TED Prize: Introducing the StoryCorps App

“The act of honoring a loved one (or a stranger) in this way can help us recognize all that we share in common as human beings, and remind us that every life matters equally and infinitely.”

The 2015 TED Prize went to Dave Isay and his team at StoryCorps. StoryCorps is a large-scale oral history project that brings two people together in a recording booth where they can trade stories from their unique experiences. So far, 100,000 Americans have worked with StoryCorps to share their stories.

Today, Dave shared his TED Prize wish from the TED stage during Session 5 and unveiled his plan for 2015. Dave has been working with the TED team to bring the experience of recording meaningful conversations to people worldwide, through an app that brings the StoryCorps interview experience out of the booths and directly to our phones.

Vancouver asked TEDx Organizers to react to the news of the TED Prize and how they want to bring StoryCorps back to their communities.

“My country is known for two things: Apartheid and Nelson Mandela. This tool can help us learn to talk to each other,” said TEDxSoweto Organizer Kelo Kubu. She sees StoryCorps as an opportunity to add to the history and ways that people talk about South Africa.

Several other organizers offered input on ways that StoryCorps can help TEDx groups find new speakers and share their stories beyond the TEDx stage. Others suggested ways to improve the application and distribution potential for StoryCorps stories.

Here at TEDActive, attendees can participate in the wish with our recording booth in the Creative Lounge.

I tested out the new StoryCorps app on my phone with my new friend Danielle Thomson, who is Researcher for the TED Prize team. The app guided us through the entire process. We decided to talk about Love and Relationships, so Danielle scrolled through some of the potential questions offered by the app, saved them to our mutual file, and we kicked off our first 15-minute conversation for our StoryCorps recording.

What started off as a conversation about “what we had learned from our most recent relationships,” turned into an intimate conversation comparing notes from our own personal goals, what we were looking for in our partners, and what had “gone wrong” in our most recent breakups. The 15-minutes we had to record flew by, and we left as better friends with a shared vocabulary on love.

This week, we dare all of you to find a friend, old or new, and record your stories for the StoryCorps archives.

By Diana Enriquez

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