Chris Anderson Named Recipient of the 2012 Edison Achievement Award

The Edison Awards, acknowledged as a global leader in recognizing innovation, today announced that Chris Anderson, TED Curator and Founder of the Sapling Foundation, will be awarded the prestigious Edison Achievement Award on April 26, 2012, in New York City. This distinction honors innovation leaders and business executives who have had a significant impact and have made a lasting contribution to innovation throughout their careers. The Edison Achievement Award serves as inspiration to future innovators and to the world at large.

Chris Anderson is the curator of the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conferences, held annually in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland, which bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, challenged to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED explores the power of ideas, crowd sourcing and open broadcasting to make a difference in the world.

Born in a remote village in Pakistan, Chris spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his father worked as a missionary eye surgeon. After graduating with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University in 1978, Anderson launched Future Publishing, which ultimately expanded to more than 130 magazines, including Business 2.0. In 2001, he acquired the TED Conference through his non-profit, the Sapling Foundation, created in 1996 with the goal of tackling global issues by leveraging media, technology, entrepreneurship, and most of all, ideas. Under Anderson’s stewardship, the mission of TED became “ideas worth spreading,” and more than 1,000 TED talks have since been released free online to a global audience of millions. Anderson oversaw the introduction of the TED Prize, the TED Fellows Program, the TED open translation program, the TED-ED initiative and the TEDx program, which allows hundreds of independently organized TED-like events to be held around the world.

TED provides a platform for the world’s smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most inspiring teachers and thought leaders who share a desire to help create a better future. Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. “I’m an optimist,” says Anderson. “I really believe that the world is in the process of becoming wiser. Not always obvious, especially in politics, but it is happening.”

“We’re extremely honored that Chris Anderson will be joining the ranks of our extraordinary Edison Achievement Award winners,” said Thomas Stat, Chairman of the Edison Awards Steering Committee and Executive Director of Edison Universe. “His lifelong contributions as an innovation champion, media visionary and global change agent have energized a broader understanding of the world’s greatest challenges and have empowered people to create a better future. Chris’s leadership, passion and impact serve as a living acknowledgement and embodiment of Thomas Edison’s values and principles.”

Past Edison Achievement Award winners include:

  • Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company
  • John S. Hendricks, Founder and Chairman, Discovery Communications
  • A.G. Lafley, Retired Chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble
  • Dr. Susan Hockfield, President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • David Kelley, Founder, IDEO
  • Martha Stewart, Chairman, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, LLC
  • Ted Turner, Vice Chairman, Time Warner

The Edison Awards were established in 1987 to honor and advance Thomas Edison’s wideranging contributions to technology and consumer products, as well as to inspire continued innovation in the world. In addition to the Edison Achievement Award, the organization also recognizes new product and service innovations through its annual Edison Awards and Edison Green Awards and, through its non-profit organization, Edison Universe, supports future innovators and fosters future innovation. Finalists for the 2012 Edison Awards were announced in early February and previews of the 2012 nominee finalists are available.

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