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TED 2012 dishes out prize to an idea, not a person

TED 2012 dishes out prize to an idea, not a person

Five years ago, Time magazine broke with tradition and named "You" its Person of the Year.

And now TED is making history by awarding its 2012 TED Prize not to an individual but to an idea – the City 2.0.

"It is an idea upon which our planet’s future depends," the official statement says.

The purpose of the prize has always been to inspire action, and in the past TED has entrusted individuals with that task.

"But the future of cities is such a significant issue, with so many individuals, organisations and companies doing spectacular work, which is why the TED Prize chose not to single out one individual, but honour the idea itself."

The TED Prize grants its winner $100,000 and “one wish to change the world.” In this case, the TED team is bringing together a "group of visionaries" – urban planners, architects, technologists, authors, policy makers, and economists – to act as advocates for The City 2.0 and craft a wish capable of inspiring collaborative action by many.  (Anyone who wants to contribute ideas on behalf of The City 2.0 should write to tedprize@ted.com.)

The wish will be unveiled during the TED Prize session on February 29 at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California.


The City 2.0 is the city of the future… a future in which more than ten billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably.

The City 2.0 is not a sterile utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity’s collective wisdom.

The City 2.0 promotes innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity.

The City 2.0 reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants, facilitates smaller families, and eases the environmental pressure on the world’s rural areas.

The City 2.0 is a place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life.

The City 2.0 is the city that works.