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Friday, March 28, 2008

Storytelling In The Modern World

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Session Description

How do you use storytelling to extend the influence of your work? What happens when your storytelling becomes so powerful that it challenges the status quo? Ken Brecher, social anthropologist and executive director of the Sundance Institute, will lead a vigorous session on storytelling in the modern world; a world where narrative can be a measure of relevance, and your ability to speak to multiple audiences could be the key to your success and the source of your greatest challenges.

When | Where

09:00 - 11:00 Friday, March 28

Session leaders

  • Annie Sundberg Speaker
    Director, Producer, Owner, Break Thru Films
    Annie Sundberg is a filmmaker and writer based in New York City. Together with Ricki Stern at Break Thru Films, she directed and produced the documentary features The Devil Came on Horseback (2007) and The Trials of Darryl Hunt (2006). Annie also produced Tully (2002) and the documentaries In My Corner (1999) and One Survivor Remembers (1995). Annie g
  • Cara Mertes Speaker
    Director, JustFilms, Ford Foundation
    Cara Mertes’ career focuses on supporting and connecting independent film communities globally as a public television executive, independent executive producer/director, funder, curator and teacher. Currently Director of Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, she funds content, networks and leadership fostering independent film/digital storytelling. She has served as Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program and Fund and Executive Producer of the POV documentary series on PBS, where she was awarded with multiple Emmy, George Foster Peabody, and duPont-Columbia awards. She has executive produced several Oscar-nominated films, including Street Fight, My Country My Country and The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) and led major Ford Foundation funding and support for Academy Award winner CITIZENFOUR. She served as executive director of American Documentary Inc., and has taught and written about the independent documentary movement. Mertes is a member of NATAS, WGA and AMPAS.
  • Erik Hersman Speaker
    Co-founder, Qatar Computing Research Institute
    Erik Hersman is a co-founder of Ushahidi, a free and open source platform for crowdsourcing information and visualizing data, founder of AfriGadget, a site that showcases stories of African inventions and ingenuity, and is in charge of the iHub, Nairobi’s Innovation Hub for the technology community.
  • James Orbinski Speaker
    Research Scientist, St. Michael’s Hospital
    Dr. Orbinski believes in humanitarianism, in citizenship and in actively engaging and shaping the world we live in so that it is more humane, fair and just. Dr. Orbinski has extensive field experience with Medecins sans Frontires in Somalia, Afghanistan, Rwanda and Zaire. He was elected MSF’s international president from 1998 to 2001, and launched its Access to Essential Medicines Campaign in 1999. In 1999 he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism, and for its approach to witnessing. He is now a research scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, and associate professor of both medicine and political science at the University of Toronto. He is a founder and Chair of Dignitas International, a hybrid research NGO focused on community based care, prevention and treatment for people living with HIV in the developing world. Dr. Orbinski was the storyteller in a documentary film on humanitarianism, screened at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, titled Triage.
  • Ken Brecher Speaker
    President, Library Foundation of Los Angeles
    Kenneth S. Brecher is the President of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. He has previously worked as the Executive Director of the Sundance Institute, President of the William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia, Director of the Boston Children’s Museum and Associate Artistic Director of the Mark Taper Forum in LA. Brecher was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford and is an honours graduate of Cornell. He serves on a number of boards, and has lectured and published widely on current challenges facing arts leadership.
  • Bill Strickland is the President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its divisions, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) and Bidwell Training Center (BTC), both founded in 1968, and National Center for Arts and Technology in 2005. As president and CEO his duties include: developing and implementing major fund-raising plans of action; working with Boards of Directors and Industrial Advisory Boards; encouraging participation of corporate executive officials from major multi-national Pittsburgh corporations. Strickland has completed the development of a 40,000 sq. ft. production greenhouse, created for the development of Phalaenopsis orchids and hydroponics vegetables, and a 62,000 sq. ft. facility as a mortgage free asset for both MCG and BTC. The facilities include a 350-seat music/lecture hall, library, arts studios and labs, dining and meeting rooms, state-of-the-art award winning audio and video recording studios, serve as a demonstration site for Hewlett Packard and Steelcase equipment and are home to 25,000 Phalaenopsis orchids that are cultivated for wholesale distribution. The National Center for Arts & Technology (NCAT) a division of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC,) was created to assist interested communities in opening and sustaining local educational organizations that replicate the MBC Model. There are currently nine operational centers in the United States and one center in Israel. Throughout his distinguished career, Strickland has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to the arts and the community.