Prezi + TED Contest Winner prezifies Bryan Stevenson’s “We need to talk about an injustice”

The history of Prezi's partnership with TED stretches back to 2009, and as part of our enduring collaboration, last month marked an exciting joint effort when we created an inspirational challenge for our users. It all started when TED Curator Chris Anderson saw South African doctor Robyn Grobler present the same talk using both PowerPoint and Prezi. The Prezi talk was so impressive that Chris approached us about hosting a contest that would tap into our community by inviting users to prezify notable TED Talks. Needless to say, we were happy to say yes. And so launched our Ideas Matter Contest.

Participants in the Ideas Matter Contest were asked to choose one of five TED Talks and then create a an engaging prezi to partner it. Over 700 people entered the contest hoping to be one of ten finalists. For each TED Talk, one finalist was chosen by popular vote with another one being chosen by a panel of judges. Three weeks and thousands of votes later, we narrowed the pool down to twelve finalists (on account of two ties in the panel voting--a sign of how unique and impressive each entry was) which were sent to Chris Anderson and Prezi CEO Peter Arvai for the grand prize selection. We now have the results of their deliberation...

Congratulations to Hedwyg van Groenendaal, the creator of IDENTITY, who was inspired by Bryan Stevenson’s “We need to talk about an injustice”, an eye-opening talk about imbalances in the U.S. criminal justice system. Judged as fulfilling all three criteria of the contest (creativity, clarity, and incorporation of the TED Talk), Hedwyg’s prezi not only echoed Bryan Stevenson’s urgent words, but it combined his message with images, infographics, and moving pictures to give the talk even more depth and reach a wider audience. Needless to say, we’re proud to see Hedwyg’s prezi featured on the TED blog.

We’re also very pleased to share the runner-up entry that prezified Sarah Kay's “If I Should Have a Daughter” talk. took a more subjective, imaginative approach with their prezi, providing a nice reflection of the talk’s rhythm and subject matter, focusing on the transformative power of spoken word poetry.

Selecting which TED Talks we would invite people to illustrate was a joint effort between TED and Prezi. We aimed for talks we thought were creative and had the potential to be visually represented in a new and interesting way. At the same time, we strove to provide a nice variety in terms of the topic of the talk and each speaker's area of expertise. Specifically, we were interested to see the diverse submissions that would come from talks by a business leader like Chip Conley, a monk like Mathieu Ricard, and a bestselling author like Elizabeth Gilbert. And the choice to include Sarah Kay’s spoken word poetry was one that we were particularly excited about, because we imagined it would elicit some really creative responses--which it did!

Together, all of the finalists reflect the overall diversity of aesthetic and tone that we saw across the entries. We were also pleased to see how well the contestants made use of some of the newer Prezi features we’ve unveiled during the past year. 

Please join us in congratulating Hedwyg van Groenendaal,, and the other ten finalists for their outstanding prezis. All of them, listed below, received lifetime Prezi Pro licenses:

Bryan Stevenson, We Need to Talk About an Injustice
Panel Vote (Tied): Hedwyg van Groenendaal, David Oliveira
Popular Vote: Mr Prezident

Chip Conley, Measuring What Makes Life Worthwhile
Panel Vote: Matt's Math
Popular Vote: Sydo Pedago

Elizabeth Gilbert, Your Elusive Creative Genius
Panel Vote: Edahn Small
Popular Vote: Marvin W.

Mathieu Ricard, The Habits of Happiness
Panel Vote: Alejandro Guzmán Aguado
Popular Vote: Alexa Zara

Sarah Kay, If I Should Have a Daughter
Panel Vote (Tied): Adam Jwaskiewicz,
Popular Vote: Sarah Cher

View all finalists' prezis in one place or learn more about how the contest worked.