Thrive by Five22 Jul 2022

One year on – Molly’s message still resonates around the world

A ground-breaking TED Talk by a 7-year-old Australian girl is rivalling Elon Musk and Bill Gates for the most popular TED Talk in recent history.

Molly Wright delivering her TED talk.

Today marks one year since Molly Wright, a primary school student from Queensland, Australia, became the youngest TED speaker in history on 22 July 2021 when her talk premiered at TED’s Session Zero, Monterey, California, USA.

Underpinned by the latest child development research, the talk seeks to empower and motivate parents, caregivers and members of the community to engage more meaningfully and often with children. The talk highlights the tangible benefits of positive, reciprocal ‘serve and return’ interactions and the impact this has on a child’s lifelong learning, health and well-being.

As of today, the Thrive by Five TED Talk has been viewed more than 8 million times on and reached more than 44 million people on Facebook.

“On average, TED Talks tend to reach between 300,000 and 900,000 views in their first 30 days after publishing; Molly’s Talk reached a remarkable 2 million views in that time period,” a TED spokesperson said.

“The Thrive by Five TED Talk was the most viewed video on TED social channels in 2021 and is in the top 5 most viewed videos on TED’s social channels since January 2019 – trailing only Elon Musk and Bill Gates.”

Since the global launch on 22 July 2021, the Thrive by Five TED Talk has reached a potential global audience of more than 1.8 billion people across traditional and social media.

According to TED, Molly’s talk has been most popular in the US, India, Canada, the Philippines, and Australia.

Molly’s video on TED’s Instagram page has more than 6 million views and the Facebook version of the Thrive by Five TED Talk has been shared more than 500,000 times.

The Thrive by Five TED Talk was brought to life by Minderoo Foundation, one of Australasia’s largest philanthropic organisations, and aligns with Minderoo’s Thrive by Five initiative.

“This is a wonderful partnership,” Head of TED Chris Anderson said.

“Minderoo Foundation showed fantastic creativity and boldness in proposing this idea and getting the talk recorded. Because it’s such a powerful idea worth spreading, and because Molly rocked it, we were delighted to launch it on our platform. And the results have been spectacular.”

Leading philanthropist and Minderoo Foundation Co-chair Nicola Forrest AO said the global response to the Thrive by Five TED Talk had been overwhelming.

“Minderoo Foundation is so incredibly proud of Molly and thrilled that this important TED Talk has been so popular. It is an extraordinary result,” Mrs Forrest said.

“Molly’s message is for everyone, and I encourage all parents and caregivers to watch the talk and think about their interactions with children. This has the potential to change lives.

“We believe every child can, and should, thrive by the age of five.”

The Thrive by Five TED Talk has been shown to new parents in maternity wards in Australia (through Ramsay Health Care) and Afghanistan (via Bayat Foundation) – with plans to further localise and roll out the film around the world starting with Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

“Science tells us that the volume of a child’s brain has reached 90 per cent by the age of five so we want to help set parents up for success and increase awareness of the importance of having positive interactions with children – early and often,” Mrs Forrest said.

“Molly beautifully delivers this universal truth – that the early years are the most critical period for shaping a child’s life now, and in their future.”

Molly’s TED Talk is now available in over 35 languages, with UNICEF supporting global distribution of the film.

Minderoo Foundation
by Minderoo Foundation

Established by Andrew and Nicola Forrest in 2001, we are a modern philanthropic organisation seeking to break down barriers, innovate and drive positive, lasting change. Minderoo Foundation is proudly Australian, with key initiatives spanning from ocean research and ending slavery, to collaboration in cancer and community projects.

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