Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) looked to the ocean, the skies, and the concert hall in awarding its 2009 TED Prizes. The just-announced winners are ocean explorer Sylvia Earle, astronomer Jill Cornell Tarter, and maestro Jose Antonio Abreu. Each of this year’s “three exceptional individuals” will receive $100,000 plus “One Wish to Change The World. No Restrictions.” Their wishes will be unveiled at TED2009 on February 5, 2009.
What makes someone TED Prize-worthy? “They will be doing something that has extraordinary potential, something whose positive influence could spread, transcending borders, something that can contribute to the future of life on Earth,” notes the TED website. “We are looking for people who can tap into the energy of the TED Community and inspire them to come along on the journey of making this great change in the world.” Past winners include Dave Eggers, Bill Clinton, Bono, and photojournalist James Nachtwey, who is currently realizing his 2007 TED Prize wish to raise awareness of extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, a disease that is found in 49 countries and responsible for more than 20,000 preventable deaths annually.