This is the third year of TED Prizes, and perhaps the most spirited yet.
Each winner receives $100,000 to be put towards working with the TED community to establish a single wish that can make a change in the world.
- James Nachtwey, Photojournalist.
The most stunning images one can imagine in two dimensions must include those taken over the last quarter decade by James Nachtwey. His pictures of war, conflict and social strife since 1981 are not easy - far from easy - to view. But they are critically important.
Nachtwey has during his career as a freelance journalist reported from Northern Ireland, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatamala, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, Israel, Indonesia, Thailand, India Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, South Africa, Russia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kosovo, Romania, Brazil, and the United States.
His wish is for help for an un-disclosed "vital story that needs to be told," and to help device an innovative and exciting way to use news photography in the digital era to illustrate that story.
- Harvard Biology Professor E.O. Wilson presented his wish for a means for creating "an encyclopedia of life" seeking to make all information about life on earth, noting that only about 15% of a projected 1.5 million species on earth have even been identified. "It can inspire a new generation of biologists to continue the quest that started for me, personally, 60 years ago.
- Former President Bill Clinton noted that people who are not in office have more opportunity to make changes than ever before - and not just the hyper-wealthy, but also mass groups now able to organize using the Internet and electronic communications. The Tsnami response from the United States elicited contributions from 30% of U.S. households, with an average donation of $57, he noted.
Clinton's wish is for TED to help build a nationwide healthcare system in Rwanda as an example of a replicable system that could be introducted to other economically poor countries as well. "We have a chance to prove that a country that almost slaughter itself out of assistance," can build a sustainable, high quality rural health system for the whole country, where per capita income is less than a dollar a day.
Last year's winners:
- Larry Brilliant, who was named head of Google's philanthropic arm on the eve of last year's TED, whose wish was fulfilled with the creation of the NGO dubbed INSTEDD as an early detection, rapid response network for threats to humanity such as pandamic and a variety of disasters.
- Cameron Sinclair, whose wish was completed earlier in the day when his web site for architectural collaboration went live, and immediately attracted attention from thousands of architects, with dozens posting projects already within hours of the site going up.
- Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim is in the process of establishing a round-the-world film event, Pangea, for May 2008 in which the global community is welcomed to participate in a public film festival at major sites around the world. The Sapling Foundation, which owns TED, has provided additional support.