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Past Event

TED's Chris Anderson: Infectious Generosity

Let’s face it: Recent years have been tough on optimists. Hopes that the Internet might bring people together have been crushed by the ills of social media. Is there a way back?

Bestselling author, media pioneer and TED curator Chris Anderson returns to Commonwealth Club World Affairs to explore one of humankind’s defining but overlooked impulses, and how we can super-charge its potential to build a hopeful future. Anderson believes it’s within our grasp to turn outrage back into optimism. He says it all comes down to reimagining one of the most fundamental human virtues: generosity. What if generosity could become infectious generosity?

Consider how a London barber began offering haircuts to people experiencing homelessness—and catalyzed a movement; how two anonymous donors gave $10,000 each to two hundred strangers and discovered that most recipients wanted to “pay it forward” with their own generous acts; and how TED itself transformed from a niche annual summit into a global source of ideas by giving away talks online.

In telling these inspiring stories, Anderson offers a playbook for how to embark on our own generous acts—whether gifts of money, time, talent, connection, or kindness—and to prime them, thanks to the Internet, to have self-replicating, even world-changing, impact.


This program is generously supported by The Long Now Foundation.

Long Now Foundation

All in-person attendees will receive a copy of Infectious Generosity, compliments of the Ken & Jaclyn Broad Family Fund.

Ken and Jaclyn Broad Family Fund

Anderson photo by Chris New.

February 5, 2024

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

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Chris Anderson

Curator, TED; Author, Infectious Generosity: The Ultimate Idea Worth Spreading
X @TEDchris

Image - DJ Patil

In Conversation with DJ Patil

Former U.S. Chief Data Scientist; General Partner, GreatPoint Ventures; Member, Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California Board of Governors; X @dpatil