Pico Iyer was born in Oxford, England in 1957. Since 1982 he has been a full-time writer, publishing 15 books, translated into 23 languages, on subjects ranging from the Dalai Lama to globalism, from the Cuban Revolution to Islamic mysticism. They include such long- running sellers as Video Night in Kathmandu, The Open Road and The Art of Stillness. At the same time he has been writing for Time, the New York Times, Granta, the Financial Times and more than 250 other periodicals worldwide. His four talks for TED have received more than 10 million views so far. Since 1992 Iyer has spent much of his time at a Benedictine hermitage in Big Sur, California, and most of the rest in Nara, Japan.