TED Curator Speaks at GSD Class Day

Speaking in front of a packed audience in Piper Auditorium at the Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Class Day, Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) Curator Chris Anderson encouraged the graduating class to pursue knowledge and to never stop learning.

“Don’t pursue your passion directly,” he said. “Instead, pursue the things that impel you to pursue knowledge. Be relentlessly curious, forever.”

Anderson discussed three integral components of talent—imagination, innovation, and invention—that he said have made human progress possible.

He said the graduates, who will receive their diplomas tomorrow during Commencement exercises, are about to spend the rest of their lives devoted to the mission of “nurturing the thrilling life of the world of ideas,” Anderson said.

“You are not just going to dream about it,” he said. “You are actually going to turn it in to reality.”


For an idea to become real, Anderson added, it needs to spread from brain to brain through effective communication.

“It strikes me as a complete tragedy when people have powerful ideas that turn into gibberish and make their brains go numb because they can’t articulate their ideas,” he said. “Whatever you do, find a way to communicate.”

Anderson, a British journalist who was born in Pakistan and spent his childhood in Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, studied at Oxford University and founded Future Publishing before joining TED in 2001.

According to Harvard Graduate School of Design Career Services, 84 percent of alumni enter a profession in architecture or design.

This is the eighth year the Design school has invited a speaker, chosen by the graduating class, to speak at Class Day.

—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at