TED’s new talks let speakers leak family and corporate secrets, anonymously

Sincerely, X.
Sincerely, X.
Image: Bret Hartman / TED
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Glossophobics, this is for you. TED announced yesterday, Aug. 24 a new platform that allows anyone to tell the world about their ”idea worth sharing” under the cloak of anonymity. Talks delivered in its ”safe space” will be part of an audio series on Audible called Sincerely, X.

“We’re curating talks from those who need to separate their professional ideas from their personal lives; people who want to share an idea, but fear it would hurt others in their family or company if they did so publicly; perhaps even those who are just scared to death of public speaking,” wrote TED curator Chris Anderson in a blog post.

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Series producer June Cohen says that they’re not necessarily looking for corporate whistleblowers or scandalous confessionals but everyday geniuses with a great idea or a powerful story to tell. “For example, imagine a mom who faced and came through severe postpartum depression. She has a story, an idea, that could help other people—but she never wants her kid to know about her darkest thoughts as a new mom,” Cohen wrote in an April blog post. ”How do we share her ideas with the world?”

With over one billion views since it started posting talks online in 2006, TED Talks has become the world’s most popular platform for sharing innovation. The organization has been extra vigilant about accuracy after it received criticism for bad science presented on its volunteer-driven platform TEDx. Sincerely, X speakers will go through the same rigorous preparation and credibility checks as any TED speaker, with extra safeguards for their privacy.

Anderson says that exposure is the top reason why people opt out of TED’s gloriously nerve-racking stage. ”We’ve made it our mission at TED to track down a special breed of under-celebrated hero.”