02/27/2013 11:56 am ET

Knight Foundation Donates Nearly $1 Million To TED

A large donation will now ensure TED's "ideas worth spreading" will be extra spreadable…and measurable.

The Knight Foundation gifted the nonprofit $985,000, a sum that will allow the TED community to work on scaling and assessing the impact of ideas.

“Understanding how ideas turn into action is a key priority for many in our community,” TED curator Chris Anderson said in a release.

The Knight Foundation committed $9 million total to TED, Code for America, and NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

TED 2013 kicked off Feb. 25 in Long Beach, Calif., and runs through March 1. This year's theme is "The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered."

The conference's speakers include a "wonderkid" building nuclear reactors, a 13-year-old innovator who invented a way to protect his family's cattle from lions and even a yo-yo champion.

Damian Thorman, Knight’s director of national programs, said in a release that the funding is rooted in a core belief in the power of these projects.

“We believe in the power of connected action,” he says. “The field of tech for engagement is young, and [it] needs infrastructure to develop to its full potential.”

This year's gathering also made history. The winner of the first-ever $1 million TED prize was announced Tuesday night. Education innovator Sugata Mitra accepted the award and plans to build a School in the Cloud, a physical space in India that enables self-directed learning.

“So many kids are disengaged from education and there’s a tendency to confuse testing with learning,” says Robinson in his talk last night. “What drives learning is curiosity, questioning…What fires people up to learn is having their mind opened up by possibilities.”



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