Chris Anderson (entrepreneur)

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For the former editor of Wired magazine, see Chris Anderson (writer).
Chris Anderson
TED Curator Chris Anderson.jpg
Anderson in 2013
Born 1957
Alma mater Oxford University
Occupation journalist, publisher
Known for Curator of TED Talks
Spouse(s) Jacqueline Novogratz; 2 daughters (and one deceased)

Chris Anderson (born 1957) is a British entrepreneur and the curator of TED, the non-profit dedicated to ideas worth spreading, which hosts an annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and an open-access website where TED Talks lecture videos can be viewed for free by the public. Previously he founded Future Publishing.

Life and career[edit]

Anderson was born in a remote village in Pakistan in 1957.[1] His parents were medical missionaries, and he spent most of his early life in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. He studied at the Woodstock School in the Himalayan mountains of India, before moving to a boarding school in Bath, England.

At Oxford University, he studied physics, then changed to politics, philosophy and economics, to eventually graduate with a degree in philosophy in 1978.[1][2]

Anderson began a career in journalism, working on local newspapers, then producing a world news service in the Seychelles.

Back in the UK in 1984, Chris was captivated by the personal computer revolution and became an editor at two of the UK’s early computer magazines, Personal Computer Games and Zzap!64. A year later he founded Future Publishing with a $25,000 bank loan. The new company initially focused on specialist computer publications but eventually expanded into other areas such as cycling, music, video games, technology and design, doubling in size every year for seven years. In 1994, Chris moved to the United States where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine and creator of the popular video game users website IGN. Chris eventually merged Imagine and Future, taking the combined entity public in London in 1999, under the Future name. At its peak, it published 150 magazines and websites and employed 2,000 people. This success allowed Chris to create a private nonprofit organization, the Sapling Foundation, with the hope of finding new ways to tackle tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and, most of all, ideas.


In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference, then an annual meeting of luminaries in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design held in Monterey, California, and Chris left Future to work full-time on TED.

He expanded the conference’s remit to cover all topics, including science, business and key global issues, while adding a fellows program, which now has some 300 alumni, and the TED Prize, which grants its recipients $1M and “one wish to change the world”. The TED stage has become a place for thinkers and doers from all fields to share their ideas and their work, capturing imaginations, sparking conversation and encouraging discovery along the way.

In 2006, TED experimented with posting some of its talks on the Internet. Their viral success encouraged Chris to begin positioning the organization as a global media initiative devoted to ‘ideas worth spreading’, part of a new era of information dissemination using the power of online video. In June 2015, the organization posted its 2,000th talk online. The talks are free to view, and they have been translated into more than 100 languages with the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. Viewership has grown to approximately one billion views per year.

Continuing a strategy of ‘radical openness’, in 2009 Chris introduced the TEDx initiative, allowing free licenses to local organizers who wished to organize their own TED-like events. More than 8,000 such events have been held, generating an archive of 60,000 TEDx talks. And three years later, the TED-Ed program was launched, offering free educational videos and tools to students and teachers.


Anderson is the father of three daughters: Zoe, Elizabeth and Anna. The eldest, Zoe, died in 2010 aged 24 from carbon monoxide poisoning.[3] Since 2008, he has been married to Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen, an organization that pioneered social impact investing.


  1. ^ a b "Profile: Chris Anderson - TED Curator". Speaker Page. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Distinguished Alumni of Woodstock School - 2008 Chris Anderson '74". Woodstock School. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  3. ^ Tribute to daughter 'poisoned by carbon monoxide',, 31 January 2011; accessed 9 August 2015.

External links[edit]