updated 3/1/2011 1:16:40 PM ET 2011-03-01T18:16:40

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bringing people together from around the globe to share new ideas and solve complex problems is a key goal at this week's TED conference held in Long Beach and Palm Springs, Calif. The conference, devoted to ideas worth spreading, demonstrates the power of connecting a diverse group of thinkers who inspire and build on each other's ideas.

At this year's TED, Steelcase is introducing media:scape with HD videoconferencing, a collaboration tool that helps people come together with colleagues across different locations, time zones and continents. media:scape integrates HD videoconferencing with furniture specifically designed to foster deeper, more democratized collaboration and will connect attendees at both TED locations. It will also be used throughout a variety of spaces at TED to help people share and co-create new ideas.

People are working in teams more than ever before, and the ratio of individual work to collaborative work has shifted. But with team members widely distributed around cities, countries and continents, collaboration and co-creation becomes difficult.  Bringing together distributed teams has become an imperative to innovation.

"We live in an interconnected world where problems are increasingly complex and collaboration is more important than ever. People need to meet in person sometimes, and TED is one of those times," said Jim Keane, president of Steelcase. "But teams are distributed around the globe today, and the reality is they can't always be together in person, so they need ways to collaborate even when they're spread across various locations and time zones. media:scape is a series of furniture settings that integrates videoconferencing and data sharing simply. Attendees in Long Beach and Palm Springs will be able to experience how it can help foster collaboration and innovation either locally or across distances."

This year's TED conference attendees can use media:scape with HD videoconferencing to gather around a bar-height U-shaped ledge, each with a laptop plugged into a PUCK media-sharing device. On one high-definition screen, participants will see each other; while on the other engage with various photos, drawings, charts and data from their laptop.

"No single person can know enough to make decisions in a globally integrated world. At Steelcase, we study the ways work has changed and found that teams need spaces for true collaboration where they can easily share complex ideas, drawings or explanations and co-create new solutions," Keane continued.

Steelcase is showcasing a variety of media:scape settings at TED to help conference attendees further share ideas and collaborate throughout the talks. In addition to media:scape, Steelcase is furnishing the TED conference space with node chairs and Turnstone Campfire paper tables. Steelcase has been a TED supporter for 27 years.

"TED has had the pleasure of collaborating with many of the world's most groundbreaking brands. Our partnerships allow us to encourage and expand the dialogue of innovation," said Ronda Carnegie, Global Partnership Director at TED.

TED conference runs Feb. 28 – Mar. 4, 2011 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Long Beach, Calif. TEDActive takes place Feb. 28 – Mar. 4, 2011 at the Riviera Resort in Palm Springs, Calif.

About Steelcase Inc.

Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences -- wherever work happens. Our brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products and services, inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world's leading organizations. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. We design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2010 revenue of approximately $2.3 billion.

The Steelcase Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4484

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at  TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED's media initiatives include  TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TED2011, "The Rediscovery of Wonder," will be held February 28-March 4, 2011, in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs, California. TEDGlobal 2011, "The Stuff of Life," will be held July 11-15, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Follow TED on Twitter at  http://twitter.com/TEDTalks , or on Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/TED

CONTACT: Sara Whitman
         212.931.6121
         swhitman@peppercom.com

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