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Friday, April 1, 2011

Say What? Storytelling, Language And Culture

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Session Description

Cutting-edge research at the intersection of neuroscience, psychology and anthropology make clear that language and culture shape the stories we tell and what others take from them. How to engage audiences and inspire action is the main question for this session that explores the relationship between language, stories and culture. Using the popular open-chair format, this session will blend experts, case studies and open participation to benefit from the collective wisdom of the room. Come and be a part of the story!


When | Where

11:00 - 12:30 Friday, April 1

Session leaders

  • Jess Search Speaker
    CEO, BRITDOC Foundation
    Jess Search is Chief Executive of the BRITDOC Foundation which gives funding and support to Oscar nominated documentaries such as CITIZENFOUR, Virunga, Whose Streets, Hooligan Sparrow, The Square and The Look of Silence. BRITDOC 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, BRITDOC created and runs The Good Pitch which partners films with NGOs, foundations and brands. Events take place in New York and around Europe and in partnership with local organisations in India, China, Argentina, Australia, Kenya and South East Asia. Previously Jess was a Channel 4 commissioning editor and has an MBA at Cass Business School. Jess is currently on the board of UK progressive think tank IPPR and global family planning organisation Marie Stopes International.
  • Lera Boroditsky Speaker
    Professor, Stanford University
    Dr. Boroditsky is a professor of psychology at Stanford University and Editor-in-Chief of Frontiers in Cultural Psychology. Boroditsky’s research examines how cognition emerges out of the interactions of mind, world, language, and culture. Her laboratory has collected data around the world, from Indonesia to Chile to Aboriginal Australia. The research has been widely featured in the popular press and has been honoured by the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, the Searle Scholars award, and the McDonnell Scholars Award.
  • Founder & General Director, Gaia Amazonas
    Martin von Hildebrand, PhD in Ethnology, Director and Founder of Gaia Amazon Foundation. He has dedicated his life since 1970 to the defense and promotion of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and to the conservation of the rain forest in the Colombian Amazon. Thanks to his constant commitment, the Indigenous People, that in the 70´s were still being exploited in rubber camps and had no rights, are now owners of 26 million hectares of Amazon Forest, have set up in half this territory their own governmental system officially recognized by the State as Public Entities and are managing their social and environmental programs with national funding. In addition to many accolades for the breath of his accomplishment, Hildebrand received Colombia's National Environmental Prize in 1999, the Swedish Right Livelihood Award in 1999, the Skoll Foundation's Social Entrepreneur Award in 2009 and the World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur Award in 2009.
  • Naif Al-Mutawa Speaker
    Founder and Chairman, THE 99
    Naif Al-Mutawa is the creator of THE 99, the first group of comic superheroes born of an Islamic archetype. THE 99 received positive attention from the world’s media. Forbes named THE 99 as one of the top 20 trends sweeping the globe and named Naif Al-Mutawa as one of the 7 most influential designers in the world. Al-Mutawa has a PhD and a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Long Island University. He holds a Masters in Organizational Psychology from Teacher’s College, Columbia University and an MBA, also from Columbia University. He earned his undergraduate degree from Tufts University, where he triple majored in clinical psychology, English literature and history. A social entrepreneur, Al-Mutawa was recognised by The Schwab Foundation with a Social Entrepreneurship Award at the 2009 World Economic Forum and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.