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Big Ideas from TED 2011: TED Highlights the Boundary-Pushing Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow

No innovator is an island unto themselves; all entrepreneurs and innovators have supporters behind the scenes, helping them succeed. This year...

No innovator is an island unto themselves; all entrepreneurs and innovators have supporters behind the scenes, helping them succeed. This year during the TED conference, three of those supporters teamed up to give the world an inside peak at the entrepreneurial ideas churning just underneath the TED surface.


Launched by the Case Foundation in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, the "Innovation + Entrepreneurship with the TED Fellows" program is a series of Q&A sessions with some of the most dynamic social entrepreneurs at TED. The sessions were filmed live last week during the event and hosted by Case Foundation Senior Vice President Erich Broksas.

The Case Foundation, the eponymous foundation of AOL founder Steve Case and his wife (and Case Foundation CEO) Jean, is known for its creative work around citizen engagement, technology for social change, and government 2.0. It has led the charge on efforts like America's Giving Challenge and the recently-announced Startup America collaboration.

The Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation is the leading foundation supporting entrepreneurship. Unlike other foundations that focus strictly on civic, government, and nonprofit work, Kauffman promotes and enables the work of entrepreneurs as the greatest force for building a better future. For example, their Kauffman Labs program is currently working to focus and improve the work of the next generation of education entrepreneurs.

The Innovation + Entrepreneurship series featured sessions with six of the TED Fellows, including:

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  • Erik Hersman - A founder of crowdsourced crisis-mapping platform Ushahidi
  • Suzanne Lee - A British fashion designer whose "BioCouture" project is experimenting with growing clothing from bacteria
  • Jon Gosier - The founder of Appfrica Labs and HiveCollab - technology incubator programs for East Africa
  • Marcin Jakubowski - The founder of the Open Source Ecology movement and the Global Village Construction Set
  • Adrian Hong - Founder of the Pegasus Press, which is working to keep the internet safe for dissidents
  • Isabel Behncke Izquierdo - A researcher who studies the endangered Bonobos of Congo in a hope of gleaning insight into related human behaviors of joy and creativity
  • \n

The videos are all available as archives on the Case Foundation website, and provide not only insights about what animates each of these individuals, but together help tell the story of entrepreneurship at TED more broadly.

Photo: Marcin Jakubowski / Fellows conference at TED2011. February 28 - March 4, Long Beach, CA. Credit: James Duncan Davidson / TED

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