2015 TED PRIZE AWARDED TO STORYCORPS FOUNDER DAVE ISAY

On 10th Anniversary of the Prize, TED Celebrates the Power of Storytelling
with its Annual $1 Million Award

November 17, 2014 (New York, NY) – TED today announced the recipient of the 2015
TED Prize: Dave Isay, founder of the groundbreaking oral history project StoryCorps.
Each year TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, awards the TED Prize to
one exceptional individual and gives them the chance to conceive and launch a high-
impact project–”a wish” offered to them without restriction. StoryCorps will be
receiving $1 million from TED to launch Isay’s wish. Beyond the monetary value of the
prize, TED invites its global community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and TEDx
organizers to participate in and help fulfill the wish.

Between now and the 2015 TED Conference (March 16-20 in Vancouver, BC), Isay and
StoryCorps will work with TED to conceive of an audacious wish that builds on his
decade of success with the organization – and share his vision live from the TED stage
on March 17. The talk will be broadcast for free via http://tedlive.ted.com/webcasts/2015

StoryCorps celebrates the dignity, power, and grace that can beheard in the stories we find all around us. Since Dave Isay launched StoryCorps in 2003, 100,000 Americans have participated, making it the largest single collection of human voices ever recorded.

At the heart of StoryCorps is a simple, timeless idea: provide two friends or loved ones
with a quiet space and 40 minutes of uninterrupted time for a meaningful face-to-face
conversation; record that conversation; give the participants a copy; and archive
another copy at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps
seeks out the stories of people most often excluded from the historical record and
preserves them so that the experience and wisdom contained within them may be
passed from one generation to the next. StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of some of
these recordings in its popular weekly broadcasts on NPR, animated shorts, and
bestselling books.

“On the tenth anniversary of the TED Prize, it seems fitting that TED – an organization
whose central mission is to spread ideas and empower storytellers – is honoring a
storytelling pioneer,” said TED curator Chris Anderson. “Under Dave Isay’s leadership,
StoryCorps has given nearly 100,000 Americans the chance to record interviews about
their lives and leave a legacy for the future. I am thrilled about this winner, excited to
see how TED and StoryCorps will collaborate, and eager to see how we can pair an
incredible idea with a global community.”

Dave Isay said, “We are thrilled and honored–and, frankly, floored–to receive this
prize. We look forward to working with TED in the years to come to bring StoryCorps to
more people, and to remind everyone of the power of listening and the simple truth
that every life and every story matters.”

About the TED Prize

The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by
the world’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to launch a global
project that marries the recipient’s “wish” with TED’s global community.
The original prize: $100,000 and the TED community’s range of talent and expertise.

What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED
community has evolved into a $1 million award and an ambitious effort to spur global-
scale change.

From Bono’s the ONE Campaign (’05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (’10
recipient) to JR’s Inside Out Project (’11 recipient), Sugata Mitra’s School in a Cloud (’13
recipient) and Charmian Gooch’s call to eliminate anonymous corporations (’14
recipient), the TED Prize has helped to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance,
improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003 by MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps
has given nearly 100,000 Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives,
pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future.
Participating in StoryCorps couldn’t be easier: You invite a loved one, or anyone else you
chose, to one of the StoryCorps recording sites. There a trained facilitator greets you
and explains the interview process. You’re then brought into a quiet recording room and
seated across from your interview partner, each of you in front of a microphone.

The facilitator hits “record,” and you share a forty-minute conversation. At the end of
the session, you walk away with a CD, and a digital file goes to the Library of Congress,
where it will be preserved for generations to come. Someday your great-great-great-
grandchildren will be able to meet your grandfather, your mother, your best friend, or
whomever it is you chose to honor with a StoryCorps interview.

StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of these stories with the world through popular
weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books.
These powerful stories illustrate our shared humanity and show how much more we
share in common than divides us.

Over the past eleven years, StoryCorps has also launched a series of successful national
initiatives including:

–The September 11th Initiative, helping families memorialize the stoires of lives lost on
September 11, 2001 in partnership with the National September Memorial & Museum at the World
Trade Center;

–The Griot Initiative, now the largest collection of African American voices ever gathered,
in colloboration with future Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture;

–The Historias Initiative, the largest collection of Latino stories ever gathered; and

–The Military Voices Initiative, honoring the stories of post-9/11 service members, veterans,
and their families.

Additionally, the organization recently launched StoryCorpsU (SCU), an interactive,
standards-based college-readiness curriculum for high-needs schools that uses
StoryCorps content and interviewing techniques to engage the hearts and minds of
young people and promote positive student outcomes.

StoryCorps is working to grow into an enduring national institution that touches

Press contacts

TED Prize: Erin Allweiss, 202.446.8265 or erin@thenumber29.com.
StoryCorps: Blake Zidell, 718.643.9052 or blake@blakezidell.com.


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