old "Bait & Switch" with the promise of Stephen Colbert in the headline.

    February 2, 2011 at 09:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Thomas in Vancouver

    Is it just me? Am I cursed? Why won't the video play?

    February 2, 2011 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • r

      Did you try again? And it's your computer or connection that may be giving you trouble. You aren't cursed. Unless, of course, you are.

      February 2, 2011 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
  3. Tina

    The cost to register for TEDMED 2011 is $4,000. Not transfers, no cancellations.

    Congratulations to the TED folk for creating another organization that seeks to "help" the world while simultaneously excluding anyone who is not wealthy.

    February 3, 2011 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. sildenafil price uk

    sildenafil tablet brand name https://eunicesildenafilcitrate.com/ canada rx sildenafil

    April 13, 2021 at 06:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. tadalafil gel

    tadalafil pills https://elitadalafill.com/ 40 mg tadalafil

    April 15, 2021 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. download game live22

    What i do not realize is if truth be told how you are not really a lot more
    well-liked than you might be right now. You are so intelligent.
    You realize therefore considerably on the subject of
    this matter, made me in my opinion consider it from
    so many various angles. Its like women and men don't seem to be fascinated unless it is one thing to do with Lady gaga!
    Your own stuffs great. All the time deal with it up!

    Here is my page :: download game live22

    April 25, 2021 at 00:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. vardenafil teva pharmaceutical

    purchase vardenafil online https://vegavardenafil.com/ does canada sell generic vardenafil

    April 25, 2021 at 05:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. trimix v alprostadil

    alprostadil urethral suppository otc https://alprostadildrugs.com/ c-alprostadil

    April 26, 2021 at 05:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. live22 casino

    You will have too exercise which system is best you. You
    were able to increase your account 20% every period.
    Get an idea of what all the forex terms are and do
    a golf course.

    My web blog :: live22 casino

    April 26, 2021 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. herbal erection pills

    causes of erectile dysfunction https://canadaerectiledysfunctionpills.com/ bladder cancer erectile beefs function

    April 29, 2021 at 22:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. avanafil

    avana canada avanafil dosing

    May 1, 2021 at 04:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. priligy

    priligy usa buy avanafil uk

    May 8, 2021 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. aralen phosphate chloroquine phosphate

    chloroquine phosphate medicine https://chloroquineorigin.com/ clorquine

    May 9, 2021 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. brimonidine

    combigan cost brimonidine side effects

    May 15, 2021 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. download live22 mobile service android

    No matter if some one searches for his necessary
    thing, thus he/she needs to be available that in detail,
    so that thing is maintained over here.

    Also visit my page – download live22 mobile service android

    May 15, 2021 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. live22 apk

    You can ask people you recognize for references to the best attorney.
    His roving eyes keep following them the actual evening,
    although he never flirts together. 3)Learn liposuction costs with focus and strength.

    My blog – live22 apk

    May 21, 2021 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. brimonidine

    brimonidine tartrate 2% combigan generic

    May 24, 2021 at 17:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Soosteemocush

    tadalafil generic https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – cost tadalafil generic tadalafil generic where to buy tadalafil side effects https://tadalafilol.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cyclosporine

    cyclomune cyclosporine pharmacology

    May 25, 2021 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Soosteemocush

    prescription tadalafil online cost of cialis prescription tadalafil online https://tadacipetadalafil.com/

    May 26, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. live22 apk

    Simply desire to say your article is as amazing. The clearness in your put up is just excellent and that i can suppose you're an expert
    in this subject. Fine together with your permission let
    me to grasp your RSS feed to keep updated with impending post.

    Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

    Take a look at my web-site live22 apk

    June 6, 2021 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. pharmacepticacom

    dolquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 20:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. www.pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil 50 mg tablet price in india https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. www.pharmaceptica.com

    who produces hydroxychloroquine win https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 28, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. livechat live22

    I have read several excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much effort you put to create this
    sort of great informative web site.

    Also visit my blog: livechat live22

    June 28, 2021 at 19:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. www.pharmaceptica.com

    hydroxycloraquin https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 30, 2021 at 03:20 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.