What makes an idea audacious?
See if your idea qualifies
Your idea should capture a bold vision for tackling one of the world's most urgent topics.
Creating a better world
It is your opportunity to take a giant leap forward; you may be tempted to think incrementally, but remember for it to be bold, your idea should offer significant, enduring impact. This vision should bring us much closer to your version of an ideal world in a matter of years rather than generations.
Innovative and original
There should be a unique aspect or creative element to your approach that challenges convention or status quo or changes the narrative for the greater good.
There should be evidence that the idea will have impact based on a track record of past success, a demand from those that would be affected, and justified confidence that results can be sustained in the future.
A bold vision that has clear outcomes
There should be a sense of where you will be at the end of a multi-year funding term and the strategy, resources and timeline required to achieve it. We want to hear about the changes that would take place because of your idea, not just the components that go into implementing it.
You and your capable and confident team have the backing of a nonprofit, NGO, or institution (or is part of a collaboration between multiple such entities). This organization should be able to receive philanthropic funds and have the core infrastructure necessary to support the work. (Note: Past projects have had an annual operating budget of $1 million or more.)
How it Works
Each year, Audacious sources ideas through our open ideas survey and from a global network of partners and donors. Ideas can be submitted throughout the year and we review them on a rolling basis. Deadlines for the current cycle can be found below in the FAQs.
Interested candidates can share their Audacious ideas by completing a brief survey (see link below).
Applicant invitations & vetting
Selected candidates will be invited to submit an application to outline their idea in greater detail. Through multiple rounds of vetting and diligence Audacious lands on a portfiolio of 8-10 finalist projects.
Ideation & proposal development
We narrow down to a group of finalists, then collaborate with them to refine and strengthen their idea into its most compelling vision.
Funding & public launch
Finalists' ideas are presented privately to groups of donors. Funded projects are then shared with the TED community and the public via TED Talks.
Hear from applicants
Still have questions? Check out the rest of our FAQs.
Individuals, ages 18 and up, may apply on behalf of a nonprofit, NGO, institution or collaboration between multiple entities. Before applying, we encourage you to read the criteria found on our Apply page.
The deadline for ideas survey submissions to be considered for our current application cycle was February 17, 2023. Surveys received after the deadline will be considered in future application cycles.
Please note: given the volume of submissions, we will not be able to respond individually or schedule follow-up calls or meetings to discuss idea submissions. If we have questions we will reach out to the email you included in your submission.
We only accept applications from the organizations and individuals to whom the bold idea belongs. However, we invite you to steer your nominee to our Apply page.
Yes, absolutely — one of our most powerful ideas in 2018 came from two separate, yet mutually supportive organizations: Last Mile Health and Living Goods. We encourage teaming up with like-minded organizations for increased impact.