Thinkers, Artists, and Inventors Unite: Why We Sponsor TED

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Like most things around Mailchimp HQ, we try to take a slightly less prescribed, slightly more off-kilter (and fun!) approach to sponsorships. We love partnering with organizations that feel authentic and thoughtful, as well as groups that encourage a creative community. Our sponsorships excite us the most when we’re able to provide a spotlight and a platform for the people that Mailchimp, as a company, champions: independent creators and entrepreneurs who see the world a little differently.

So it’s no wonder that the TED Residency program felt like such a natural fit. Based in New York, TED Residency is an incubator for breakthrough ideas and innovative thinkers. After a thoughtful and thorough application process, individuals are chosen as TED Residents and then spend 14 weeks at TED HQ, working on their ideas.

The program’s goal is to highlight thinkers, makers, inventors, advocates, filmmakers, photographers, musicians, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, non-governmental organization heads, and social activists. TED Residency celebrates the unconventional and encourages creativity, which, incidentally, are a couple things we like doing as well.

One unique part of the program is the use of physical space to create a community. Each resident is required to spend a certain amount of time each week at TED headquarters to workshop their idea with the other residents. Although the final product might range from a piece of artwork to a manuscript or a strategic plan, each Resident also develops a TED talk that’s delivered on a TED stage.

And all this ties back to the TED ethos, “ideas worth spreading,” which includes posting the video content on their website. Cyndi Stivers, encourager-in-chief of the TED Residency, explains, “Our goal is to help the Residents further their important work and facilitate their collaboration with one another as they refine their messages.”

People from diverse backgrounds, solving unique problems and then sharing the process and outcomes with the world? That’s exactly the type of thing that gets us excited at Mailchimp. More of this in 2018, please.

[Photos: Dian Lofton / TED, Elizabeth Zeeuw / TED]

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