I gave the keynote talk at the Media That Matters Conference at American University on February 15 — data was the theme, story is the medium, impact and relevance is the message. It was terrific to be in the room with so many engaged filmmakers, grantmakers, students and faculty, NGOs and social entrepreneurs. Now that I have this new blog space, and requests for copies of the talk, I’m posting it. You can also read a little bit about it at Current.org.
Basically, I made call out for artists who want their work to be relevant in social change movements to be open to strategies and a practice informed by data, to collaborate in new ways with commitment and intention. How do we go from the exposing injustice to providing the pathways for justice? How do we go beyond raising awareness into truly facilitating the change we want to see? As I spoke, there was a slide show playing on the screen – offering other ideas, frameworks, examples, Sparkwise dashboards — a bit of 2D visual augmentation. I attempted to create an environment of both listening and seeing, reading and sharing, theory and practice, and multiple voices speaking in a relatively complex unison. If you know me, you know I like being at the podium, but I don’t like feeling alone there.
And I wasn’t. The room was full of a few hundred passionate and articulate filmmakers, funders, curators, thinkers, educators — and I was inspired by an extraordinary day of storytelling, networking and inspiration. After the horror show of American culture that was this year’s Academy Awards, I am honored to be part of this group of creative producers who work every day to add meaning, joy, power and beauty to the experience of being human.
The talk and the slideshow are posted – let me know what you think.
I’m picking up new a few projects for Q3 and Q4 2013. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss the future.