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Stanford Thompson Chosen as 2017 TED Fellow

PHILADELPHIA, PA, JANUARY 10, 2017—Music entrepreneur Stanford Thompson has been selected as a TED Fellow, joining a class of 15 change-makers from around the world who will deliver a talk on the TED stage this April in Vancouver. Thompson, an accomplished trumpeter who inspires social change and harmony through music founded the classical music program for underserved young people, Play On, Philly! in Philadelphia in 2010.  His work has accelerated music careers and increased college enrollment. 


Other members of the new Fellows class include an artist whose documentary Whose Streets about the Ferguson uprising will debut later this month at Sundance, and a paleobiologist using big data to understand species extinction through history. A full list of the new TED Fellows and Senior Fellows is available at ted.com/fellows.  


“Taking the TED stage in the company of this stellar group of innovators will be a high point in my career,” said Thompson. “I’ve seen first hand that society thrives when the artists prioritize the needs of their communities. I am excited to share how music is a way to create harmony and opportunity particularly in underserved populations. Adding my perspective as an artist and entrepreneur to the TED community will be a great joy.”


Founded in 2009, the TED Fellows program has 414 Fellows from 87 countries, whose talks have collectively been viewed more than 145 million times. In its eight-year history, the TED Fellows program has created a powerful, far-reaching network – made up of scientists, doctors, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, journalists and beyond -- leading to many meaningful and unexpected collaborations. 


“We are thrilled to welcome our newest class of TED Fellows, an incredible group of exceptional achievers with exemplary character,” said TED Fellows founder and director Tom Rielly. “The collaborative spirit of the program yields a powerful network where each person profoundly influences each other, and the group as a whole functions as a supercomputer to which each fellow has personal access.”

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