Accepting the 2006 TED Prize, Dr. Larry Brilliant talks about how smallpox was eradicated from the planet, and calls for a new global system that can identify and contain pandemics before they spread.

2006 TED Prize winner Dr. Larry Brilliant has spent his career solving the ills of today — from overseeing the last smallpox cases to saving millions from blindness — and building technologies of the future. Now, as President and CEO of the Skoll Global Threats Fund , he’s redefining how we solve the world’s biggest problems.

His 2006 TED Prize wish draws on both sides of his career: He challenged the TED community to help him build a global early-response system to detect new diseases or disasters as quickly as they emerge or occur. Shortly after he won the TED Prize, Google executives asked Brilliant to run their new philanthropic arm, . So, between consulting on the WHO’s polio eradication project and designing a disease-surveillance network, he was able to harness Google’s brains and billions in a mix of for-profit and nonprofit ventures tackling the global problems of disease, poverty and climate change. Today, Larry is President and CEO of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, where he heads a team whose mission is to confront global threats imperiling humanity: pandemics, climate change, water security, nuclear proliferation and Middle East conflict.

“If Larry Brilliant’s life were a film, critics would pan the plot as implausible.”
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Quotes by Larry Brilliant.
“In 1980 we declared the globe free of smallpox. It was the largest campaign in United Nations history until the Iraq war. A hundred and fifty thousand people from all over the world, doctors of every race, religion, culture and nation, who fought side by side, brothers and sisters, with each other, not against each other, in a common cause to make the world better.”