Highlights from the 2013 TED Fellows

The conference's fourth anniversary beckons a new class of young visionaries

Four years have passed since the first TED Fellows took the stage, and in that time the community has grown to 310 total members representing 75 countries. The current crop of 20 impressed the crowd yesterday as they discussed current and future projects across disciplines. Part of the fun has always been the diversity of talent—exemplified this year in polar opposites Bao Haus restauranteur Eddie Huang and cosmologist Renée Hlozek. See below for a taste of the six creatives that we were most excited to hear from at this year’s conference.


Cyrus Kabiru, Found Object Artist

Best known for his remarkable eyewear sculptures—which we had the opportunity to demo at this year’s conference—Cyrus Kabiru recycles trash into wearable art. He represents a new generation of Nairobi artists in his self-taught techniques, ingenuity and inspiring playfulness.


Alicia Eggert, Interdisciplinary Artist

American artist Alicia Eggert is a master of electromechanical sculpture, imbuing life and meaning into conceptual pieces. Her talk surveyed several works from the past few years, the most remarkable of which was the Pulse Machine, an installation that tethers a kick drum to a countdown clock. As the counter dwindles with each kick, the drum theoretical ages and dies after 2,460,438,720 beats—the average number of heartbeats in the lifetime of a child born in Nashville, Tennessee on 2 June 2012.


Jinha Lee, Inventor and Interaction Researcher

Coming out of MIT Media Lab, Jinha Lee has worked with leading tech companies from Samsung to Microsoft and Sony. His focus is on bridging the gap between digital and real space, this year taking the audience through a gesture-controlled, transparent 3D desktop as well as a levitated interaction element called ZeroN.


Ryan Holladay, Musical Artist at Bluebrain

Music is imagined as an element of urban planning and architecture in the work of Ryan Holladay. Bluebrain Music—an effort spearheaded by Ryan and his brother Hays—created the location-based musical experience “Listen to the Light” in Central Park, in which users pursued musical and physical routes during a walk through the park.


Shivani Siroya, Mobile Finance Entrepreneur

As founder and CEO of Inventure, Shivani Siroya helped to develop a mobile phone platform that allows Indian citizens make small purchases on credit, thereby establishing a credit score. Her speech at TED centered around the power of data in contemporary society and how a financial history can empower individuals and groups in developing countries.


Safwat Saleem, Graphic Designer, Filmmaker and Artist

The hilarious Safwat Saleem champions a fight against bullshit of all kinds in his multidisciplinary art, best represented in his satirical posters. At this year’s conference, Pakistan-born Saleem debuted “Pardon me, but WTF?”, which he describes as a “story-collecting project that transforms your bullshit into art.”

Photography by Ryan Lash