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.