TEDx Miami University rockets from an audience of 100 to more than 250,000 views

May 2013

The goal of last fall's TEDx Miami University, a collaboration between the Farmer School and the School of Education, Health, and Society, funded by alumnus Jim Gilligan, was to reach a total audience of 10,000. At the time, that seemed a lofty target - TEDx events are limited to a live audience of less than 100.

The event's six "talks" centered on different perspectives about the importance and value of early childhood education. Although this is a "hot" issue among educators, early childhood specialists, researchers, advocates and health care practitioners, expanding the reach of the message by one hundredfold seemed unlikely.

Online views of the "talks" have been steady, with several of the six exceeding 1,000. It seemed as though the aggregate might reach organizers Dennis Sullivan and Doris Bergen's goal. On April 23rd, Dennis received an email from the TED editorial team that changed everything. "Hi Dennis, Great news - Timothy Bartik's talk has been selected by the TED Editorial team to be potentially featured on on Monday (May 6th)."

TED selects a very small percentage of the 25,000 TEDx talks to showcase on their TED "main stage." To be considered, the talk must be produced exactly according to their specifications, the topic must be of interest to a worldwide audience, and be presented in an exemplary fashion.

In a single week, views of this talk have skyrocketed. The 10,000 goal was reached in less than four hours. Views have now topped 138,000. Actually, that number is misleading. According to TED statistics, their view counter only captures about half of the real viewers, making total views more than a quarter of a million….and climbing.

Tim's talk, available here: carries Miami University's branding throughout, allowing us to reach a worldwide audience in a unique and favorable environment. All TEDx Miami videos are available: