I’m a huge fan of TED Talks, as you know, and I came across one that was very interesting this past weekend.
The talk was delivered by Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, a company dedicated to providing people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.
As each generation passes away, stories, wisdom and memories are lost. Dave’s mission with StoryCorps is to build a platform of audio recordings that are stored at the Library of Congress for generations of family members to listen to.
The thought was to take documentary work and turn it on its head. Traditionally, broadcast documentary has been about recording interviews to create a work of art or entertainment or education that is seen or heard by a whole lot of people, but I wanted to try something where the interview itself was the purpose of this work, and see if we could give many, many, many people the chance to be listened to in this way. So in Grand Central Terminal 11 years ago, we built a booth where anyone can come to honor someone else by interviewing them about their life. You come to this booth and you're met by a facilitator who brings you inside. You sit across from, say, your grandfather for close to an hour and you listen and you talk. Many people think of it as, if this was to be our last conversation, what would I want to ask of and say to this person who means so much to me?
Dave has created an archive of the wisdom of humanity that is now over 50,000 interviews strong. I imploreyou to watch the compelling story below: