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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Compelling Action: Social Change Media In The Age Of Information Overload

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Session Description

Media can move mountains but few know how to deliver a story that is heard above the din and can jolt an audience into action. This interactive session starts with examples from those whose stories have successfully galvanized broad audiences in support of their efforts and moves quickly into a fast-paced sharing of experience and recommendations from the audience. This session will synthesize themes and draw on the extensive expertise in the room so that everyone walks away with tangible strategies for compelling action!

When | Where

14:00 - 15:30 Thursday, April 15

Session leaders

  • Alvin Hall Speaker
    Broadcaster, Author & President, Alvin
    Alvin Hall is an internationally renown financial educator. His best-selling books include “Your Money or Your Life,” “Getting Started in Stocks,” and a children’s book, “Show Me the Money,” published in 20 languages. He has presented several BBC2 television series and programmes on BBC Radio 4. This year, Hall presented the BBC World News series “Alvin’s Guide to Good Business,” featuring social entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, and the US. Hall lives in New York City where he teaches classes about the financial markets.
  • 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.
  • Jess Search Speaker
    Chief Executive, Doc Society
    Board member of Marie Stopes International and Kickstarter. Chief Executive of Doc Society (formerly BRITDOC) Doc Society gives funding and support to Oscar nominated documentaries such as CITIZENFOUR, Virunga, Whose Streets, Hooligan Sparrow, The Square and The Look of Silence. Doc Society is well known for backing films with a social change potential and training filmmakers and Impact Producers to devise and deliver engagement campaigns ( In partnership with the Ford Foundation and The Sundance Institute, Doc Society created and runs The Good Pitch which partners films with NGOs, foundations and brands. Events take place around the world - India, Colombia, Indonesia, Argentina, Australia, Kenya and across the US and Europe. Next stop Amsterdam and Detroit.
  • Jim Berk Speaker
    CEO, Participant Media
    Jim Berk is CEO of Participant Media, a global entertainment company founded in 2004 that focuses on socially relevant film, television, publishing and digital content. Participant’s 50+ films include AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, THE HELP, CONTAGION and LINCOLN. Since Jim joined in 2006, Participant has evolved into a diversified entertainment company with an expanded film slate, two film financing funds and a Spanish-language film label, in addition to Pivot, the company’s new television channel targeting Millennials, Participant's digital network,, and a portfolio of media investments. Prior to Participant, Jim led companies including Gryphon Colleges, Fairfield Communities, Hard Rock Cafe Intl and The Grammy Foundation, in addition to working at Rank Group. Jim began his career in education, serving as a teacher, and eventually becoming the youngest high school principal in the history of the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  • Premal Shah Speaker
    Co-Founder & President, Kiva
    Premal helps lead —a crowdfunding website that connects people through lending to alleviate poverty. Since 2005, over $1B in philanthropic loans has been crowdfunded to millions of underserved entrepreneurs in 90 countries — with a 96% repayment rate. The site has been named as one of Oprah's Favorite Things and a Top 50 Website by TIME Magazine. Premal's inspiration came while volunteering in India while on leave from PayPal, where he had been an early employee. Premal began his career as a management consultant and graduated from Stanford University. He’s passionate about making it easier for anyone to discover their own power to make real impact. He serves on the Board of & — a crowdfunding for developing world health care site. For his work as a social entrepreneur, Premal was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and selected to FORTUNE magazine’s “Top 40 under 40″ list.