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Some of the world’s brightest minds in the tech, creative, media and entertainment industries converged for an epic brainstorming and networking session at 30,000 feet on a Delta charter flight from Los Angeles to Vancouver to kick off TED 2016.

Prompted by Delta’s commitment to innovation and this year’s TED theme of dreaming the greatest dreams we are capable of dreaming, TEDsters on the first TEDFlight were encouraged to let go of preconceived notions and dream about the future of flying.

The ‘Dream’ theme will continue at the conference this week, where Delta’s activation will further the airline’s mission of taking the industry to new heights, supported by its newest hub – The Hangar. The Hangar is a collaborative research center at Georgia Tech and is the first of its kind in the airline industry. Delta’s innovation hub at The Hangar will be a place where Delta people dream up what’s next and where the airline creates the innovations, technologies and products that drive the industry forward.

“The value of having a great partner in TED has never been more tangible than through the TEDFlight and Delta’s involvement at TED 2016, where we’re tapping into the TED community in a way that’s never been done before,” said Mauricio Parise, Delta’s Director – Worldwide Marketing Communications. “For five years, we’ve shared in TED’s mission to spread ideas. Delta customers can already watch TED talks in-flight through Delta Studio, and now, we want to bring TED ideas to life on our planes.” 

The story of the Hangar will be told at TED2016 through an immersive installation that will inspire participants to dream. With more than 6,000 LED bulbs, the installation provides an infinite starscape that reacts to movement as participants climb throughout the dream-like environment, leaving inspired and amazed. Participants will learn about Delta’s commitment to innovation and changing the future of flight with an exclusive look at current and potential projects that The Hangar will explore such as Games For Good, a concept re-thinking in-flight entertainment through gaming to help solve real world problems. Participants are invited to put their own imaginations to the test and submit innovative ideas through an interactive crowdsourcing platform for Delta to explore.

“Core to Delta is a commitment to innovation and continuous improvement – to Keep Climbing,” said Matt Muta, Delta’s Vice President - Innovation and Commercial Technologies. “Our minds are open, and we are crowdsourcing dreams and innovations for the future of flying. The perspectives shared this week will help advance our business both now and for years to come.”

Through The Hangar, Delta is enhancing its ability to pioneer cutting-edge programs and technological advancements, looking to improve areas like service recovery, customer experience and customer satisfaction. The Hangar is planned for early 2016.