Stories of Change


Stories of Change in Numbers


Discover the impact of Sundance Institute and Skoll Foundation's Stories of Change Initiative through the Sparkwise Dashboard

Film Funding


"I have been able to realize that the film industry and its people can influence public opinion and that the issue of social entrepreneurship, if embraced by this industry, may well reach and make an impact on a large part of society and the decision makers." —Albina Ruiz, Ciudad Saludable at SFF08

“I think the money spent on a movie will be well-spent money. And from that we will definitely have a lot more support. But the most important is to get the moral support passed to the people and to show them that water can bring people together. It’s not a point of conflict; it’s rather a point of bringing people together and sit down around a table and solve your differences. I think the impact of that alone is priceless. —Munqueth Meyhar at SWF 2010

In 2008, Stories of Change launched a request for proposals and received more than 300 submissions from filmmakers around the world interested in telling the stories of social entrepreneurs. Grant awards were announced at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and Skoll World Forum. Ten feature-length documentaries are in development by award-winning filmmakers from around the world. These films frame, examine and amplify social entrepreneurship as an innovative approach to the central challenges of our time.

The current slate of projects are in various stages of development and distribution. See below for a complete list of films.

Back to School

To some she is a radical out for trouble. To others she represents a bright post-Taliban future. Sakena Yacoobi’s weapon of choice: books, which she deploys via the Afghan Institute for Learning, a grassroots organization she founded 12 years ago. Kirsten Johnson traveled to Afghanistan in 2009 to document Sakena’s work and AIF’s grassroots network to bring education to a wide cross-section of Afghans. Production ended after one research trip due to security concerns for the films subject and crew. A short film focusing on Sakena and AIL was created and premiered at the 2010 Skoll World Forum.


Background

Producer Julie Parker Benello had been following the amazing work of Sakena Yacoobi before Sundance issues the ‘Stories of Change’ call for proposals. She enlisted acclaimed cinematographer and director Kirsten Johnson to take a research trip to Afghanistan during the escalation of the American offensive in Afghanistan. Kirsten’s trip was cut short due to security concerns for both the filmmaker and her subjects. But her commitment to capturing stories of coming of age in war-torn Afghanistan laid the foundation for her feature documentary I Dream Them Always.


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Director Kirsten Johnson

Director / Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson has travelled the globe capturing compelling images that convey the complexity of the human experience with artistry and intelligence. She is currently editing I Dream Them Always, which she shot and directed in Afghanistan. In the last year, as the supervising DP on Abby Disney and Gini Reticker's series, Women, War and Peace, she traveled to Colombia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for The Oath. She shot the Tribeca Film Festival 2008 Documentary winner, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Her feature film script My Habibi was selected for the 2006 Sundance Writer’s Lab and Director’s Lab and is the recipient of an Annenberg grant. Her previous documentary as a director, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.


Producer:Julie Parker Benello

Julie Parker Benello is a Co-founder of Chicken & Egg Pictures, a hybrid organization that matches money and mentorship to support women filmmakers dedicated to using their storytelling skills to address the global justice issues of our time. Julie has produced documentaries on health and environmental issues for more than a decade. In 2002, she co-produced the Sundance award-winning HBO documentary Blue Vinyl, co-directed by Judith Helfand and Daniel Gold. Prior to Blue Vinyl, Julie produced the documentary Prostate Cancer: A Journey of Hope, which aired nationally on PBS in 1999. She has worked as a Production Executive for the Distribution Company Non Fiction Films and as a Researcher for Walter Cronkite's documentary series Cronkite Remembers. She currently serves on the board of The Center for Environmental Health and The Global Fund for Women.


Social Entrepreneur: Sakena Yacoobi, Afghan Institute for Learning

Professor Sakena Yacoobi is President and Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO she founded in 1995.The organization was established to provide teacher training to Afghan women, to support education for boys and girls, and to provide health education to women and children. Under Sakena’s leadership AIL has established itself as a groundbreaking, visionary organization which works at the grassroots level and empowers women and communities to find ways to bring education and health services to rural and poor urban girls, women and other poor and disenfranchised Afghans.

AIL was the first organization to offer human rights and leadership training to Afghan women. AIL supported 80 underground home schools for 3000 girls in Afghanistan after the Taliban closed girls’ schools in the 1990s.

AIL was the first organization that opened Women’s Learning Centers for Afghan women—a concept now copied by many organizations throughout Afghanistan. Using their grassroots strategies, AIL now serves 350,000 women and children each year through its Educational Learning Centers, schools and clinics in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Easy Like Water

Mohammed Rezwan is re-casting rising rivers as channels of communication—and transforming lives along the flood-prone river basins of Bangladesh. Rezwan, an innovative architect and social entrepreneur is building solar, powered floating schools. Replete with Internet connections, they’ve become mobile hubs for hundreds of communities facing the not-so-easy challenge of water taking their land and destroying their livelihoods. Can this soft-spoken inventor overcome both flooding and global indifference? With a concept that is elegant and home-grown, Rezwan is helping his country adapt to the new climate reality—and cultivating the next generation of problem solvers. While some still argue the reality of global warming as a man-made phenomenon, Bakers’ film shows the human face of climate disaster and highlights one simple, affordable adaptation that is changing lives by building a future that floats.


Background

Washington, DC based filmmaker Glenn Baker spent 7 years in South East Asia as an adolescent and developed a life-long connection to the region. “I visited East Pakistan in 1971, at age 12, just two months before the bloody revolution that would rename it Bangladesh” His producing career focused on international affairs (Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria) and his first feature STAND UP: Muslims American Comics Come of Age is a cross-cultural comedy reflecting a post 9/11 nation’s perception of Islam. Baker returned to Bangladesh in 2008 in search of a personal, human story about climate change. Easy Like Water is the result of his commitment to this story: as of November 2011 the film is in post-production. Rezwan’s innovative strategies have expanded to libraries and health care facilities and have been featured on CNN and at the Cooper-Hewitt museums ‘Design with the Other 90%’ exhibit at the United Nations.


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Director: Glenn Baker

Glenn Baker is a filmmaker with more than 40 documentaries broadcast on PBS exploring global security issues. He produced and directed STAND UP: Muslim American Comics Come of Age for the PBS series “America at a Crossroads.” His productions on underrepresented groups, the military/media relationship, Cuba, conflict prevention and firearms violence have been recognized with more than a dozen national awards, including a CINE Golden Eagle to “Stand Up” for excellence in broadcast documentary.


Producer:Stephen Sapienza

Stephen Sapienza is a producer and writer of television programs for national and international distribution. Since 1992, he has produced documentaries for broadcast on PBS covering a wide range of military and global security issues, including the HIV crisis in Haiti, sex workers in the Dominican Republic, child soldiers in Sierra Leone, the Cuban military, and landmine survivors in Cambodia. He currently writes and produces for Azimuth Media's global affairs TV series Foreign Exchange. He became Co-Director of the non-profit production company Azimuth Media in 2001.

Open Heart

Open Heart is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, the Salam Center run by Emergency, an Italian NGO. Their heart valves, damaged and weakened by rheumatic heart disease, which develops from untreated childhood strep throat, leave them lethargic and weak. Some of the children have only months to live.

During their cross-continental journey, Open Heart reveals the intertwined endeavors of Dr. Emmanuel Rusingiza, Rwanda’s lone, overworked public cardiologist, and Dr. Gino Strada, the Salam Center’s head surgeon. As one of Emergency’s founders, he must fight not just for the children’s lives but for the tenuous financial future of the hospital.

There are an estimated 18 million people afflicted with rheumatic heart disease and in need of urgent surgery, almost two thirds of them children, and the disease kills 300,000 people per year. Despite those facts, the Salam Center remains the only facility in Africa capable of such high-standard cardiac surgery, free of charge. Salam is key in Emergency’s plan to treat and reduce heart diseases in an area three times the size of Europe and home to 300 million people. The idea that “the Right to be Cured” should be accessible and free of charge to every member of the “human community,” is part of Emergency’s operating ethos. To accomplish that, the Center serves as a hub for the program for pediatrics and cardiac surgery that Emergency is implementing throughout its own medical facilities and local hospitals across Africa.


Background

Producer Cori Stern has worked with Partners in Health for many years. The team scheduled their first production trip shortly before the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and has been filming the unfolding story of Partners in Health groundbreaking work since.  While filming in Sudan, it became clear that the story unfolding on the ground merited its own film.

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Director:Kief Davidson

Kief recently completed Open Heart, which took him and a small crew to the heart of Rwanda and Sudan. He is concurrently filming a companion film about Dr. Paul Farmer and his organization Partners In Health, executive produced by Matt Damon and Damon Lindelof in collaboration with the Sundance Institute, Skoll Foundation and Tribeca Gucci.

He’s had international success from the award-winning feature-length documentaries, Kassim the Dream and The Devil’s Miner. Kief’s first feature, The Devil’s Miner, made its world premiere at the Rotterdam Film Festival and won over 15 awards at international film festivals.

He began his filmmaking career as editor on the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann. He is the recipient of two Emmy nominations for his editing work with National Geographic and earned the International Monitor Award for Best Editing on the journalistic film, What’s News? Kief is a member of the Director’s Guild of America and is based in Los Angeles, California.

http://www.kiefdavidson.com


Producer:Cori Sheperd Stern

Cori Shepherd Stern is a writer and producer, working in both documentary and narrative film. In addition to Open Heart, she is currently producing a feature documentary in collaboration with the Sundance Institute, Skoll Foundation and The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund about the revolutionary health care organization Partners In Health, also directed by Kief Davidson. Her other film projects include the major feature film release Warm Bodies directed by Jonathan Levine for Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate, and The Arizona Project for Miramax.

Beyond film, Cori is known for her work as a social change strategist and as a co-founder of STRONGHEART, an international residential community and accelerated learning lab for exceptional young people from extreme life circumstances across the globe including former child slaves, child soldiers, refugees, and other young survivors of conflict or poverty. The program – which has been called “R&D for brilliance in unlikely places” – combines groundbreaking neuroscience, social and personal change theory, and community psychology to affect significant change and create future influencers and advocates from exceptionally challenging backgrounds.

Cori’s work has been covered by BBC, CNN, NPR, and National Geographic among others. She was named O Magazine’s “Good Guy of the Month” and ABC World News “Person of the Week.”

http://www.strongheartfellows.org

Poor Consuelo Conquers The World

It all started by accident in 1969, when a Peruvian telenovela character worked her way out of poverty using a sewing machine; and suddenly sewing machines flew off the shelves by the thousands all over Peru. That incident, combined with the social modeling theories of psychologist Albert Bandura, demonstrating the power of fictional media characters to act as role models and influence behaviors of viewers, inspired a brilliant Mexican director named Miguel Sabido to create popular telenovelas designed both to entertain and to address urgent social issues. His first series were huge commercial hits and demonstrably contributed to skyrocketing enrollments in literacy classes and significant declines in population growth rates in heavily overpopulated Mexico. He revised and refined his formula until it became a scientific methodology that soon spread all over the world with success after success, and ultimately helped create an entire field, now known as Entertainment-Education. Sabido essentially created an affordable, exportable model for socially sustainable development, all while creating hit show after hit show. Like Sabido’s work, our documentary Poor Consuelo Conquers the World is both entertaining and solution-oriented in its approach to social change.

Background

Storytelling, connecting with audiences via film and television with a goal of creating lasting social change is a core precept of the Stories of Change project. Poor Consuelo Conquers the World, looks at both historical and contemporary examples of Entertainment-Educational from a global perspective, ranging from Bolivia to Mexico, India to South Africa, and Afghanistan to the US. The focus is on empowering the poor and illiterate multitudes to make beneficial behavior changes that improve their daily lives. As one of the principal creators of this form of storytelling, Miguel Sabido’s innovation was to formalize the age-old notion of telling stories to educate a wide public, and adapt it for mass media in the form of telenovelas. He made it purposely entertaining but with specific aims that were often counter to the prevailing culture, such as a soap-opera addressing family planning at a time when family planning was illegal and even unconstitutional in Mexico. His family planning telenovela, made with the agreement of the government, the Catholic Church, and even the Communist Party, spurred a significant reduction in population growth rates in Mexico and persuaded India’s the-Prime Minister, Indira Ghandi, to invite Sabido to India to oversee the development of India’s first soap-opera, Hum Log. This lead to the creation of the first NGO dedicated to producing social-issue soap operas, PCI-Media Impact, now active in dozens of countries, and dozens of similarly dedicated NGOs/producers world wide including the Center for Media and Health in the Netherlends, the Vermont-based Population Media Council (PMC), Puntos de Encuentro in Nicaragua, The BBC World Service Trust in India, Search for Common Ground in Palestine and elsewhere, Soul City in South Africa, and many others.


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Director:Peter Friedman

Peter Friedman recently began shooting The Devil is in the Detail: Portrait of an Artist, an in-depth portrait of one of the world’s greatest and least famous artists at work. Friedman is also developing two features, Fatherless: A bipolar tragic-comedy and The Death of Philip Brooks. He has been making documentaries since 1980, when his first short was nominated for an Academy Award. Silverlake Life, in 1993, won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize among many other prizes, and is universally considered among the most important films ever made about AIDS. Death by Design, in 1995, is widely considered a landmark, and significantly influenced the way science is represented on film. Mana-Beyond Belief, (IDFA 2005), co-directed with Roger Manley, is a globally shot visual essay about the power of objects.


Producer: Paul Miller

R. Paul Miller, now head of the Doha Film Commission in Qatar, produced of Snow Angels (2007), A Love Song for Bobby Long (2003), Prozac Nation (2000), Men with Guns (1998), and Lone Star (1993), as well as an associate producer on The Secret of Roan Inish (1994). In addition, Miller is Head of Production at Escape Pictures.


Social Entrepreneur:Miguel Sabido and PCI-Media Impact

In 1984 Miguel Sabido, the father of Entertainment-Education (and the hero of Poor Consuelo), was invited by Indira Ghandi to develop and launch India’s first soap opera. Hum Log soared to the top of entertainment charts and drew a regular viewing audience of more than 50 million people. It also began to change family planning attitudes and practices thoughout India. The New York based NGO PCI-Media Impact was born, and to this day continues producing radio and television programs to promote family planning and many, many other issues in dozens of countries throughout the world.

During one of these programs a young character, Shandi, asked a question on the radio drama Taru that echoed throughout Bihar, India: Why don’t I have a birthday? See, little girls in Bihar didn’t celebrate their birthdays. Only boys did. Over the course of a few weeks, Shandi, aided by a social worker, Taru, planned and hosted her birthday party. Soon after the broadcasts, girls throughout Bihar began to celebrate their birthdays.

But the change didn’t stop there. Birthdays were symbolic of other inequalities – who went to school, who ate first, who received the best medical care. These things started changing too. An entire village decided it was time for all little girls to receive an education, so that year little girls got to go with their brothers to school.

Each of our 100 programs has a Shandi, someone who asks the seemingly simple question that transforms a society. These stories have reached 1 billion people in 34 countries. That’s the power of Entertainment-Education. We think it’s pretty cool and invite you to learn more by watching the video below and exploring the rest of our website.

Solar Mama

Rafea is a Bedouin woman who lives with her four daughters in one of Jordan’s poorest desert villages on the Iraqi border. She is given a chance to travel to India to attend the Barefoot College, where illiterate grandmothers from around the world are trained in 6 months to be solar engineers. If Rafea succeeds, she will be able to electrify her village, train more engineers, and provide for her daughters.

Even when she returns as the first female solar engineer in the country, her real challenge will have just begun. Will she find support for her new venture? Will she be able to inspire the other women in the village to join her and change their lives?  And most importantly, will she be able to re-wire the traditional minds of the Bedouin community that stands in her way?

A 58-minute broadcast version of this film is currently available on YouTube, click to watch!


Background

When Barefoot College founder Bunker Roy shared the stories of empowered grandmothers bringing the transformative power of light to their rural communities, he created a buzz of interest among documentarians on the lookout for a good story. Jehane Noujaim (Control Room, StartUp.com) didn’t wait for a commission. Jehane picked up her camera and headed to Africa to follow Roy, a distinguished looking Indian, sell the opportunity become solar engineers to a village in Mali. With founding support from the ‘Stories of Change’ partnership, the film will be part of the global documentary project Why Poverty?


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Director: Jehand Noujaim and Mona Eldaief

Jehane Noujaim was raised in Cairo where she began her career as a photographer. Following a B.A. in Film and Philosophy at Harvard, she directed Mokattam (1998). Noujaim went on to produce and direct Startup.com (2001) in association with Pennebaker Hegedus Films and Control Room (2004). She was co-director on Shayfeen.com: We Are Watching You. Noujaim has also worked as a cinematographer on Born Rich (2003), Only the Strong Survive (2002), and Down from the Mountain (2002), and as executive producer on Encounter Point (2006) and Budrus (currently in release).

Mona Eldaief is a director, director of photography, and editor on documentary film and television projects around the world. Born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in the United States, she graduated from New York University with a degree in political science and photography. Her documentary feature credits include Control Room, A Wedding in Ramallah, and Her Name Is Zelda. Television credits include programs for PBS Frontline World , Discovery Networks, Travel Channel, ABC News, and MTV News and Docs. Mona is currently directing and shooting Barefoot Engineers, a documentary feature about a Bedouin woman from the northeastern desert in Jordan who is struggling against the Patriarchal rules of her society to get an education as a solar engineer in India and put the women of her village to work to help alleviate poverty.


Producer: Mette Heide

Mette Heide is an award-winning producer and owner of +plus pictures ApS. She has worked as an executive producer for the past 16 years. She has most recently produced Last White Man Standing (2010), The Invention of Dr. Nakamats (2009) and Honestly, Mum and Dad (2009), the best selling format in Danish television history. She has also produced Little Miss Grown Up (2008), winner of the 2009 Danish Academy Award for Best documentary, Milosevic on Trial (2007), the 2008 Danish Academy Award winner for Best Documentary, and Liberace of Baghdad, winner of the Special Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. In 2008, Heide, along with Mette Hoffmann Meyer and Weijun Chen, won a Danish TV-Oscar for Please Vote for Me, as part of the award-winning series “Why Democracy?”.


Social Entrepreneur: Bunker Roy, Barefoot College

Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is a non-governmental organization that provides basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities, with the objective of making them self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into solar energy, water, education, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development.

The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by those whom it serves. Therefore, all Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’. With little guidance, encouragement and space to grow and exhibit their talent and abilities, people who have been considered ‘very ordinary’ and written off by society, are doing extraordinary things that defy description.

The Revolutionary Optimist

 

Children are saving lives in the slums of Calcutta. Amlan Ganguly doesn't rescue children; he empowers them to become change agents, battling poverty and transforming their neighborhoods with dramatic results. The Revolutionary Optimists follows Amlan and the children he works with – Shika, Salim, Kajal and Priyanka - on an intimate journey through adolescence, as they bravely fight the forces that oppress them. Using street theater, dance, and data as their weapons, the children have mounted vaccination drives to close the final mile with polio vaccination, turned garbage dumps into playing fields, and conducted education campaigns that have resulted in a significant drop in malaria and diarrhea in their neighborhood. Through intimate footage with the children, we witness not only the changes they are able to make in their neighborhood, but also the changes in the kids themselves.

Check here for upcoming special screenings.


Background

In production since 2008, the Revolutionary Optimists has evolved into a short film, multi-platform tool as well as a feature film. In 2010 the filmmakers participated in the BAVC Producers Institute to develop Map Your World, an innovative way to track clean water and other public health issues. The short film, The Revolutionary Optimists, premiered a TEDx event, introduced by Melinda Gates. The feature film was part of the 2011 Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab at the Sundance Resort.


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Director: Maren Greinger-Monsen and Nicole Newnham

Maren Grainger-Monsen is a physician, filmmaker-in-residence and director and founder of the Program in Bioethics in Film at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. Maren directed Hold Your Breath (2007) and Worlds Apart (2003), a large-scale project on cross-cultural conflicts in medicine, which was broadcast on national public television and is currently being used in over 60% of US medical schools. Her film, The Vanishing Line (1998), exploring the art and issues of dying, was broadcast on the national PBS POV series. She won a regional Emmy Award for her film, Where the Highway Ends: Rural Healthcare in Crisis (1996). Maren studied film at the London International Film School, received her medical doctorate from the University of Washington and her emergency medicine residency at Stanford. She lives near Stanford with her husband, medical device entrepreneur and mandolin player Jeff Grainger, her two children Solenn and Tilson, and five chickens.

Nicole Newnham is a documentary filmmaker and writer, currently co-producing The Revolutionary Optimists with Maren Grainger-Monsen as a filmmaker-in-residence at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics Program in Bioethics and Film. Nicole recently co-produced and directed the critically acclaimed The Rape of Europa, about the fate of Europe's art treasures during WWII. Nicole was also nominated for a national Emmy Award for co-producing and directing the documentary Sentenced Home (2006) which follows three Cambodian refugees in Seattle who are deported back to Cambodia after 9/11. With Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Brian Lanker, she co-produced They Drew Fire (2000), a widely-acclaimed special for PBS about the combat artists of World War II, and wrote the companion book distributed by Harper Collins. Nicole graduated from Oberlin College and has a Master’s degree in Documentary Film from Stanford University. She lives in Oakland with her husband, education reformer Tom Malarkey, and her sons Finn and Blaine.


Producer: Maren GRainger-Monsen and Nicole Newnham


Social Entrepreneur:Amlan Ganguly, Prayasam

A qualified lawyer, Amlan began his career as an apprentice to the most reputed criminal lawyer in Calcutta. He was soon disillusioned with a legal system that provided little justice to the poor unable to pay fees and withstand the long drawn legal process.

In 1996, Amlan decided to make a complete switch and joined Lutheran World Service India. In 1999, Amlan registered Prayasam with a few friends with the intention of enabling children to participate in the decisions and factors that affect their lives. Under Amlan’s leadership, Prayasam has emerged as a regional expert and trailblazer in child rights programming and workshops. Amlan is best known for his use of popular media to engage and educate children in an interactive, problem-posing approach. A self-taught choreographer and fashion designer, Amlan incorporates both contemporary and traditional art forms into Prayasam’s alternative education models, which range from song, dance and comics to puppetry and storytelling. Amlan has made mentorship a hallmark at Prayasam, which has become a platform for introducing young people of diverse backgrounds to the social sector. Amlan is best known for his use of popular media to engage and educate children in an interactive, problem-posing approach.

SH*T

SH*T! follows radical solutions that turn human waste into green energy. From the bottom of the poverty ladder to the heights of power, $H*T! shows a transformation in thinking, where human waste is not a problem – it’s a resource. According to Co-director Annika Gustafson “’You can't make a film about shit!’ is the number one comment we get when we tell people about our film”

The facts: a full third of the world’s population has no access to toilets. That’s 2.6 billion people who have no choice but to defecate in the open, posing the single largest threat to drinking water and public health on the planet.

At the center of SH*T! lies a simple innovation: the PeePoo bag. Invented in Sweden, it turns human waste in to fertilizer after a mere two weeksThe filmmakers followed the PeePoo team as they seek to make a viable business out of a good idea and launched a pilot project in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. Well-intentioned outsiders with high-stakes business goals (the model depends on local people creating micro-enterprises to sell the bags) meet cultural, philosophical and language barriers, all of which makes for some low-level humor and high drama.


Background

Clean water is an important, and appealing cause. Picking up a bottle of Ethos at Starbucks you can help a child somewhere, somehow get clean water. But large-scale change is not neatly packaged; SH*T! faces an uncomfortable truth with a touch of humor and a heaping dose of humanity. Conventional development approaches to overpopulation, poverty and lack of sanitation and electricity in the world’s worst slums require lots of money, highly-functioning governments, and international cooperation. Meanwhile, a short-term way to deal with this most basic of human activities provides a dignified, safe and sustainable solution. It takes a brave storyteller to venture in to this subject, but Annika Gustafson and Phil Jandaly, partners in film and in life, fear not. Their unique approach – animated poo! – to telling this story of innovation in action makes an appealing story out of well, you know.

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Director: Annika Gustafson & Phil Jandaly

Annika Gustafson grew up on a pig farm in southern Sweden where she literally fell into the manure pit – an incident that ultimately drove her to look for a different occupation. KILLING TIME, her feature length documentary debut, won Le Grand Prix at the Montreal Human Rights Film Festival 2008.

Born in Birmingham, England, Phil Jandaly spent his first years in Lebanon before moving to Montreal. Phil mainly works as an editor and cut Annika’s award winning documentary Killing Time. He knows a thing or two about poop after Annika talked him into having two sled dogs and a baby.

Together they formed Bedouin Viking Inc. as a reflection of their respective Swedish and Syrian heritage. The fusion of two seemingly mismatched cultures stands as a powerful metaphor of curiosity and tenacity, and an illustration of the global vision in the filmmakers’ work. SH*T! will be the first production to fall under the banner. Annika Gustafson previously produced under Man & Motion Productions.


Producer: Annika Gustafson & Phil Jandaly

The Team

Kenya has long been Africa’s success story—stable and ethnically harmonious.

After the presidential election in December 2007, everything changed. Voting controversy split the country along ethnic lines. A thousand people were killed and half a million displaced, pushing Kenya toward civil war, if not genocide. Dignitaries intervened, brokering peace, and establishing a fragile power-sharing government, but the post-election fallout persists. An alternative local response to the post-election violence seems superficial by comparison but is potentially more impactful: produce a TV soap opera series, hoping taboo storylines can bridge ethnic divisions and help transform a nation. Starting in December 2008, a Kenyan production company began work on a TV drama series, “The Team”, following the struggles of a fictional soccer team to overcome their ethnic differences, both on and off the pitch.

There’s inherent drama behind any TV production: will deadlines be met; will it be good; will it find an audience? But here the stakes are exponentially higher: if you don’t captivate an audience, you risk further losing your country.

All the ingredients for a compelling feature film are here: a skilled team of filmmakers; a stunning location; an unfolding process that is inherently visual and dramatic; an uncertain outcome that could have repercussions for both other conflicts and media’s potential to make a difference. A place ripe for transformation, but that’s also teetering on the brink. What can a soap opera achieve in this volatile context? Watch and see.


Background

Patrick Reed first met Search For Common Ground founder John Marks and partner Susan Collin Marks at a Stories of Change Convening at the Skoll World Forum. Patrick attended subsequent convenings at the Sundance Film Festival and went into production in 2009. The Team was completed and had its world premiere at IDFA in 2010 followed by a special screening at the Skoll World Forum in March, 2011.


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Director: Patrick Reed

A decade ago, Patrick Reed abandoned a PhD program in History to work on documentaries, first as a writer/researcher, then as a director. Reed has collaborated with Peter Raymont on several White Pine Pictures’ award-winning productions over the years, playing a key creative role on Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire which won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at Sundance 2006, and Best Documentary Emmy in 2007. Most recently, Reed directed the award-winning documentary Triage: Dr. James Orbinski’s Humanitarian Dilemma which had its North American premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.


Producer: Peter Raymont

Filmmaker, journalist and writer Peter Raymont has produced and directed over 100 documentary films and series during a career of 34-years. His films have taken him to Ethiopia, Nicaragua, India, Rwanda, the High Arctic and throughout North America and Europe. His documentary feature, Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire was honoured with the 2005 Audience Award for World Cinema Documentaries at Sundance Film Festival and the 2007 Emmy Award for Best Documentary.

Raymont's most recent feature documentary film, A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman, which premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival; is an exploration of exile, memory, longing and democracy, seen through the experiences of the best-selling American-Argentinean writer and playwright. Raymont is also the Executive Producer of The Border, the new 13 episode, 1 hour, dramatic series on CBC television.


Social Entrepreneur: Search For Common Ground

Founded in 1982, Search for Common Ground works to transform the way the world deals with conflict - away from adversarial approaches and towards collaborative problem solving. We use a multi-faceted approach, employing media initiatives and working with local partners in government and civil society, to find culturally appropriate means to strengthen societies' capacity to deal with conflicts constructively: to understand the differences and act on the commonalities.

To Catch A Dollar

In 1974 , a young economist in Bangladesh loaned a total of $27.00 to 42 families. Today, millions of women in the developing world have improved their lives through micro-lending programs of Muhammad Yunus’ Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank. Now, Grameen America is taking this simple yet radical concept to the streets of New York: 5 poor women- each with a dream- 5 low-interest loans, weekly meetings with group accountability, but no collateral, no guarantee. Can they build their American dream with a couple hundred dollars and a proven micro-credit model? Will Yunus’ model succeed in the financial capital of the world?


Background

Director Gayle Ferraro made her first film about the Grameen bank in 2000, profiling an illiterate young woman in Bangladesh who borrowed enough to buy a chicken, then a rickshaw, and create a micro-business. Ten years later, she returned to film that same woman, now mother able to send her daughter to school. The success of To Catch A Dollar, is in how it interweaves the history of the founding of the first ever bank for the poor, with its introduction in the US following the financial crisis of 2008, showing how a world-changing innovation can be adapted to meet the changing needs of societies and communities.

Ferraro was already following Muhammad Yunus on his global mission to spread the word on microcredit when ‘Stories of Change’ issued the call for proposals. Since some consider Yunus the original social entrepreneur, it was only fitting that To Catch A Dollar was the first in the series to be complete. The film had its world premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically in the Fall of 2011.


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Director: Gayle Ferraro

Gayle Ferraro, founder of Aerial Productions, brings personal accounts of extraordinary and socially compelling stories to the film circuit. To Catch a Dollar is Ferraro’s fourth independently produced and directed feature documentary. Ferraro’s previous works include: Ganges: River to Heaven (2003) where with unparalleled intimacy the film explores dying in the holy city o f Varanasi, India; Anonymously Yours (2002) shot clandestinely in Burma follows the harrowing world of sex-trafficking through the stories of four young women; and Sixteen Decisions (2000) an intimate look at one young woman’s challenges in rural Bangladesh to change her family’s life of extreme poverty. She received a Masters Degrees in Public Administration from Harvard University and Mass Communication from Boston University and studied International Human Rights Law at Oxford University.


Producer: Gayle Ferraro

Untitled Global Health Documentary

 

MOUNTAINS BEYOND MOUNTAINS, Tracey Kidder’s Pulitzer-prize winning bestseller, made a kind of reluctant global health rock star out of the quietly charismatic Dr. Paul Farmer. Treating drug-resistant TB in Haiti, he and his partners openly defied the global public health care system by insisting on curing a disease that conventional wisdom said was incurable under the circumstances. Since that time, they’ve gone on to work in thirteen additional countries, significantly advancing the idea of health care as a human right throughout the world. Kief Davidson and Cori Stern’s documentary will go deeper into the story of PIH and their partners, to portray a range of remarkable and very human characters working in the field of global health care and social justice.

In the world of international development, success equals “sustainability, ” which usually means “economically feasible for a given population.” But Dr. Farmer and PIH focus on outcome: what will truly heal a patient regardless of inconvenience or cost. If a patient has tuberculosis and a leaky roof that contributes to their poor health, the PIH prescription is world-class TB medicine, a community health care worker monitoring daily progress, and a new roof, period. PIH – and their partners - view health care as a human right, and believes that we each have a moral imperative to act on that belief, no matter the cost. This view has become highly controversial: life-saving medicine and expensive technologies are commonplace in the West, but virtually unavailable to the world’s poor. Public health care and social equity are inextricably linked; and this film will tell the story of the doctors, nurses and patients who battle disease under difficult circumstances and overcome enormous obstacles to consistently connect even the poorest patients to the care they need.


Background

When the earthquake hit Haiti – devastating all the major hospitals – Partners In Health immediately stepped in and became the fastest-responding, most coordinated organization on the ground – staffed primarily by 120 Haitian doctors and 500 Haitian nurses, many of whom lost their families, homes, and entire communities. In the massive media attention that followed, PIH became know in the mainstream. Meryl Streep even mentioned them at the Oscars. Suddenly a relatively obscure charity was heralded in the mainstream press. Following the success of Kidder’s book, the PIH team may have shied away from a documentary camera crew focusing on their work. But an in-depth film could reach exponentially more people with this remarkable approach to pulic health that defies expectation. Since producer Cori Stern is also a social entrepreneur, working in Liberia and Rwanda she’s connected with PIH as a person dedicated to poverty alleviation. Partnering with Kief Davidson who brings a stunning visual and a compassionate eye to direction, they are the right team to capture this multi-faceted story of one of the world’s leading health care innovators.


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Director: Kief Davidson

Kief Davidson is an award-winning feature film and documentary director, whose latest film Kassim the Dream, about a former child soldier turned boxing champion, premiered at the 2008 Tribeca film festival and won over 10 international film festivals including: AFI Fest - Best Documentary and Audience Award, and the Silver Docs award at AFI/Silver Docs film festival. Additionally, Kassim was nominated by the IDA for Best Feature and was released theatrically by IFC Films. His prior film, The Devil's Miner, won over 15 awards at festivals including Tribeca, Hot Docs, and Chicago. He received the FIPRESCI Award, the DGA Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Directing and won the PBS Independent Lens Audience Award. The Devil's Miner sold to over 45 countries and screened theatrically in over 200 cinemas internationally.


Producer: Cori Sheperd Stern

Cori Shepherd Stern divides her time between international NGO work and producing film. Her credits include The Arizona Project for Miramax, script by Sheldon Turner, Ben Affleck directing. The film is based on true events in 1970’s Arizona, which lead to 19 indictments of major crime figures and shut down mob activity in Goldwater’s Arizona. Cori is also executive producing Warm Bodies for Summit, written and directed by Jonathan Levine. Additionally, Cori is known for her work as a social entrepreneur and innovative strategist for poverty alleviation. Her projects have been featured on BBC, NPR, and Oprah. She was named by ABC World News as “Person of the Week” and O Magazine as “Good Guy of the Month.”


Social Entrepreneur: Partners in Health

We are driven by three goals: to care for our patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease, and to share lessons learned with other countries and NGOs. We bring the benefits of modern medicine to those most in need and work to alleviate the crushing economic and social burdens of poverty that exacerbate disease.

PIH believes in 5 fundamental principles:

  • Providing universal access to primary health care
  • Making healthcare and education free to the poor
  • Hiring and training community health workers
  • Fighting diseases mean fighting poverty
  • Partnering with local and national governments
YouthBuild Documentary Project

The YouthBuild Documentary Project intimately captures the lives of four teenagers who make the cut for an innovative and demanding alternative education program – YouthBuild – in North Philadelphia, one of the roughest communities in America. Documenting their year long journey toward graduation, the film interweaves dramatic stories of poverty and opportunity, exploring the unforgettable personal struggles to reclaim communities and reinvent fragile lives. This film goes beyond stereotypes of disconnected youth to show how brutal boundaries can define a life, and how these four teens find the strength and courage to transcend them.

The dropout rate in Philadelphia’s public schools hovers at 50% and the crime rate is one of the highest in the nation. Over 2000 out-of-school youth have applied to YouthBuild Philadelphia for a program that offers 18-20 year olds a shot at a high school diploma and the holy grail – a job. There are only 200 slots. If you make it through the first round of interviews, you then must pass through a grueling emotional boot camp – known around here as Mental Toughness. If you’re one of the lucky 200 invited into the program, you’re about to enter a year that can remarkably change the course of your life.

Welcome to YouthBuild, where you go to class, you rebuild slums, you to go prom, you go to too many funerals, and you fight to make it to graduation. Last year, only 117 made it to graduation. Will these young people make it this year?

Background

Youth Build USA is perhaps the least well-known and most successful youth intervention, education and support organization in the US: it has touched hundreds of thousands of lives since its founder Dorothy Stoneman (a Skoll Foundation Awarded Social Entrepreneur) began a program to teach and employ at-risk youth in Harlem to rebuild abandoned apartment building and provide housing for the homeless. Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern’s breakthrough films include both hard-hitting story of genocide in the Sudan, The Devil Came on Horseback and entertainment like the hit documentary A Piece of Work featuring comedienne Joan Rivers. The ‘Stories of Change’ connected Stoneman and Sundberg and inspired both filmmakers and social entrepreneur to explore ways to tell this story of thousands of lives, and numerous communities, transformed The 2010 short film Youth Build from Sundance supported by the Gates Foundation is a preview of what’s to come.

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Director: Annie Sundberg & Ricki Stern

Annie and RIcki are well known for producing and creating critically acclaimed documentaries and are sought after for their experience in directing dynamic personal journeys close to home, as well as mounting large international productions in challenging locations. Accomplished writers and directors in their own right, Ricki and Annie are the leading creative forces behind Break Thru Film’s productions and are known for crafting deft and cinematic journeys through unexpected territory. Each project tracks new landscape – from criminal injustice in the American South, to Darfur, to stand up comedy and celebrity culture – but all are centered on unforgettable people and their most human experiences.

In 2009, Annie and Ricki received a Sundance/Skoll 'Stories of Change' production grant to support a new documentary about the innovative education and anti-poverty program YouthBuild. Their new short for the Sundance Institute / Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is soon to be released as part of the BMGF focus on the United Nations’ Millennium Goals.

Ricki’s additional credits include directing and producing In My Corner for POV/ PBS, Emmy nominated Neglect Not The Children (PBS) and as producer on HBO’s series Autopsy I, II, III and Murder 9 to 5. Ricki is the author of a children’s book series Beryl Bean: Mighty Adventurer of the Planet published by HarperCollins.

Annie was a director and supervising producer on the HBO 2009 series Brave New Voices and she developed and produced the feature film Tully, nominated for four 2003 IFP Spirit Awards. Additional directing and producing credits include a four part special on the Mayo Clinic for Discovery (2004) and the 1996 Academy Award and Emmy winning One Survivor Remembers, a co-production of HBO and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.


Producer: Annie Sunderberg & Ricki Stern


Social Entrepreneur: YouthBuild U.S.A

YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. 92,000 YouthBuild students have built 19,000 units of affordable, increasingly green, housing since 1994.

Convenings & Events

"Coming from the world of filmmaking, I learned a whole new vocabulary this week." —Kirsten Johnson, SWF11

"The Now show (on PBS) did a half-hour documentary about The Team in Kenya which came out of the fact that we sat next to the executive producer, John Sokolov at the dinner at Sundance dinner at the Skoll World Forum. It was a Sandi Hertz/Cara Mertes special, ‘the introduction.’ That’s one reason we come here is to make those kinds of connections. It was quite useful. What it’s done is put our work out to probably a million people." —John Marks at SWF 2010

Since 2008, Sundance organized convenings and workshops 2-3 times a year at the Sundance Film Festival, the Skoll World Forum, and the Sundance Creative Producing Summit. Each event brought together different high-level resources and individuals from the worlds of documentary filmmaking and social entrepreneurship.

By immersing social entrepreneurs in film events and bringing filmmakers to social entrepreneurs new knowledge networks were created and lasting connections formed.

2014 Convenings

January 20-24, 2014 - Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

The seventh annual Stories of Change Convening took place in January at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The Convening is an intensive, story workshop that brings together documentary filmmakers and Skoll-supported social entrepreneurs.

Organization Participants

BasicNeeds

Organization Mission: BasicNeeds’ mission is to enable people with mental illness or epilepsy and their families to live and work successfully in their communities by combining health, socio-economic and community orientated solutions with changes in policy, practice and resource allocation.

Main Organizational Goals:  According to the World Health organization,  450 million people in the world suffer from mental illness. In developing countries roughly 90% of these people lack mental health care.  BasicNeeds works in a number of developing countries, including India, China, Ghana, Kenya, Laos, Nepal, Pakistan, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda and Vietnam, in order to improve lives of people living with mental illness. The organization prides itself on working with its beneficiaries rather than simply for them.

BasicNeeds uses a model – termed MHD (Mental Health and Development) – which aims to address people’s mental illnesses as well as their socio-economic challenges. This model breaks  down into five independent elements:  Capacity Building: identifying, mobilizing, sensitizing and training mental health and development stakeholders. Community Mental Health: enabling effective and affordable community oriented mental health treatment services. Livelihoods: facilitating opportunities for affected individuals to gain or regain the ability to work, earn and contribute to family and community. Research: generating evidence from the practice of mental health and development. Collaboration: managing partnerships and relationships with stakeholders who are involved in implementing the BasicNeeds MHD Model on the ground and/or are responsible for policy and practice decisions.

BasicNeeds has helped more than half a million people so far and through collaborating with local, national and international partners, aims to reach at least one million more people over the next five years.

[headshot]CHRIS UNDERHILL (Founder) is a global expert in the delivery of health and rehabilitation systems to very poor people. He is a serial social entrepreneur and his latest organisation, BasicNeeds, concerns the delivery of a holistic Model to mentally ill people and people with epilepsy in some of the poorest countries of the world. Chris is a Senior Fellow with the Ashoka Fellowship and is a recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The BasicNeeds Model for Mental Health and Development is recognised as a significant innovation in community mental health care delivery combining medical, social, economic and personal aspects into one successful programme. Over 600,000 beneficiaries having been served in the BasicNeeds global programme. Previous organisations founded by Chris include Action on Disability and Development and Thrive, and in 2000 Chris was made an MBE by her Majesty the Queen for his services to disability and development.

[headshot]NATASHA ABRAHAM joined BasicNeeds in 2012 after completing her Masters degree in International Relations at the University of Warwick, UK. Prior to studying at Warwick, she graduated in Political Science from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and then worked as a teacher with The Akanksha Foundation - a non-profit focusing on educating less privileged children in India. Natasha is currently BasicNeeds’ Communications Officer and supports the organisation to increase its profile and raise awareness of global mental health generally using a variety of appropriate communications channels.

Saúde Criança

Organization Mission: Associação Saúde Criança is a social organization that works to improve and maintain the wellbeing of children who live below the poverty line by fostering the economic and social self-sustainability of their families. Saúde Criança works in numerous cities across Brazil, including Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Pernambuco, Santa Catarina, Goias and Rio Grande de Sol.

Main Organizational Goals: The process begins when health professionals at partner hospitals identify children who come from families at social risk and send them to Saúde Criança. Upon joining the organization, the family works with a multidisciplinary team to create a Family Action Plan, which establishes the overarching goals to achieve self-sufficiency and the steps to reach them. The program covers five core areas:

HEALTH: Families receive free food, medicine, medical equipment, nutritional and physiological guidance and psychiatric support. They are also given courses on hygiene, family planning, substance abuse, violence, domestic abuse and child development. INCOME: The families, in particular the mothers, are given vocational training so that they can better sustain themselves over the long term. HOUSING: Saúde Criança provides building materials and labor to families who own homes in disrepair making them vulnerable to health risks. The goal is to create healthy living conditions by ensuring that houses meet the minimum standards of shelter, which includes having running water, sewage, tiled walls and floors, and a roof, among others. CITIZENSHIP: Saúde Criança’s legal department makes sure families are receiving every right they are entitled to. They give guidance on legal issues and on how to obtain official documents and government benefits. Our legal staff also make sure all the adults in the family have all the basic documents issued by the local authorities. EDUCATION: This program works to ensure that children of school age get an education. It requires participating families to prove that their children are enrolled in school. If they are unable to do so, Saúde Criança takes the necessary steps to get the children to school.

Research has shown that Saude Criança’s FAP model can reduce hospitalization rates by 60%, increase the income of assisted families by more than 35%, and lead to significant annual savings in public spending.

[headshot]Vera Cordiero, founder and CEO of the organization, is a social entrepreneur and physician. Associação Saúde Criança, founded in 1991 by Dr. Vera Cordeiro is a not for-profit, nongovernmental, non-religious organization that works together with public hospitals breaking the cycle of readmissions of critically ill children from low-income, high-risk environments. ASC’s work has been responsible for a 60% decrease in re-hospitalization days among assisted families, 38% increase in average family income and significant annual savings in public spending which helps keep more hospital beds open to those who truly need them. For its transparency, impact and wide applicability has been rewarded various prizes by institutions from around the world. Vera Cordeiro is globally recognized for her groundbreaking work in social inclusion. She is an Ashoka fellow, a Skoll Foundation and Schwab Foundation social entrepreneur, and an Avina leader. She is member of the World Council of Ashoka and from 2005 to 2011 a Board member of PATH: A Catalyst for Global Health.

[headshot]Cristiana Velloso is COO at Saúde Criança, where she is in charge of the communications, fundraising and products area. She is also a member of the executive committee that leads the association. She graduated from the University of Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) with a bachelor degree in nutrition in 199. She did in 1994 an extension course in Marketing (IAG MASTER, PUC-RJ) and in 2004 an extension course in Social Entrepreneurship and the Third Sector. After graduation in 1992 she worked in a public hospital in Rio (Hospital de Ipanema) and in 1994 at a school for the blind. She was co-owning and administrating a pastry shop in Rio. She came to Saúde Criança as a volunteer in 1999 and became an employee in 2006, first as a project’s coordinator and since 2008 as the COO.

HEALTHCARE WITHOUT HARM

Organization Mission: Just as the Hippocratic Oath promises to, “first, do no harm,” health care providers have a responsibility to eliminate practices that harm people and the environment. Healthcare Without Harm is an international coalition of 473 organizations in over 50 countries that share a vision of a health care sector that does no harm, and instead promotes the health of people and the environment. The overall mission of Health Care Without Harm is to transform the health care sector worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment.

Main Organizational Goals: The organization’s 8 main goals are to create markets and policies for safer products, materials and chemicals in health care. Promote safer substitutes, including products that avoid mercury, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and brominated flame retardants. Eliminate incineration of medical waste as well as minimize the amount of toxicity of all waste generated. Transform the design, construction and operations of health care facilities to minimize environmental impacts and foster healthy, healing environments. Encourage food purchasing systems that support sustainable food production and distribution, and provide healthy food on-site at health care facilities. Secure a safe and healthy workplace for all health care workers. Ensure patients, workers and communities have full access to information about chemicals used in health care and can participate in decisions about exposures to chemicals. Promote human rights and environmental justice for communities impacted by the health care sector, while assuring that problems are not displaced from one community or country to another. Address climate change by improving energy practices and reducing the overall climate footprint of the health care sector.

Gary Cohen has been a pioneer in the environmental health movement for thirty years. Cohen is Co-Founder and President of Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth.  He was also instrumental in bringing together the NGOs and hospital systems that formed the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.  All three were created to transform the health care sector to be environmentally sustainable and serve as anchor institutions to support environmental health in their communities.

Cohen is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Sambhavna Clinic in Bhopal, India.  He is also on the Boards of the American Sustainable Business Council, Health Leads and Coming Clean.

Cohen has received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Cohen an Environmental Merit Award.  In 2013, he was awarded the Champion of Change Award for Climate Change and Public Health by the White House.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gary-h-cohen/preventative-health-care_b_4603604.html

[headshot]Michelle Gottlieb has been the co-coordinator of Health Care Without Harm’s National Healthy Food and Healthcare Program for the past 5 years, and co-coordinates the Food Matters Clinical Education and Advocacy Program. She has also worked with HCWH’s Safer Chemicals Program. Formerly she was the Co-Executive Director of Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility where she specialized in children's health, women's health and reproductive health. She worked with pediatric care providers from around the country to develop the Pediatric Environmental Health Toolkit, to assist pediatric caregivers in incorporating environmental health into their practice. Prior to moving to the Boston area she helped develop a new program on Health, Environment, and Development at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she focused on environmental public health and policy.

VISIONSPRING

Organization Mission: VisionSpring’s mission is to provide affordable eyewear to people living in developing countries. Since worker productivity is often hampered by loss of vision or poor eyesight, VisionSpring aims to increase worker productivity as well as the GDP in the areas they operate in.

Main Organizational Goals: According to research, uncorrected vision results in a loss of 202 billion dollars a year in the global economy. People who can’t see simply can’t work, or often at a low level of productivity. Furthermore, 90% of people with impaired vision live in developing countries. Unfortunately, glasses are not only expensive, but also simply unavailable in the parts of the world where they are needed most. In order to combat this problem, VisionSpring works to provide glasses and other vision products to low-income residents of these developing countries at an extremely reduced cost. VisionSpring trains vision entrepreneurs in local communities so that they can conduct vision tests and match clients with appropriate products. Individuals who need more specialized care are referred to a nearby optometrist. VisionSpring’s model has been lambasted by some critics who pose the question “why sell glasses when you can donate recycled pairs?” First of all, numerous jobs are created by allowing these vision entrepreneurs to sell the glasses. In addition, distributing recycled glasses is far more costly and the final product is far inferior. Finally, there is no “one size fits all” in vision correction so the recycled glasses are often given out to people who don’t need that particular kind of pair.

A study done in 2007 by the William Davidson institute at the University of Michigan found that VisionSpring glasses improved productivity of its recipients by roughly 35%. Furthermore research also suggested that the glasses could improve monthly income by up to 20%. Considering the $4 initial investment (cost of glasses to consumer) and a $2 average daily wage, this would result in a 108 dollar annual increase or a 2600% return on the patient’s investment.

[headshot]Kevin Hassey joined VisionSpring in 2011 as President of the organization, and was promoted to CEO in 2012. He is responsible for all the organization’s operations as well as its strategic direction to ensure allcan see well. He is a 20-year veteran of the optical business, and previously led retail and brand marketing for Luxottica Group’s Lenscrafters business unit and served as President of LCA Vision. During his tenure, Lenscrafters achieved over 30 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth, becoming the leader of optical retailing in America. Under Mr. Hassey’s leadership, LCA Vision became the largest American retailer of Lasik vision services by growing its market capitalization from $100 million to more than $1 billion. Mr. Hassey received an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University and holds a degree in marketing from Boston College.

[headshot]Peter Eliassen is the COO of VisionSpring where he manages global operations. Prior to joining VisionSpring, Peter held positions at Unilever, Capital One, the United Nations and served in the US Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa. Peter graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in Economics and received his MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Peter has traveled to more than 65 countries, speaks French and Spanish fluently, and enjoys trail running and global adventuring with hiswife and daughter Finley.

 

 

Media Advisors

[headshot]Nicole Newnham is a returning Media Advisor with Skoll Stories of Change. She is a documentary filmmaker, writer, and a founder of Actual Films in San Francisco. Nicole is the co-producer and director of the feature documentary The Revolutionary Optimists and the companion interactive web platform MAP YOUR WORLD, funded by Tribeca FIlm Institute, Sundance, and the Gates Foundation. She co-produced They Drew Fire, a widely-acclaimed film for PBS about the combat artists of World War II, and co-wrote the companion book, which is distributed by Harper Collins. She was associate producer of Eye of the Storm (1997), a cinema verité profile of United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan that was distributed worldwide by the BBC. Ms. Newnham has been associate producer and line producer on several US/UK co-productions for Discovery/The Learning Channel, including a four-part series on the art of survival science; and the Emmy-nominated The Human Sexes with Desmond Morris (1996). In 1994, Nicole graduated from the Documentary Film Program at Stanford University.

[headshot]Pete Nicks  feature documentary, The Waiting Room,  which chronicles a day in the life of an Oakland, Calif., hospital waiting room, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. It was named by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle as the best documentary of 2012 and shortlisted for an Academy Award. The Washington Post named  The Waiting Room  one of the "10 best films of 2012," and the film garnered numerous accolades, including the Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction filmmaking grant, Gotham IFP and Independent Spirit Award nominations for best documentary, and a Cinema Eye nomination for best debut feature. Pete was invited to speak at TEDxMaastrich in 2012 and at the Mayo Clinic's TRANSFORM conference in September 2013. Prior to his recent work in film, Nicks worked in television for several years and earned an Emmy for "Blame Somebody Else," which explored human trafficking during the Iraq War. Nicks is now developing the second of a trilogy of character-driven films exploring health care, crime and education in Oakland. Nicks received his B.A. in English from Howard University and his M.A. in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

[headshot]Cori Stern is a veteran of Stories of Change, she  is a writer and producer, working in both documentary and narrative film. In addition to Academy Award-nominated short Open Heart, she is currently producing a feature documentary in collaboration with the Sundance Institute, Skoll Foundation and The Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund about the revolutionary health care organization Partners In Health, also directed by Kief Davidson. Her other film projects include the upcoming major feature film release Warm Bodies directed by Jonathan Levine for Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate, and The Arizona Project for Miramax. Beyond film, Cori is known for her work as a social change strategist and as a co-founder of STRONGHEART, an international residential community and accelerated learning lab for exceptional young people from extreme life circumstances across the globe including former child slaves, child soldiers, refugees, and other young survivors of conflict or poverty. The program – which has been called “R&D for brilliance in unlikely places” – combines groundbreaking neuroscience, social and personal change theory, and community psychology to affect significant change and create future influencers and advocates from exceptionally challenging backgrounds. Cori’s work has been covered by BBC, CNN, NPR, and National Geographic among others. She was named O Magazine’s “Good Guy of the Month” and ABC World News “Person of the Week.”

[headshot]Deborah Alden is a design researcher, strategist & educator, Deborah believes that engaging and understanding people and their communities is the key to creating lasting impact. For 15 years, she has worked closely with and within organizations to unearth opportunities that evolve their offerings. Clients have ranged from Fortune 100 companies to non-profits and start-ups across industries including healthcare, financial services, cultural, government, tech and education. A perennial nomad with a background in social entrepreneurship, communication design and architecture, she often works in cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary contexts, bringing structure and clarity to complex situations in the development of effective systems, services, stories and strategies.

Deborah is Co-Founder of The Comradery and has taught design and research in Singapore, México and currently at IIT's Institute of Design in Chicago. She also designed and led the pilot year of Firebelly U, an incubator for designers starting social enterprises and was a coach for Design for America.

2013 Convenings

January 22-25, 2013 - Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

The 2013 marks the sixth year of Stories of Change Convenings at the Sundance Film Festival. Convenings are designed as a bridge to create a new network of professional exchange between documentary filmmakers and social entrepreneurs, and discover new pathways for exploring independent documentary film’s role in advancing knowledge about social entrepreneurship.

Organization Participants

INJAZ Al-Arab mission is to make a difference in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region by instilling Arab youth with a sense of self-motivation, confidence, empowerment, and a mindset that anything is possible, while fostering among business leaders a passionate spirit of mentoring and investing their resources to help youth make the leap from school to the work place.

FAIR TRADE USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. We achieve our mission by certifying and promoting Fair Trade products.

GOOD WEAVE works to end child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in Nepal, India and Afghanistan.

LANDESA works to secure land rights for the world’s poorest people– those 2.47 billion* chiefly rural people who live on less than two dollars a day. Landesa partners with developing country governments to design and implement laws, policies, and programs concerning land that provide opportunity, further economic growth, and promote social justice.

Convening Media Advisors

Patrick Creadon was born in Chicago and is a 1989 graduate of the University of Notre Dame.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Cinematography at the American Film Institute.  Creadon began his career as one of the youngest cameramen in the history of PBS, shooting and producing cinema-verite style stories for the critically acclaimed series The 90's.  In 2006, his directorial debut Wordplay was a breakout hit at the Sundance Film Festival.  Wordplay went on to become the second highest-grossing documentary of 2006, and was nominated for a Critics' Choice Award and a National Board of Review award.  His follow-up film, I.O.U.S.A., also premiered at Sundance and eventually was named by Roger Ebert as one of the "Top 5 Documentaries of 2008".  He has served on several film festival and award juries, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival and the International Documentary Association. 

Mona Eldaief is a director, director of photography, and editor on documentary film and television projects around the world. Born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in the United States, she graduated from New York University with a degree in political science and photography. Her documentary feature credits include Control Room,  A Wedding in Ramallah, and Her Name Is Zelda.  Television credits include programs for PBS Frontline World , Discovery Networks, Travel Channel, ABC News, and MTV News and Docs.   Mona is currently directing and shooting Barefoot Engineers, a documentary feature about a Bedouin woman from the northeastern desert in Jordan who is struggling against the Patriarchal rules of her society to get an education as a solar engineer in India and put the women of her village to work to help alleviate poverty.

Kirsten Johnson works as a director and cinematographer. She shared the 2010 Sundance Documentary Competition Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for "The Oath". She shot the 2012 Sundance Audience Prize, The Invisible War and the TribecaFilm Festival 2008 Documentary winner, Pray the Devil Back to Hell. Most recently, as supervising cinematographer for Gini Reticker and Abby Disney’s 4-part WNET series, Women, War and Peace, Kirsten spent the summer of 2010 shooting in Colombia, Afghanistan and Bosnia. She has worked with directors such as Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, Kirby Dick, and Raoul Peck. Her cinematography is featured in Fahrenheit 9/11, Academy Award-nominated Aslyum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, This Film is Not Yet Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida. Her feature film script My Habibi was selected for the 2006 Sundance Writer’s Lab and Director’s Lab and is the recipient of an Annenberg grant. Her previous documentary as a director, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny),premiered at Sundance in 2004, was broadcast on primetime NBC, and won the Thurgood Marshall Award.

Cori Stern divides her time between international NGO work and producing film. Her credits include The Arizona Project for Miramax, based on true events in 1970’s Arizona, which lead to 19 indictments of major crime figures and shut down mob activity in Goldwater’s Arizona. Cori is also executive producing Warm Bodies for Summit, written and directed by Jonathan Levine. Additionally, Cori is known for her work as a social entrepreneur and innovative strategist for poverty alleviation.  Her projects have been featured on BBC, NPR, and Oprah. She was named by ABC World News as “Person of the Week” and O Magazine as “Good Guy of the Month.”

2012 Convenings

January 24-27, 2012 - Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

This year at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the Documentary Film Program and the Skoll Foundation hosted the Stories of Change Convening. The convening was comprised of a series of private workshops focused on storytelling strategies as well as nightly networking events, film screenings and panels with the intent of creating a framework for defining entrepreneurs’ unique personal and organizational stories. A select group of Skoll Foundation-awarded social entrepreneurs and filmmakers participated in the 2012 Convening:

Organization Participants

Gene Falk is the President and Co-Founder of mothers2mothers. He brings an unusual background to this role: he helped develop m2m while working as a senior executive in the media industry before leaving a long career in New York and moving to South Africa to oversee m2m's roll-out and expansion.

After a successful 15-year Emmy Award-winning career in the entertainment industry as a producer/director/writer, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers, a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Living and working in Senegal since 1974, Molly Melching has dedicated her life to improving the lives of women and their communities in some of the poorest regions of Africa. Tostan, the organization she founded in 1991, has developed the Community Empowerment Program, a unique, three-year education model using local language, culture and tradition to enable communities to manage development projects and lead movements for positive social change.  

Gannon Gillespie serves as Director of Strategic Development of Tostan, where he works on helping the organization build upon its existing and emerging areas of work and navigate its strategic growth.

In 2005, Gannon became Tostan's first full-time US Representative based in Washington DC

Adalberto Veríssimo is a senior research and cofounder of Imazon, the first independent deforestation monitoring system for the Brazilian Amazon. He holds a Master Degree in Ecology from the Penn State University and graduate degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal Rural University of the Brazilian Amazon.

Carlos Souza, Jr. and his co-founder Adalberto (Beto) Veríssimo, are recognized leaders in rainforest conservation, developing, in Imazon, the first independent deforestation monitoring system for the Brazilian Amazon. Beto co-founded Imazon in 1990, and Carlos joined shortly thereafter to head efforts in technical mapping and satellite imagery.

Gary White is CEO and co-founder of Water.org. His entrepreneurial vision has driven innovations in the way water and sanitation projects are delivered and financed, and these innovations now serve as a model in the sector.

Chevenee Reavis works to drive Water.org’s revenue growth and facilitate new types of collaboration and methodologies in the water and sanitation sector.

Reavis has nearly a decade of experience developing and implementing a range of successful strategies and campaigns that helped advance the social impact of leading foundations, government agencies, Fortune 500 corporations, and nonprofit organizations.

Convening Media Advisors

Dr. Neal Baer Executive Produced the CBS series A Gifted Man. He was the Executive Producer of the hit NBC television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2000-2011. Dr. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. Dr. Baer is also a Senior Fellow at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and is a Lecturer in the School of Arts and Sciences at USC.

Joslyn Barnes is a screenwriter and Emmy® nominated producer. Among the films Barnes has executive produced or produced since co-founding Louverture Films are the award-winning features Bamako and Salt Of The Sea, Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner and Oscar and Emmy nominated Trouble The Water, and the award-winning Black Power Mixtape.

Wendy Levy is a Senior Strategist at Tomorrow Partners, an innovative creative agency in Berkeley, California with a focus on human-centered design, sustainability and social change. From 2004 - 2011, Wendy was Creative Director at BAVC where she created and directed the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, The Impact Dashboard project, The Mediamaker Fellows Program, and The Stream, a multiplatform public media series focused on interactive documentary, emerging technology and human rights.

Andrea Meditch is an award-winning documentary film producer and creative advisor for media companies, universities, filmmakers and festivals. In 2009 she executive produced both Academy Award winner Man On Wire and Academy-nominated Encounters At The End Of The World. She is president of Back Allie Entertainment, which has produced several documentaries, including Buck, and is an advisor to Michigan State University’s College of Communication, where she is working to build a Center for Creativity in Storytelling.

The Convening featured panel discussions, screenings of selected films from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, gatherings with filmmakers and jurors from the US and World Cinema documentary competitions, conversations and engagement between all the participants.
Below is a sample of the SFF 12 Convening schedule activities:

  • A private, non-theatrical preview Screening & Discussion of The Island President with director Jon Shenk.
  • Group attendance at SFF12 public screenings of Mark Kitchell’s “A Fierce Green Fire” and David France’s “How To Survive A Plague”.
  • Dinner events organized each night for networking purposes.

During the day the group attended panels at the Filmmaker Lodge and special events such as:

“Moving the Masses” Panel
What is a movement made of? We live in an age when, for the first time in history, millions of people are engaged in movements urging equity and justice for others. From civil rights to the environment, to the recent ‘Occupy’ movement, strides and setbacks have marked our history. Join activists Peter Staley, Naomi Wolf, Lois Gibbs to explore changing nature of making change. Moderated by Richard Kim (Writer/Editor, Nation magazine).

March 28-30, 2012 - Skoll World Forum
Said Business School, University of Oxford

The seventh Stories of Change convening at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England reflected a significant presence of the Stories of Change partnership, including a Stories of Change Preview and Panel Event which gave viewers an insiders ‘sneak peek’ at a selection of Stories of Change supported films, several storytelling workshops and individual meetings with a range of social entrepreneurs and Forum delegates.

The Oxford convening featured five Sundance DFP-invited documentary filmmakers and film professionals:

Neal Baer Executive Produced the CBS series A Gifted Man. He was the Executive Producer of the hit NBC television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit from 2000-2011. Dr. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. Dr. Baer is also a Senior Fellow at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism and is a Lecturer in the School of Arts and Sciences at USC.

Maren Grainger-Monsen  is a physician, filmmaker-in-residence and director and founder of the Program in Bioethics in Film at the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. Maren directed Hold Your Breath (2007) and Worlds Apart (2003), a large-scale project on cross-cultural conflicts in medicine, which was broadcast on national public television and is currently being used in over 60% of US medical schools.

Wendy Levy is a Senior Strategist at Tomorrow Partners, an innovative creative agency in Berkeley, California with a focus on human-centered design, sustainability and social change. From 2004 - 2011, Wendy was Creative Director at BAVC where she created and directed the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies, The Impact Dashboard project, The Mediamaker Fellows Program, and The Stream, a multiplatform public media series focused on interactive documentary, emerging technology and human rights.

Nicole Newnham  is a documentary filmmaker and writer, currently co-producing The Revolutionary Optimists with Maren Grainger-Monsen as a filmmaker-in-residence at the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics Program in Bioethics and Film.

Cori Stern  divides her time between international NGO work and producing film. Additionally, Cori is known for her work as a social entrepreneur and innovative strategist for poverty alleviation. Her projects have been featured on BBC, NPR, and Oprah. She was named by ABC World News as “Person of the Week” and O Magazine as “Good Guy of the Month.” She is currently working on a documentary about Partners In Health, non-profit health care organization dedicated to providing a preferential option for the poor.

Throughout the three days of the Forum filmmakers participated in panel discussions, formal networking lunches and dinners, and extensive informal networking opportunities for the filmmakers and social entrepreneurs.

As part of the 2012 Skoll World Forum, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) and the Skoll Foundation presented a sneak preview of three films created as part of their joint “Stories of Change” program. The screening was followed by a panel discussion with participating filmmakers and social entrepreneurs and led by Sundance Institute DFP Director Cara Mertes.

The three films that were previewed included:
Barefoot Engineers – an observational documentary that follows three women of limited formal education as they travel from their villages in Africa and the Middle East to India in order to receive the training needed to become solar engineers. Directors Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief, Producer Mette Heide, Social Entrepreneur Bunker Roy.
Untitled Partners in Health Documentary – follows a remarkable public health charity organization operating in thirteen of the poorest countries around the world and the man who founded it. Director Kief Davidson, Producer Cori Sheperd Stern, Social Entrepreneur Paul Farmer.
The Revolutionary Optimists  – a lawyer turned social entrepreneur empowers children to become “health minders” in the slums of Calcutta.  Directors/Producers Maren Grainger-Monsen and Nicole Newham, Social Entrepreneur Amlan Ganguly.

Additionally, the Stories Of Change partnership was proud to unveil the ‘Stories Of Change: Story and Impact Fund’ at the 2012 Skoll World Forum. The Fund will provide modest financial resources for Skoll-supported social entrepreneurs and/or Stories of Change (SOC) filmmakers to identify and develop opportunities in film and multi-platform storytelling designed to leverage more effective impact for social entrepreneurs and their issues.

On the final day of the Forum, DFP Director Cara Mertes took part in the Forum’s “Storytelling for Impact” Session along with NPR’s Science Correspondent Christopher Joyce, Senior VP and Publisher of HarperOne Mark Tauber and Senior Strategist at Tomorrow Partners Wendy Levy.

DFP Staff and attending storytellers also took part in a series of ‘Mirror Sessions’ prior to the World Forum, in which a group of social entrepreneurs signed up for a 60-minute one-on-one feedback session with DFP-invited Stories of Change media and storytelling experts. After reviewing existing assets like the organization’s website and video, Facebook, and other available story content., the Advisors prepared feedback  on when, where and how storytelling is moving a mission and driving impact, as well as some thoughts on how to improve entrepreneurs use of story strategies. Participating Social Entrepreneurs included:

Amy Low, Landesa
Michael Chertok, Digital Divide Data
Martin Fisher, Kickstart International
Molly Melching, Tostan
Jenny Bowden, Half The Sky
Quartulain Bakhteari, Institute for Development Studies and Practices
Ned Breslin, Water For People
Jan Lubbering, Street Football World
Dan Viederman, Verite
Bart Weetjens, Apopo
Heidi Kuhn, Roots of Peace
Mark Plotkin, Amazon Conservation Team
Rebecca Onie, Health Leads

2011 Convenings

January 25-28, 2011 - Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

The SFF 11 Stories of Change convening a working group of eight people that included two social entrepreneurs whose work focuses on preventing deforestation and a representative from a Skoll partner in the region. A fourth participant declined at the last minute due to health issues. This group engaged in a series of high-level working sessions, panels and networking dinners with journalists, media specialists and documentary filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival. They included:

Federico Bellone is an environmentalist involved in conservation and climate change in the Amazon. As Amazon Programme Manager for the AVINA foundation, he provides capacity building support to leading social entrepreneurs and institutions across the Amazon Basin countries, networking them into building shared agendas for sustainability. Born Italian, he has spent most of his life living and working throughout Latin America, and holds an MSc in environmental technology and water management.

Willy Foote began his career as a financial analyst in the Latin American Corporate Finance group at Lehman Brothers, and as a journalist in Mexico and Argentina. Mr. Foote is on the executive committee of the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Network for Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a founding board member of the Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) and currently serves on the boards of the Open Learning Exchange (OLE) and E&Co. Mr. Foote holds a B.A. from Yale University and a M.Sc. in development economics and economic history from the London School of Economics.

Michael Jenkins is founding President of Forest Trends, a Washington D.C. based non-profit organization, created in 1999 by leaders from conservation organizations, community leaders, forest product companies, research groups, multilateral development banks and private investment funds. Its mission is to expand the value of forests to society; to promote sustainable forest management and conservation by creating and capturing market values for ecosystem services; to support innovative projects and companies that are developing these markets; and to enhance the livelihoods of local communities living in and around those forests.

Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Oliver Morton is a writer and editor who concentrates on scientific knowledge, technological change and their effects. He is currently the Energy and Environment Editor at The Economist.

Wendy Levy is formerly the Director of Creative Programming at BAVC, and the Director of the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies. She is currently a Senior Strategist at Tomorrow Partners a full service creative agency with a focus on sustainability that collaborates with clients on what’s next.

Maren Grainger-Monsen is a physician and filmmaker-in-residence at Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics. She directed Worlds Apart and Hold Your Breath, a large-scale project on cross-cultural conflicts in medicine currently used in 63 percent of U.S. medical schools.

Nicole Newnham is a documentary filmmaker and writer based in Oakland, California. She recently co-produced and directed the critically-acclaimed, award-winning documentary, The Rape of Europa and Sentenced Home.

In addition, outreach strategists and film producers were invited to work with the entrepreneurs for specialized media strategy workshops. In addition, entrepreneurs had one-on-one meetings with attending industry professionals.

Leading international documentary filmmakers, authors, performers and documentary professionals who participated in presentations, dinners and discussions included Pamela Yates (Granito), Matt Groening, Lucy Walker (Wasteland), Jeff Blitz, Doug Liman, Amy Goodman and David Carr.

The Convening featured panel discussions, screenings of selected films from the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, gatherings with filmmakers and jurors from the US and World Cinema documentary competitions, conversations and engagement between all the participants.

Below is a sample of the SFF 11 Convening schedule activities:

  • Workshop sessions and a private meeting with Bill Haney (The Last Mountain), prior to the premiere of his film.
  • Dinner events were organized each night for networking purposes, which were followed by film premieres of The Last Mountain (directed by Bill Haney) and the Sundance U.S.A. premiere film, Life in a Day.

During the day the group attended panels at the Filmmaker Lodge and special events such as:

The Aha! Moment: How to Make Change Stick(y)
The twenty-first-century storytelling environment is about great storytelling and audience engagement, whether it’s watching, buying, organizing, or tweeting. Hear the masters and mistresses of film impact discuss the ways they broke new ground in the storytelling-and-change arena—from multiplatform strategies and games to geo-locational apps, and straight-up strategy. With Pamela Yates (Granito), Steve James (The Interrupters), Ted Richane (Cause & Affect) and Maren Grainger-Monsen (The Revolutionary Optimists).

March 31-April 1, 2011 - Skoll World Forum
Said Business School, University of Oxford 

The sixth Stories of Change convening at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England reflected a significant presence of the Stories of Change partnership, including the premiere of The Team, several storytelling workshops and individual meetings with a range of social entrepreneurs and Forum delegates. That forum facilitated discussion, debate and critical questioning around large scale change, ecosystems, networks and collaborative actions.

The Oxford convening featured five Sundance DFP-invited documentary filmmakers and film professionals:

Andy Ellwood is Director of Business Development at Gowalla, a social network inspiring people to discover and share amazing places with their friends. People around the world have now visited, commented on and photographed over 2.3 million places in 170 countries with Gowalla.

Kirsten Johnson is currently shooting a film about the work of Skoll entrepreneur Sakena Yacoobi (who attended the Convening at the Summit in 2008). Kirsten is a sought after documentary cinematographer, documentary director and is currently developing her first feature film. She is currently editing a documentary feature she shot and directed, I Dream Them Always.

Wendy Levy is formerly the Director of Creative Programming at BAVC, and the Director of the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies. She is currently a Senior Strategist at Tomorrow Partners a full service creative agency with a focus on sustainability that collaborates with clients on what’s next.

Pamela Yates has over twenty years experience working in independent documentary. She is the director of the Sundance Award-winning When the Mountains Tremble, the producer of the Emmy Award-winning Loss of Innocence and the executive producer of the Academy Award-winning Witness to War.

Paco de Onis is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures with Pamela Yates and has produced several internationally acclaimed documentaries and web projects. His most recent film, Granito, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Through out the three days of the Forum filmmakers participated in panel discussions, formal networking lunches and dinners, and extensive informal networking opportunities for the filmmakers and social entrepreneurs.

DFP staff and attending filmmakers participated in two highly successful workshop sessions on Tuesday prior to the Forum and Thursday during the Forum in a ‘Connect & Collaborate’ session including:

Multiplatform Strategies & Storytelling
Cara Mertes (Director, Sundance Documentary Film Program) and Wendy Levy (Director, Bay Area Video Coalition) led a hand-on workshop looking at how storytelling, technology and social media come together to create high-impact communications strategies that engage and activate your target audience. Note: This workshop provided actionable strategies in the moment and based on attendee feedback, paving the way for an in-depth multi-day “boot camp” later this year.

Storytelling for Impact
Led by Cara Mertes, storytelling experts from Sundance to soap operas to social media engaged with 60+ participants, exploring different strategies to reach key audiences and create impact that matters. Participants came prepared to share your own successes and challenges in this dynamic interactive discussion that examines when, where and how storytelling moves the mission and drives impact.

On the opening day of the Forum the second of the Stories of Change films to reach completion premiered at the New Theatre in Oxford. Patrick Reed and Peter Raymont, Director and Producer of The Team, were in attendance and participated in a post-screening Q&A with DFP Director Cara Mertes and Search for Common Ground founder John Marks. Mertes also moderated a panel on Friday titled “Say What? Storytelling, Language and Culture” with panelists included Lera Boroditsky, Professor, Stanford University, Naif Al-Mutawa, CEO, The 99, MartÍn von Hildebrand, Director, Fundación Gaia Amazonas.

2010 Convenings

January 26-29, 2010 - Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

The SFF 10 Stories of Change convening brought together four internationally known social entrepreneurs to interact with documentary filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival. They included:

Quratul Ain Bakhteari is the first of her five siblings born to young socially marginalized parents in Multan after the 1947 migration from India to Pakistan. Her family later moved to a refugee camp in Karachi. At 22 having three sons and family responsibilities she did her master in social work from Karachi University. During her Master’s course work and later with UNICEF’s project she mobilized 5,000 families to construct household pit latrines, which became the state policy for of sanitation for low-income people. She introduced the concept of Home Schools for hygiene education by mobilizing 200 young community girls. She did her Ph. D. in 1987 from University of Technology Loughbrough, England, the research was based on her sanitation work. The model was replicated in Quetta’s low income areas in Balochistan. IDSP continues to work with the community on sanitation issues, promoting girls’ education and more.

Martin von Hildebrand, Doctorate in Ethnology (Paris University). For more than 40 years he has developed essential work for the recognition and exercise of indigenous rights, and the protection of diversity in the Amazon region. He has received national and international awards including the Right Livelihood Award (Sweden, 1999), National Environmental Prize (Colombia, 1999), Order of the Golden Ark (The Netherlands, 2004), National Prize of Ecology (Colombia, 2004), Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (USA, 2009) and Latin-American Social Entrepreneur (WEF Rio de Janeiro, 2009).

Munqeth Meyhar serves as Chairman and Jordanian Director of EcoPeace/ Friends of the Earth Middle East. Mr. Mehyar leads FoEME activities concerning the Jordan River, Dead Sea and the Good Water Neighbors program. As Chairman, his responsibilities include the supervision of international project development and management, liaison and lobbying of governmental and private sector figures on major regional policy issues relevant to environmental protection and development of international contacts and functional partnerships with international environmental and development institutions.

Bunker Roy was moved to respond to India’s 1967 famine, and traveled to Tilonia, Rajasthan, to help rural villagers improve their lives. The organization he founded in 1972, Social Work and Research Centre, which came to be known as Barefoot College, has trained hundreds of solar engineers and teachers – women, dropouts and unemployable youth – in remote villages in 16 Indian states over the past 30 years.

In addition, outreach strategists and film producers Sandi DuBowski, Wendy Levy, Jess Search and Alex Cooke were invited to work with the entrepreneurs for specialized media strategy workshops. Entrepreneurs also had one-on-one meetings with attending industry professionals.

Leading international documentary filmmakers, authors, performers and documentary professionals who participated in presentations, dinners and discussions included Robert Redford, Naomi Klein, Sebastien Junger, Amy Goodman, Alex Gibney, Michael Nash, Greg Barker and Jennifer Baichwal.

The convening featured panel discussions, screenings of selected films from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, gatherings with filmmakers and jurors from the US and World Cinema documentary competitions, conversations and engagement between all the participants.

Below is a sample of the SFF 10 Convening schedule activities:

  • Private meetings with Davis Guggenheim (Waiting for Superman) prior to the premiere of his film as well as a workshop with Climate Refugees director Michael Nash.
  • A networking event at the Filmmaker Lodge, which provided both a platform and a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs to communicate their work and goals to a wider audience of stakeholders and funders.
  • Dinner events were organized each night for networking purposes, which were followed by film premieres of Climate Refugees (directed by Michael Nash), a private screening of A Small Act (directed by Jennifer Arnold) and the Sundance U.S.A. premiere film, Shock Doctrine by director Michael Winterbottom, based on Naomi Klein’s book.

During the day, the group attended panels at the Filmmaker Lodge and special events such as:

Saving Democracy, A Story At A Time
Democratic values are under siege from every angle; from the suspension of civil liberties to the crisis in information and journalism, and our leading journalists and filmmakers are charting the abuses. Top storytellers discussed the challenges we face as we move through the third century of the democratic experiment. With Amy Goodman (Host, Democracy Now!); Alex Gibney (Casino Jack and the United States of Money); Laura Poitras (The Oath), and moderator Michael Ratner (President, Center for Constitutional Rights).

Speaking Truth to Power: A Film and Social Justice Roundtable
The human rights and social justice movements are gathering momentum globally, and film is part of the surge. Gara LaMarche, President and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies, delivered a mini-keynote on film and social justice, followed by a roundtable discussion exploring trends in human rights and social justice storytelling in film today. With Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath (Enemies of the People) and Gara La Marche. Moderator: Karen Greenberg, (Executive Director, NYU Center on Law and Security)

April 12-17, 2010 - Skoll World Forum
Said Business School, University of Oxford

The sixth Stories of Change convening took place at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. That forum facilitated discussion, debate and critical questioning around the theme of catalyzing collaboration for large-scale social change.

The Oxford convening featured four Sundance DFP-invited documentary filmmakers and film professionals:

Jennifer Arnold is an award-winning feature director/producer whose documentary, A Small Act, which premiered at SFF2010, aired on HBO in the US, and continues to screen at Festivals and theatrically around the world.

Sandi DuBowski is a director, producer and international outreach strategist who created 800 live events with his film, Trembling Before G-D, across the globe. The film has been seen by over 8 million people.

Wendy Levy is formerly the Director of Creative Programming at BAVC, and the Director of the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies. She is currently a Senior Strategist at Tomorrow Partners a full service creative agency with a focus on sustainability that collaborates with clients on what’s next.

Elinyisia Mosha has worked extensively in cable TV and news as a writer and producer in the U.S. and U.K. She is currently in production on her feature documentary debut The Untitled Tanzania Project.

The Convening included panel discussions, formal networking lunches and dinners, and extensive informal networking opportunities for the filmmakers and social entrepreneurs.

During the panel sessions in the main conference, Sundance DFP Director Mertes helped design and participated in a one of the most successful panels at the Forum “Compelling Action: Social Change Media in the Age of Information Overload” which was moderated by Jess Search (Channel Four Foundation), and also featured Premal Shah (Kiva.org), Jim Berk (Participant Media) and Alvin Hall (Author) for a standing room only discussion on the use of media in social change movements. Over 100 people attended each day. The panel was repeated the next day, the only panel during the Forum to be programmed twice.

Mertes spent Friday interviewing key members of the social entrepreneurs community, including Skoll Foundation Executive director Sally Osberg, author Bill Drayton, Paul Hawkins, Premal Shah, Bunker Roy and several other social entrepreneurs.

August 20-22, 2010 - Sundance Creative Producing Summit
Sundance Resort, Utah

The final official convening of 2010 gathered seven award-winning filmmakers working on current and emerging film projects highlighting Skoll-supported social entrepreneurs. The second year of the Sundance Creative Producing Summit offered filmmakers the opportunity to develop their projects with DFP staff, engage with leading independent producers, sales agents and distributors and more during small group sessions, one-on-one meetings and large panel discussions.

Mara-Michelle Batlin is a co-founder and producer at Highest Common Denominator Media Group. She worked for over 2 decades as an executive, consultant and trainer in communications and advocacy for think tanks and NGOs in developing countries, helping to frame issues, develop communications strategies, and interface with critical constituencies for policy reform initiatives. She is co-founder and president of NGOAlliance, whose mission is to create the tools and incentives for transparency and accountability in international NGOs. She previously spent 10 years as an executive in the financial services industry. She studied at the London School of Economics and the Naval Postgraduate School, and received an MA in International Policy and Economic Development from the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

Kief Davidson is an award-winning feature film and documentary director, whose latest film Kassim the Dream, about a former child soldier turned boxing champion, premiered at the 2008 Tribeca film festival and won over 10 international film festivals. Additionally, Kassim was nominated by the IDA for Best Feature and was released theatrically by IFC Films. His prior film, The Devil's Miner, won over 15 awards at festivals including Tribeca, Hot Docs, and Chicago. The Devil's Miner sold to over 45 countries and screened theatrically in over 200 cinemas internationally.

Megan Gelstein is a San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker who produced and directed They Made America for the acclaimed history series America Experience. She won a National Emmy Award in the craft category of Research for her work on the six-hour PBS series Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery. In addition, she has produced award-winning documentaries that have been nationally broadcast on The History Channel, ITV Network of London, and The Discovery Channel. Megan is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and is a graduate of Oberlin College.

Jehane Noujaim is a filmmaker (Control Room, Startup.com) and the founder of Pangea Day. Noujaim was raised in Cairo, Egypt where she began her career as a photographer. Noujaim produced and directed Startup.com in association with Pennebaker - Hegedus Films. She has since worked in both the Middle East and the US as a director and cinematographer on various documentaries including Born Rich (Jamie Johnson), Only the Strong Survive (Pennebaker -Hegegus Films/Miramax Films), and Down from the Mountain (Pennebaker - Hedgedus & Coen Brothers).

Cori Shepherd Stern divides her time between international NGO work and producing film. Her credits include The Arizona Project for Miramax, script by Sheldon Turner, Ben Affleck directing. Additionally, Cori is known for her work as a social entrepreneur and innovative strategist for poverty alleviation. Her projects have been featured on BBC, NPR, and Oprah. She was named by ABC World News as “Person of the Week” and O Magazine as “Good Guy of the Month.”

Jonathan Stack is a multiple Emmy Award-winning and two-time Academy Award® nominated documentary filmmaker. During his career Jonathan has written, produced and directed over 25 films and 50 television programs including The Farm: Life Inside Angola Prison, which was honored with the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize. With HCD Media Group Jonathan directed The Farm: Ten Down a story about a decade behind bars in Angola Prison

The two and one half day day conference included the following panels and events:

Keynote Address by Reed Hastings
The Netflix founder addressed the Summit participants and panelists about the future of content delivery and the key to successful innovations. He then sat for an interview with Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam.

Industry Case Study: Stories from the Front Line of Distribution and Marketing
Opening discussion of mechanics of distribution and marketing of two of the year’s most successful independent films- documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop and feature Winter’s Bone between moderator Graham Taylor (Endeavor), John Sloss (Cinetic), Ted Mundorff (Landmark Cinemas), Eric D’Arbeloff (Roadside Attractions) and Josh Braun (Submarine).

Financing 101
Small group session hosted by feature producer Impact Partners co-founder Dan Cogan, producer Lynette Howell and financier John Sloss which outlined sources of funding available for documentary and feature producers globally.

Case Study: A Small Act
Led by the films director Jennifer Arnold in conversation with Cara Mertes, covered both the challenges and creative solutions found during the development and production and distribution of this award-winning film.

The program also included two panels on the current state of and future possibilities for independent film marketing and outreach strategies. Panelists included Josh Braun (Submarine Entertainment), Wendy Levy (BAVC), Meredith Blake (Cause & Affect) and Peter Broderick (Paradigm Consulting). The Closing Night presentation brought together prominent figures within the independent film world including Michael Barker (Sony Pictures Classics), Mary Jane Skalski (Producer) and John Sloss (Cinetic).

Filmmaker and entrepreneur teams attended private one-on-one meetings with many of the panelists listed above as well as small group sessions with producers and film funders to pitch their projects and receive high-level feedback.

2009 Convenings

Six Stories of Change supported convenings were held in 2009, unfolding over the year at these venues:

  • Sundance Film Festival
  • The Skoll World Forum, Oxford
  • The Sundance Institute Creative Producing Summit
  • Good Pitch Forums (Toronto, Washington DC, New York City)

Three official SOC convenings were joined by a 'fourth convening,' which took the form of SOC films pitching at the new Good Pitch Forum in Toronto, Washington DC and New York City. Over 22 filmmakers, social entrepreneurs and film subjects participated in various convening events, not including informal exchanges and in-depth discussions at the Skoll World Forum. At these convenings, Sundance staff brought together filmmakers with Skoll supported social entrepreneurs for networking events, special presentations and high-level panel discussions relevant to their work. Beyond the filmmakers, eight social entrepreneurs were asked to attend Sundance Institute-based activities, at the Sundance Film Festival and the Creative Producing Summit.

January 21 – 24, 2009 - Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah 

The SFF 09 Stories of Change convening brought together five internationally known social entrepreneurs to interact with documentary filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival. They included:

Andrea and Barry Coleman For over 15 years, they have built Riders for Health into an organization with global reach that works to ensure all health workers have reliable transportation to reach areas which are often inaccessible.

John and Susan Marks John Marks is President and founder of Search for Common Ground, an international conflict prevention NGO headquartered in Washington and Brussels, with offices in 18 countries. He also founded and heads Common Ground Productions, which produces radio and television programming around the world to help prevent and transform conflict. He is a best-selling, award-winning author and received the Skoll Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship in 2006. Susan Collin Marks is Senior Vice President at Search for Common Ground.

Patrick Reed has collaborated with Peter Raymont on a number of award-winning productions, including Shakes Hands With the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire. He recently directed Tsepong: A Clinic Called Hope about doctors fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho, Africa.

Dorothy Stoneman is founder and president of YouthBuild USA, the national intermediary and support center for 226 YouthBuild programs nationwide. The program supports low-income youth who build housing for homeless and low-income people while they earn their own GED or diploma. Filmmaker

Annie Sundberg, filmmaker, is creating a documentary which follows a year in the life of several young people as they work to turn their lives around at the YouthBuild USA affiliate in Philadelphia, PA.

Leading international documentary filmmakers and documentary professionals who participated in presentations, dinners and discussions included Sam Pollard, Gillian Armstrong, Patrick Creadon, Hubert Sauper, Tia Lessin, Carl Deal, Robert Stone and Howard Zinn.

Below is a sample of the SFF 09 Convening schedule activities:

  • Private meetings with industry as well as a heavily attended press reception for the SOC funding announcement.
  • Dinner events were organized each night for networking purposes, which were followed by film premieres of Crude (directed by Joe Berlinger), Burma VJ (directed by Anders Ostergaard), The Reckoning (directed by Pamela Yates), Tibet in Song (directed by Ngawang Choephel) and the Closing Night film, Earth Days by director Robert Stone.

During the day the group attended panels at the Filmmaker Lodge and special events such as:

The People Speak: Voices of A People’s History of the United States at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café
Voices of A People’s History of the United States (the basis of the forthcoming documentary The People Speak) brings to light little known voices from U.S. History. The event will feature live readings and music performances by a host of prominent artists.

Now or Never Panel
World leaders on the environment, women’s status, poverty, and other key issues, which urgently need to be addressed convene to discuss we are making, and the one we could make. Moderated by Cara Mertes (Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program) with panelists Denis Hayes (Bullitt Foundation), Kavita Ramdas (Global Fund for Women), Van Jones (Green For All) and Charles Clover (author, The End of the Line).

March 25-27, 2009 - Skoll World Forum
Said Business School, University of Oxford 

The fifth convening took place at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. That forum facilitated discussion, debate and critical questioning around the theme of Social Entrepreneurship: Shifting Power Dynamics.

The Oxford convening featured four Sundance DFP-invited documentary filmmakers:

Jon Alpert, founder of Downtown Community TV in NYC and an award winning independent journalist, educator and activist who has gained exclusive access to political leaders like Fidel Castro among others.

Greg Barker is a former war correspondent turned award-winning feature documentary filmmaker. His latest film, Sergio, premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Gayle Ferraro has been independently producing feature documentaries about global human rights violations since receiving her Masters in Public Administration from Harvard and International Human Rights Law from Oxford. She is the director of the Stories of Change To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America.

Robert Kenner recently directed one of the highest grossing documentaries of 2009, Food Inc. His prior films have received Peabodys, Emmys, Cable Ace and Genesis Awards.

The Convening included panel discussions, formal networking lunches and dinners, and extensive informal networking opportunities for the filmmakers and social entrepreneurs.

During the panel sessions, Sundance DFP Director Mertes moderated a panel “Winning Hearts and Minds” which featured filmmaker Greg Barker, Susan Collin Marks (Search for Common Ground), and Amitabha Sadangi (IDE) for a standing room only discussion on the modes of storytelling that cross orders and traditions.

At the Forum, a second round of SOC film projects were announced by Cara Mertes as part of a Press Announcement on Thursday, March 26th. SOC film director Gayle Ferraro, whose documentary on Muhammud Yunus and Grameen America will be the first film completed in the series, joined Mertes to talk about the projects.

July 24-26, 2009 - Sundance Creative Producing Summit
Sundance Resort, Utah

The final official convening of 2009 featured distinguished filmmakers and the international social entrepreneurs whose organizations could inspire documentary projects. This inaugural edition of the Creative Producing Summit offered entrepreneurs and filmmakers the opportunity to engage with leading independent producers, sales agents and distributors and more during small group sessions, one-on-one meetings and large panel discussions. The opening dinner brought together panelists with participants for an intimate dinner on-site.

Kirsten Johnson is currently shooting a film about the work of Skoll entrepreneur Sakena Yacoobi (who attended the Convening at the Summit in 2008). Kirsten is a sought after documentary cinematographer, documentary director and is currently developing her first feature film.

Martin Burt is founder and CEO of Fundacion Paraguaya, an NGO devoted to the promotion of entrepreneurship among the world's poor. He is also one of the original participants in the Stories of Change workshop at the 2005 Independent Producers Conference.

Filmmaker Carl Byker is working on a documentary highlighting the work of Fundacion Paraguaya as well an Emmy, Peabody and Dupont award winner for nonfiction series. His latest film was included in the New Heroes series for PBS and the Skoll Foundation.

Daniel Lubetsky is the founder of Peaceworks Inc., OneVoice movement and CEO of the KIND bar company. He is an entrepreneur interested in fostering sustainable models that also work to bring people together around peace and conflict issues in the Middle East.

The series of panel discussion and interactions at the convening underscored the connections between filmmakers and social entrepreneurs. The two and one half day conference included the following panels and events:

State of the Union
Opening discussion of trends in distribution and financing between Liesl Copland (Endeavor), Micah Green (CAA), Tia Lessin (Director, Trouble the Water), Winnie Lau (Fortissimo Film Sales), Jonathan Sehring (IFC), Mary Jane Skalski (producer) and moderator John Cooper (Sundance Film Festival).

Financing 101
Small group session hosted by feature producer Paul Mezey and Impact Partners co-founder Dan Cogan, which outlined sources of funding available for documentary and feature producers globally.

Case Study: Trouble the Water
Led by the films directors Tia Lessin and Carl Deal covered both the challenges and creative solutions found during the development and production of their Academy Award nominated film.

Filmmaker and entrepreneur teams attended private one-on-one meetings as well as small group sessions with producers and film funders to pitch their projects and receive high level feedback.

2008 Convenings

January 23 – 26, 2008 – Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah

The initial “Stories of Change” convening brought together five internationally known social entrepreneurs to interact with documentary filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival. Participants included:

Albina Ruiz created a system of local micro-enterprises in Peru to collect and process garbage, creating employment and improving cleanliness and quality of life in the cities they served. After more than 15 years of promoting her concept, she founded Ciudad Saludable (Healthy City) in 2002.

Rupert Howes is the Chief Executive of the Marine Stewardship Council, the world’s leading marine eco-labeling and certification program for wild capture fisheries.

Susan Burns leads the overall strategic direction of Global Footprint Network, as well as being the founder of the pioneering sustainability consulting firm, Natural Strategies.

Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D. is a founder and Executive Director of Global Footprint Networks, a charitable research organization which supports the creation of a sustainable economy by advancing the policy-utility of the Ecological Footprint.

Sebastien Marot founded Friends-International, which aims to provide positive alternatives for street children around the world.

Leading international documentary filmmakers and documentary professionals who participated in presentations, dinners and discussions included Amir Bar-Lev, Michelle Byrd, Heidi Ewing, Eugene Jarecki, Steven Okazaki, Leena Pasanen, Ilda Santiago and Annie Sundberg.

The convening featured panel discussions, screenings of selected films from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, gatherings with filmmakers and jurors from the US and World Cinema documentary competitions, conversations and engagement between all the participants.

March 26-28, 2008 – Skoll World Forum
Said Business School, University of Oxford

The second convening took place in Oxford, England, and occurred under the auspices of the Skoll World Forum. That forum facilitated discussion, debate and critical questioning around the theme of Social Entrepreneurship: Culture, Context and Social Change.

The Oxford convening featured four invited documentary filmmakers:

Alex Cooke directed United Gates of America for the BBC, as well as four films for Discovery Times’ Only In America series, including Gay Rodeo, Country Preachers, The Real 8 Mile and Fight Club.

Alan Hayling and Alex Cooke cofounded Renegade Pictures UK. Until June 2006, he was Head of Documentaries at BBC Television. He had previously been a Commissioning Editor in Channel 4’s documentary department.

Patrick Reed has collaborated with Peter Raymont on a number of award-winning productions, including Shakes Hands With the Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire. He recently directed Tsepong: A Clinic Called Hope about doctors fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Lesotho, Africa.

Annie Sundberg, along with Ricki Stern at Break Thru Films, directed and produced the documentaries The Devil Came on Horseback and The Trials of Darryl Hunt. She also produced the independent feature Tully and the documentaries In My Corner and One Survivor Remembers.

The convening included panel discussions featuring Under Secretary General of the UN Dr. Nafis Sadik and Justice Karen Tse. In addition the panel “Storytelling in the Modern World” was introduced by Sundance Institute’s Executive Director Ken Brecher and moderated by Documentary Film Program Director Cara Mertes, and included Skoll SASE William Strickland, author Walter Mosley, humanitarian and author Dr. James Orbinski and filmmaker Annie Sundberg.

July 31 – August 3, 2008 – Sundance Independent Producers Conference
Park City, Utah

The final convening of 2008 featured distinguished filmmakers and the international social entrepreneurs whose organizations inspire their documentary projects.

Julie Park Benello has produced documentaries on health and environmental issues such as the award winning HBO documentary Blue Vinyl.

Sakena Yacoobi is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, established to provide teacher training, education and health services to women and children in Afghanistan. Her work inspires Benello’s film Girls Post Taliban, which will interweave the stories of three young women who are being educated in the Afghan Institute of Learning.

Dorothy Stoneman is founder and president of YouthBuild USA, the national intermediary and support center for 226 YouthBuild programs nationwide. The program supports low-income youth who build housing for homeless and low-income people while they earn their own GED or diploma. Filmmaker

Annie Sundberg is an award-winning filmmaker currently in production on a film about Youth Build programs and the stakes involved for students and graduates.

Ross Kauffman, director, producer, cinematographer and co-editor of Born Into Brothels is filming Lydia, the moving story of a young girl from rural Tanzania.

Social entrepreneur Ann Cotton has worked as an advocate for children and girls’ education in Zimbabwe, and founded Camfed in 1993. Filmmaker Helen Cotton has produced and directed programs for the Discovery Channel and co-directed and produced the feature-length documentary Where The Water Meets the Sky.

John Wood is the Founder and CEO of Room to Read, and brings to it a vision for a scalable solution to developing world educational problems.

The series of panel discussion and interactions at the convening underscored the connections between filmmakers and social entrepreneurs. DFP Director Cara Mertes arranged for private sessions with leading field practitioners, including Margaret Drain, VP of Production at WGBH | Boston; Lynne Kirby, formerly SVP of Original Programming, Sundance Channel; Diane Weyermann, EVP, Participant Media and Dan Cogan, Impact Partners.

Stories of Change Impact Lab

April 30-May 4, 2012

The next iteration of the Stories of Change partnership is the Impact Lab, co-presented with Berkeley, CA-based Tomorrow Partners. At this five-day immersive Lab, Skoll Foundation social entrepreneurs and Sundance-funded filmmakers teamed up to work intensively with a range of designers and mentors to accelerate solutions to pressing challenges facing the organizations and to extend the stories into communities in innovative and meaningful ways. Further details about Lab process and participants can be found here.

Participating project teams included:

Barefoot College  and Rafea filmmaker Mona Eldaief
Supporting sustainable and self-sufficient rural communities through women empowerment

Imazon and senior Tomorrow Partners staff
Building vision and capacity for sustainable development in the Amazon

mothers2mothers and Producer Neal Baer
Eradicating mother-to-child HIV transmission in our lifetime

Partners In Health and producer Cori Stern
Providing preferential health care options for the poor

YouthBuild USA and producer Brooke Brewer
Unleashing the positive energy of low‐income youth to rebuild their communities and their lives


Barefoot College
Since its inception, the long term objective of the Barefoot College has been to work with marginalized, exploited and impoverished rural poor, living on less than $1 a day, and lift them over the poverty line with dignity and self respect. The dream was to establish a rural college in India that was built by and exclusively for the poor. Established in 1972, the Barefoot College is an NGO that has been providing basic services and solutions to problems in rural communities to help them become self-sufficient and sustainable. These ‘Barefoot solutions’ can be broadly categorized into three main areas: alternative energy, water, and education, and include solar energy, health care, rural handicrafts, people’s action, communication, women’s empowerment and wasteland development. The College believes that for any rural development activity to be successful and sustainable, it must be based in the village as well as managed and owned by the people it serves. All Barefoot initiatives whether social, political or economic, are planned and implemented by a network of rural men and women who are known as ‘Barefoot Professionals’.

When Barefoot College founder Bunker Roy shared stories of empowered grandmothers bringing the transformative power of light to their rural communities, he created a buzz of interest among documentarians on the lookout for a good story. Jehane Noujaim and Mona Eldaief picked up cameras and headed to Africa to follow Roy as he recruits grandmothers for the program. The central story in their film focuses on the challenges faced by a Jordan woman while she is in India to attend the program. With founding support from the Sundance/Skoll Stories of Change partnership, the film will be part of the global documentary project Why Poverty?

Meagan Carnahan Fallone
Senior Advisor  to Barefoot College
Meagan Carnahan Fallone is the founder of MFC Art Consulting, sourcing and supplying artwork and accessories to the luxury hotel market. Her work has won international awards for design and can be found on virtually every continent. Through her extensive travel in sourcing and developing artwork and accessories to the hotel industry, Meagan began Esprit MFC to aid and encourage women’s micro-financed efforts, refugee cooperatives and social entrepreneurship in developing countries. All proceeds are used to fund educational scholarships for women and girls in Nepal, India and Africa. Meagan is also a partner in Esprit Heliski SA, an Italian based heliskiing operation.

Most recently, Meagan has accepted a position as Senior Advisor to Barefoot College, an award winning social enterprise, based in India. Her interest in philanthropy includes a long involvement with, Human Rights Watch, Playing for Change, and Giving Women. She speaks regularly on the modern spectrum of philanthropy and the power of its role to drive change. Her personal passions include mountaineering, kite surfing, photography, and Eastern religions. Originally from New Zealand, she was educated in the United States and United Kingdom and holds a BFA in Fine Arts and an MA in History of Art. She lives in Switzerland with her three children Nicholas, Ian and Julian.

Bata Bhurji
Filmmaker & Photographer
Bata came to Barefoot College with her parents when she was 2 years old. Her mother worked as a designer in the handicraft department and her father worked as an artist and Barefoot Photographer until he passed away in 2004. In 2005, she took over her father’s position in the organization. Alongside Bunker Roy and following the theory of learning by doing, Bata mastered photography, film editing, and computer skills on the job. Today, she edits films independently and has completed over 20 films for Barefoot College on subjects that include solar engineering, rain water harvesting, solar-powered desalination, the right to work, Night School and other stories about Barefoot College. She has traveled to Bhutan, Gambia, Mauritania and Mali-Timbuktu to make films about women Barefoot Solar Engineers.

Mona Eldaief
Director, Producer & Filmmaker
Born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in the United States, filmmaker Mona Edaief graduated from New York University with a degree in political science and photography. Her documentary feature credits include Control Room, A Wedding In Ramallah, and Her Name Is Zelda. Aspiring to use video advocacy as a tool for social change, Mona began her career as the producer of MTV News Unfiltered.

The show pioneered the use of first person documentary as a platform for democratic television, and featured user generated segments about social issues. Mona later implemented a video diary exchange program between young Palestinians and Israelis as a step towards conflict resolution in the Middle East. Mona is currently directing and shooting Barefoot Engineers. The documentary feature focuses on a Jordanian Bedouin woman’s struggle to learn solar engineering in order to bring work to women in her village and help alleviate poverty, against the patriarchal rules of her society.

Deborah Alden
Dean, Firebelly University
An interdisciplinary designer, educator and global nomad, Deborah Alden is a perpetual liaison and translator between practices, people and cultures. Whether conducting field research on food deserts in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn or developing a new undergraduate design program in Singapore, she brings structure and clarity to complex situations in the development of effective systems and strategies. Deborah is currently the Dean of Firebelly University in Chicago, a new social design entrepreneurial incubator, and a research and brand strategy consultant working primarily in Asian markets. She has previously been based in México, Singapore, New York City, Washington, DC and Portland, OR. (@DeborahAlden)

Dave Chiu
Associate Creative Director, frog
Dave Chiu is an Associate Creative Director at frog in San Francisco. At frog, Dave’s clients have included AT&T, Better Place, Chase, Disney, GE, McAfee, Synopsys, and Vocollect. Dave’s deepest areas of expertise are in mobile applications and service design across multiple touch points, devices, and stakeholders. Prior to joining frog, Dave was a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Design Lab, where he developed mobile experiences and services for clients including Cisco Systems, the Clinton Global Initiative, Pitti Imagine, Nokia, and Telefónica.

Prior to MIT, Dave co-founded a startup in London that leveraged mobile devices to promote and support behavior change around environmental sustainability. Dave has a Masters in Interaction Design from Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, in Ivrea, Italy, and has been a Guest Critic at both the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Stevens Institute of Technology.

Zoe Minikes
Designer, Tomorrow Partners
Zoe is a Designer at Tomorrow Partners and a graduate of the California College of the Arts. Before joining the Tomorrow family, she worked on a wide range of freelance projects for clients pioneering in the fields of environmental responsibility, social change, and community outreach. She lives for projects that are built on the foundation of empathy and a collaborative spirit. Working across media such as interactive, illustration, video, and public interjection, she is not afraid to roll her sleeves up and experiment to find a solution. Her best ideas come when she is blasting Animal Collective or wailing along with Joan Baez.

Darby Kim Thomas
Designer
Darby has worked with the T-Mobile Creation Center to find new applications for emerging technology. In Savannah, Georgia she worked with a local business initiative to pilot a concept that matched creative students with nonprofits and small businesses. She’s worked with Hattery Labs to prototype a service that helps homeless services find and collaborate with each other. She is pursuing opportunities to apply a design minded approach to fields outside the traditional world of design.

Imazon
Founded in 1990, Imazon is a non-profit research institution whose mission is to promote sustainable development in the Amazon through research studies, support for public policy formulation, broad dissemination of information and capacity building. Imazon emphasizes observation and systematic collection of primary data on natural resource use and conservation in the Amazon, and carries out objective and unbiased analyses based on proven scientific methods from specialized literature. This approach enables a holistic and cross-cutting view of the various factors that influence the sustainability of the Amazon, allowing Imazon’s approach to effectively contribute towards forming polices for land zoning and control and natural resource use. For example, in 2008, the Brazilian government launched a new policy to control illegal deforestation, focusing on “hot spot” deforestation municipalities identified by Imazon.

Imazon is also involved in training the next generation of environmental researchers, disseminating study results, participation in far-reaching global policy development around land use, environmental crimes, improvement of command and control systems, and making recommendations for environmental licensing and technical standards of forest management.
Directors Adalberto (Beto) Veríssimo and Carlos Souza, Jr. developed the first independent deforestation monitoring system for the Brazilian Amazon, at Imazon, and are recognized leaders in rainforest conservation.

Paulo Barreto
Senior Researcher, Imazon
Paulo is a senior researcher at the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment where he started his 20-year career. Paulo Barreto has published more than 70 academic and technical publications. He frequently speaks to a wide variety of stakeholders in the private and public sectors (such as in hearings in the Brazilian Congress). His research has appeared more than 200 times in major international and national news media such as The Economist, Reuters and BBC. Since October 2009 Barreto writes the blog Amazônia Sustentável (Sustainable Amazon) about challenges and ideas for sustainable development in the Amazon. From 1998 to 2004 Barreto also acted as executive director of Imazon where he developed extensive experience in fundraising and organization management. Barreto holds a MSc in Forests Sciences from Yale University and a BSc in Forest Sciences from The Amazon Rural University in Belém, Pará, Brazil.

Bruno Oliveira
Communications Advisor, Imazon
Born in Castanhal, Pará, Bruno joined Imazon in 2010 as a communications advisor. He manages the communications channels maintained by Imazon and seeks to continue expanding the possibilities for disseminating information produced by the Institute. Bruno has a great interest in social media and explores this medium as a source of information and entertainment.

Carl Bender
Design Director, Tomorrow Partners & Sparkwise
Carl Bender is a design director at Tomorrow Partners and Sparkwise, where he utilizes his complementary experience in interactive design and branding on design projects that make a positive social impact. Carl began his career in Philadelphia, working as a senior interactive designer before making the move to San Francisco to get his MFA in Graphic Design. After completing graduate school, he worked at Tuft & Co., bringing interactive and broadcast projects to life for Adobe and Time Warner Cable. Later, Carl worked on large-scale commercial and civic branding projects for clients like San Francisco Magazine, MTV, The Bay Bridge, and Presidio Parkway. His work has been published in design magazines such as Communication Arts, How, CMYK and Print, while projects he’s worked on have graced the cover of The New York Times.

Amy Guterman
Designer / Fellow, Firebelly University
Amy uses her background in information design, branding, and business to tell meaningful stories and provoke change. Currently, she is a fellow at Firebelly University, an entrepreneurial incubator program teaching designers with a social awareness to make a more just society. In addition, she manages the design studio Tilt Shift and is the founder of Knowtify, a communication consultancy focused on using design to make complex social issues clear and relevant. Previously, Amy was the lead designer for a financial services company where she honed her skills in visualizing cumbersome business strategies and data. Amy has also collaborated with several inspiring organizations including Moving Design, EPIC, and No Right Brain Left Behind. Through these initiatives, she was able to impact local issues by combining her passion for doing good with her design skills. Amy holds a BFA in Visual Communications and Business from Washington University in St. Louis.

Deb Johnson
Academic Director of Sustainability, Pratt Institute
Deb founded the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation in 2002 during her tenure as chair of the Industrial Design program. Under her leadership the Incubator has helped launch 25 design driven enterprises in four sectors: clean energy, fashion, design and design consulting. The Incubator provides affordable space, mentorship and strategic business development within a collaborative community of entrepreneurs. The Incubator offers sustainable design consulting services to industry and non-profit organizations by assembling creative teams to work on environmentally and socially relevant projects. Currently the Incubator hosts 12 businesses and has just opened the Pratt Pop-up! shop in the new Dekalb Market in Brooklyn. Deb leads Pratt’s commitment to integrate sustainability into academics in her role as Academic Director of the Center for Sustainable Design Studies (CSDS). She also coordinates the groundbreaking Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability (PALS), a cohort of educators that represent 33 independent art and design colleges across North America.

David Karam
Lead Developer, Tomorrow Partners  CTO, Sparkwise
David Karam is the lead developer at Tomorrow Partners and CTO of Sparkwise. He uses his fluency in design and software development to bridge the gap between business stakeholders, researchers, visual designers and software developers. He has designed and produced interactive media, database-driven websites, applications and installations for commercial and cultural institutions including Apple Computers, Nokia, Warner Bros. Records, The Body Shop, The Getty Center and the San Francisco MOMA. In 2009 he founded Postera, a website builder and hosting service for creative professionals. David’s work is in the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the San Francisco MOMA. He teaches at California College of the Arts, as well as Transmedia at St. Lukas in Brussels. He regularly lectures about design, content-managed websites and user experience at institutions across the U.S. and Europe.

Dr. David Thau
Senior Developer Advocate, Google Earth Engine
Dr. Dave Thau is the senior developer advocate for Google Earth Engine, Google’s geo processing platform. He has 20 years of industry experience developing Internet-based applications. He has created and managed software development for Webby Award winning websites, launched two successful startups, written a best-selling computer science textbook, and authored many scholarly papers in the field of data management. He has worked with image databases and geospatial systems, focusing on the fields of ecology, biodiversity, and land cover classification. Dave currently works with scientists and NGOs developing software and algorithms to run on Google’s highly parallelized cloud computing-based Earth observation data processing framework. He holds degrees from UCLA, the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a doctorate in Computer Science from the UC Davis.

mothers2mothers
mothers2mothers  is an NGO whose mission is to help eradicate mother-to-child HIV transmission through an effective and sustainable model of care that supports mother and child health. mothers2mothers trains and employs Mentor Mothers to work alongside nurses and doctors to provide education and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV so they make healthy choices for themselves and their families. The three main goals that drive mothers2mothers’ work and are critical to achieving their mission are: preventing babies from contracting HIV through mother-to-child transmission, keeping mothers with HIV and their babies healthy, and empowering mothers living with HIV. The organization operates in 7 countries and currently serves over 275,000 HIV positive pregnant women and new mothers throughout the world.

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were adopted by world leaders in 2000 to provide concrete, numerical benchmarks for tackling extreme poverty in its many dimensions. mothers2mothers advances four of the eight MDGs that most directly affect Women’s and Children’s Health, including: Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women, Reducing Child Mortality, Improving Maternal Health, and Combating HIV/AIDS.

Co-founder and international director Robin Smalley is a former television producer (Entertainment Tonight, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous). She moved from Los Angeles, California to Capetown, South Africa to become mothers2mothers’ first Executive Director. She returned to the United States in 2005 to assume her new role as international director.

Robin Smalley
Co-Founder / International Director, mothers2mothers
After a successful Emmy Award-winning career as a television producer/director, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers (m2m), a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and support for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS. m2m reaches these women with a unique approach, by employing and professionalizing lay people living with HIV (Mentor Mothers). As role models in their communities, Mentor Mothers fight stigma as valued members of prenatal care teams that have traditionally been populated by dwindling numbers of overworked and overstressed doctors and nurses. As m2m’s first Executive Director and current International Director, Robin has guided the organization through a period of extraordinary growth. A tiny grassroots endeavor established in 2001, m2m is now a pivotal part of the Global Plan to eliminate pediatric AIDS by 2015, operating almost 600 sites in eight African countries and employing about 1500 HIV-positive mothers.

Susan Andres
Senior Brand Strategist, Tomorrow Partners
Susan is a senior brand strategist at Tomorrow, developing growth-fueling strategic platforms and marketing communications campaigns for leading companies and non-profits alike. After graduating from Stanford with a degree in International Relations, she held senior leadership positions at top San Francisco advertising agencies Foote, Cone & Belding and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and at a variety of Bay Area non-profit organizations. This experience across sectors gives her a deep understanding of how to craft strategies that connect deeply with customers, stakeholders and constituents, building powerful and effective communication platforms.

Dr. Neal Baer
Executive producer, CBS
Dr. Neal Baer is Executive Producer of the CBS television series A Gifted Man. He also served as Executive Producer behind a stream of television hits including ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. However, Baer believes his most crowning achievement is his commitment to creating social change. His experience in film, television, books and medicine has given him the opportunity to evoke change and positively affect the lives of others. Baer’s messages, shared all over the world, have allowed countless others the ability to use their own stories to make the world a better place. Audiences will be deeply affected, compassionate and most importantly, motivated to continue Baer’s work helping others. Baer graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed his internship in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. He received the Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Scholarship from the American Medical Association as the most outstanding medical student who has contributed to promoting a better understanding of medicine in the media. The American Association for the Advancement of Science selected him as a Mass Media Fellow. Today, Baer focuses his efforts utilizing his gift of storytelling to change the world. In 2012 he will be launching a new social network called actionlab.org, which connects people with similar interests so they can help their communities together.

Andrea Z. Evans
Principal, Philanthropy Consulting Group
Andrea Z. Evans is the principal of Philanthropy Consulting Group, a practice serving grant seeking, grant making, and intermediary organizations. She has more than twenty years of professional and volunteer nonprofit sector experience, with a major focus on individual, major gift, and capital campaign fundraising. Prior to consulting, Andrea worked on staff for the Art Institute of Chicago, Sierra Club, Coro Foundation of Northern California, and California Academy of Sciences. She attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas, where she earned a BBA from the Cox School of Business and a MLA from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Mónica Hernández
Senior Designer, Tomorrow Partners
Mónica is a senior designer at Tomorrow Partners where she works on a broad range of projects including annual reports, packaging, environmental graphics, and websites. Her work has been recognized in a number of prominent design publications including Print, GD USA, Graphis, Communication Arts, and How. Mónica holds a degree in Sociology and Ethnic Studies from The Evergreen State College. She worked for over eight years as Art Director for a social justice non-profit, principally on their nationally published magazine and research reports. Mónica then pursued her passion for design at California College of the Arts, where she graduated with highest honors. As Tomorrow’s employee number one, she had a hand in our yesterday as well as our today. Mónica was born and raised in Northern California but enjoys heading south to study printmaking, photography and design with local artisans in México. When she is not traveling, you’ll find her scouring flea markets and bookstores for vintage children’s books.

Jince Kuruvilla
Fellow, Firebelly University
Originally trained in Product Design, Design Research, and Design Strategy, Jince strives to not only solve problems, but to find the right problem to solve. His personal and professional experiences have propelled him to use his talents as a designtrepreneur to create solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing issues, including public transportation and public education. Always seeking to push the boundaries of social innovation, Jince’s latest exploration is in the power of people-powered movements. He is currently working on building a number of movements that engage, empower, and unite communities towards collective social impact through personal transformation and conscious consumerism.

Natalie Linden
Writer, Tomorrow Partners
With strategic thinking and hands-on collaboration as her touchstones, Natalie Linden helps organizations build powerful narratives across every touchpoint, from positioning and messaging to naming, taglines, ad campaigns, websites, social media, packaging, print collateral, speeches – even the occasional poetic stanza. Her expertise also crosses industries, from Silicon Valley giants like Google and Cisco Systems to delicious do-gooders like Alter Eco, Cowgirl Creamery and Peet’s Coffee. A frequent Tomorrow Partner, she has a particular passion for companies and organizations who make it their business to leave the world a little better than they found it.

Michelle Milford Morse
Public Affairs & Advocacy Consultant
Michelle is a public affairs and advocacy consultant based in Austin, Texas. She works with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Sesame Workshop, LIVESTRONG (the Lance Armstrong Foundation), amfAF, the International Center for Research on Women, ChildObesity 180, Johnson & Johnson and the UBS Optimus Foundation. Previously Michelle was on the global health policy and advocacy team at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working on vaccine-preventable disease, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, family planning.

Alex Tam
Senior Interaction Designer, frog
Alex is a user experience designer at frog, with over a decade of practice bringing products to life that people enjoy using. He leverages design research, concepting, strategy, and interaction design to translate user needs into design solutions. Alex has spent half of his career focused on design for healthcare and continues to drive innovation in this space and speak on topics of rapid-ideation and gamification. Through winning a series of hack-a-thons, he’s demonstrated how concepting and prototyping with small multi-disciplinary teams can lead to compelling concepts with high impact.

Partners In Health
Partners In Health (PIH) is a Boston, Massachusetts based non-profit health care organization dedicated to providing a ‘preferential option for the poor’. It was founded in 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Thomas J. White, Todd McCormack, and Dr. Jim Yong Kim. Since then, PIH has grown to 11,000 employees working in 49 health centers and hospitals across 11 countries, from the US to Siberia and Malawi. PIH strives to provide an alternative to the conventional curative method of treatment for the sick and instead tries to prevent diseases before they occur. This model believes that primary health care is essential because health is a right and therefore, it should be available to everyone. PIH strives to bring good medical care to the poor by establishing long-term partnerships with local sister organizations.
PIH believes in 5 fundamental principles:

  • Providing universal access to primary health care
  • Making health care and education free to the poor
  • Hiring and training community health workers
  • Fighting disease means fighting poverty
  • Partnering with local and national governments

Tracey Kidder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller Mountains Beyond Mountains, made a kind of global health rock star out of quietly charismatic Dr. Paul Farmer. Treating drug-resistant TB in Haiti, he and his partners openly defied the global public health care system insisting on curing a disease that conventional wisdom said was incurable. Stories of Change filmmakers Kief Davidson and Cori Stern’s documentary will portray a diverse group of everyday health care heroes working on an expansive model of global health delivery.

Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD
Director, Program in Global NCDs & Social Change, Partners In Health
Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD is a cardiologist and a medical anthropologist. He has worked with Partners In Health for more than 15 years. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School where he directs the Program in Global Non-Communicable Disease and Social Change. Dr. Bukhman is a Senior Technical Advisor on Non-Communicable Disease to the Rwandan Ministry of Health. In this capacity, he is working closely with colleagues in the Rwandan government who are integrating services for the long tail of endemic non-communicable disease (such as rheumatic heart disease, epilepsy, cervical cancer, and Burkitt’s lymphoma) into the process of health system strengthening. As part of this effort, Dr. Bukhman is helping to develop a strategic planning framework with more general application for countries engaged in similar efforts.
Dr. Bukhman is also an advisor to the Global Taskforce on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries.

Aaron Shakow
Associate Director, Program in Non-Communicable Disease, Partners In Health
Aaron Shakow is a Lecturer in history at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Lecturer in the global history of non-communicable disease at Harvard Medical School. He is also a past editor of the journal Health and Human Rights. During the roll-out of the “3 by 5” initiative to expand global access to antiretroviral treatment in the mid-2000s, he was policy advisor to the director of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization. Dr. Shakow’s research interests include health financing, international governance in the health sector, and the historical impact of public health interventions on economic relations and cultural exchange. He completed his doctoral dissertation on plague and the origins of clinical epidemiology at Harvard University in 2009.

Jon Shaffer
Community Engagement Coordinator, Partners In Health
Jon Shaffer is the Community Engagement Coordinator for Partners In Health. In this role, he works to build a community organizing strategy that can strengthen the movement for global health equity and move us ever closer to achieving justice in health. Previously, Jon served for two years as the Executive Director of GlobeMed, during which time its national network grew from 17 university-based chapters and 500 students to 46 chapters and more than 1,500 students, all working in partnership with 47 grassroots health organizations on four continents. He graduated from Northwestern in 2009, where he studied biomedical engineering and was active in the GlobeMed chapter.

Maggie Breslin
Designer, Researcher & Writer
Maggie Breslin is a designer and researcher with a unique focus on healthcare delivery. She pioneered the role of designer/researcher at Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation when she joined in 2005. She leads research, design and development efforts around topics as diverse as decision-making, risk communication, integrated practice models, remote care, caregiving and minimally disruptive medicine. She believes strongly that good conversation is a critically important but mostly ignored component of our healthcare system and champions this idea in all her work. She has logged many hours observing and talking to patients and clinicians and counts those opportunities as among her most treasured. She has published in journals ranging from Design Issues to Archives of Internal Medicine and had a previous life in film/television/animation/motion graphics where she learned how to tell compelling stories in a variety of media. Maggie holds a Masters of Design (MDes) from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Mass Communications, Film and Television, from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Cori Shepherd Stern
Writer/Producer
Cori Shepherd Stern is a writer and producer, working in both documentary and narrative film. She is currently producing The Untitled Global Health Documentary, based on the extraordinary work of Partners In Health, directed by the award-winning documentary filmmaker Kief Davidson. Her other film projects include Warm Bodies directed by Jonathan Levine for Summit Entertainment, and The Arizona Project for Miramax, written by Sheldon Turner. In addition to film, Cori is known for her work as a social change strategist and as a co-founder of Strongheart, a residential healing and progressive education community for exceptional young people from extreme life circumstances across the globe including former child slaves, child soldiers, refugees, and other young survivors of conflict or poverty.

YouthBuild USA
YouthBuild USA is perhaps the least known and most successful youth intervention, education and support organization in the U.S. It has touched hundreds of thousands of lives since its founder Dorothy Stoneman, a Skoll Foundation awarded social entrepreneur, began a program to teach and employ at-risk youth in Harlem to rebuild abandoned apartment buildings and provide housing for the homeless in 1978. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16 to 24 work full-time for 6 to 24 months toward their GEDs or high school diplomas while learning job skills by building affordable housing in their communities. Emphasis is placed on leadership development, community service, and the creation of a positive mini-community of adults and youth committed to each others’ success. The mission of YouthBuild USA is to unleash the intelligence and positive energy of low-income youth to rebuild their communities and their lives.

The Stories of Change partnership connected Stoneman and filmmaker Annie Sundberg to explore ways to tell their story. The 2010 short film Youth Build was supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and plans are in the works for a new Sundance-funded series of twelve short films that trace the transformative moments in YouthBuild’s history.

Jackie Gelb
Growth Planning Senior Advisor, YouthBuild USA
Jackie serves a Growth Planning Senior Advisor for YouthBuild USA. She was founding Executive Director of YouthBuild Boston in 1989, the first national replication site of YouthBuild. Jackie’s 30 years of experience spans a range of issues, including community health care, workforce development, youth development, education, literacy, affordable housing, job training, micro-enterprise, cultural development and the creative economy, civil rights and public policy. Her breadth of personal experience—as an executive director, board member, coalition leader, community organizer, and public policy advocate—informs her approach to consulting with non-profits. She tailors her approach to the unique dynamics and culture of each non-profit, finding the most appropriate ways to support the leadership in charting its course.

Ely Flores
Outreach Manager, GRID Alternatives
Ely Flores’ YouthBuild life started like many other stories—young, pushed out of school, a young parent, and “adjudicated.” However, after completing the YouthBuild program as one of the top students, he obtained both his High School Diploma and GED. He also embarked on a voyage to fight for social justice at The Youth Justice Coalition and Public Allies. Years of involvement in political campaigns and community organizing efforts have taken him to speak at the White House, State Assembly, and Congress.

His passion for social justice took him to Israel, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He now works for GRID Alternatives where he has turned hundreds of families green, namely by equipping them with solar panel systems. He has worked with local elected officials and Green Jobs Now to spread the ideas of environmental justice and the importance of having people of color at its forefront. In 2010, he established Leadership Through Empowerment, Action, and Dialogue Inc. to empower young people to transform their lives and communities. He holds a BA in Organizational Management with an emphasis on Public Administration. Ely is raising two kids and continues to be a part of the YouthBuild National Alumni Council.

Jen Langley
Director of Digital Communications, YouthBuild USA
Jen Langley is the Director of Digital Communications at YouthBuild USA, where she leads efforts to use new media to tell the organization’s story and support its communications and fundraising efforts, and manages YouthBuild USA’s websites, social media, and other related technology. Jen has been with YouthBuild USA for 11 years and has led its selection, implementation, and management of CMS and CRM solutions, and a move to open source in 2011. Her previous experience includes web and marketing work at small software firms, technology start-ups, and front-line networking support at BBN Planet. She has a Bachelor’s in English from Boston University and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Simmons College

Tyler Nakatsu
Digital Marketing & Communications Specialist, YouthBuild USA
Tyler Nakatsu is the Digital Marketing and Communications Specialist at YouthBuild USA. He focuses on utilizing new media to elevate the YouthBuild voice of graduates and advocates and also edits, generates and manages content for YouthBuild.org. Tyler has been at YouthBuild since November 2011. Prior to YouthBuild, Tyler worked in social media marketing, brand strategy and content management as a Marketing Coordinator at Palazzo Creative in Seattle, WA. He has a Bachelor’s in Applied Intercultural Communication from Washington State University.

Noe Orgaz
National Alumni Council, YouthBuild USA
Noe Orgaz grew up in a low income, single parent home in Northeast Los Angeles — a community split by gangs. He saw the fight for territory first hand and quickly decided that he would not belong to a gang. At the age of 16 he became a father and dropped out of school to begin working full time. However, during high school, Noe was introduced to community organizing. And in 2002 he helped form the Youth Justice Coalition (YJC) where he helped bring together non-profit organizations to discuss issues affecting their community. During his tenure at YJC, he demanded alternative solutions to incarceration and justice in schools and in the streets. Noe was motivated to educate himself after struggling to find history books about his culture. He was able to visit Chiapas, México where he learned about the Zapatistas and restorative justice. This experience serves as inspiration for the change he envisions for American society. Noe is on the National Alumni Council for YouthBuild USA. He is currently working towards a business administration degree.

Bea Sweet
Re-engagement Specialist, South LA YouthBuild
Beatrice “Bea” Sweet has served at various youth development programs; she is currently serving as a Re-engagement Specialist at South LA YouthBuild located on the college campus of Los Angeles Trade Tech. Bea was born and raised in San Fernando Valley, California. As a young African American woman growing up in a low-income urban community, she has been blessed to overcome many obstacles and barriers to be who she is today. Bea is a YouthBuild graduate of Lennox YouthBuild, California, Class of 2000.

Bea has studied at Cal State LA and Los Angeles Community College, taking courses in gang intervention and prevention, youth development, leadership development and community asset building. She has a great passion for serving young people and assisting in their personal and academic development. Bea is an elected member of the YouthBuild National Alumni Council (NAC) and represents over 80,000 YouthBuild alumni across the nation. She has touched many staff and young people’s lives in a profound way through the development and facilitation of trainings and sharing her personal life experiences.

Emma Bernsohn
Designer, Tomorrow Partners
Emma Bernsohn is a designer at Tomorrow where she has worked on various branding, print, and interactive projects. After leaving the Midwest to study on the East Coast she traveled throughout Central and North America farming and practicing sustainable construction. Emma settled in the Bay Area to study graphic design at California College of the Arts where she graduated with distinction. When she isn’t behind her computer she can usually be found on her bicycle.

Brooke Brewer
Producer, BreakThru Films
Brooke Brewer is a producer for Break Thru films, a production company headed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. Each project at Break Thru tracks new landscape–from criminal injustice in the American South, to Darfur, to stand up comedy and the lives of professional athletes–but all are centered on unforgettable people and their singular experiences. Next up is a GE/Cinelan FocusForward film and a pilot for the National Geographic Channel.

Prior to Break Thru, Brooke worked for PopTech and Goodfocus, producing films for universities, non-profits and social enterprises with stories ranging from design for social good to gay marriage to the history of the Inuit people. Her own storied past includes stints as a weaver, farmer, shepherdess, raft guide and vegan baker.

Johnathon Strube
Designer / Fellow, Firebelly University
Johnathon Strube is a collaborative designer living, thinking, feeling and working within print, UX, motion and exhibition design. He is currently a Fellow at Firebelly University, full-time designer at Tilt Shift and recent instructor in Visual Communication at Northern Illinois University. Prior to Firebelly University and Tilt Shift, he gained international experience while exhibiting work at the International Festival of Design in Poland, studied Design and Architecture in Italy, Switzerland and Spain and served as a Graduate Assistant for Moving Design. Currently, he is working on the launch of his own design studio Heart Giants, a collaborative studio focused on making art and design a viable element within small communities. A combination of design studio, art collective and education incubator, Heart Giants’ mission is to empower community, creativity and culture through design, art and education. Outside of design, he enjoys biking, sharing, family, friends, sports, stories and life.

Dr. Jabari Mahiri
Professor, UC Berkeley
Dr. Jabari Mahiri directs TEACH (Technology, Equity, And Culture for High-performing schools) a research/collaboration with urban schools and community partners on uses of new media for increasing achievement and educational equity, and for improving teacher professional development. He is Chair of the Language, Literacy & Culture Progam in the Graduate School of Education; Faculty Director for the Bay Area Writing Project, and Vice President of the board of REALM, Berkeley’s first charter school. He is the third recipient of UC Berkeley’s Chancellor’s Award for Advancing Institutional Excellence.

Dr. Mahiri is author of Digital Tools in Urban Schools (2011); When Scholarship Athletes become Academic Scholars (2010); and, African American and Youth Culture in New Century Schools (1998). He is editor of What They Don’t Learn in School (2004) and Virtual Lives (Forthcoming). Previously, he helped found and chaired the inaugural board of New Concept School in Chicago. He was also an English teacher in Chicago Public Schools.

Storytelling and Impact Workship

Storytelling and Impact Workshop

September 19, 2011 at the Paley Center For Media

Throughout the ‘Stories of Change’ partnership Sundance Documentary Film Program has created high-level conversations around storytelling strategies designed to enhance the impact of social entrepreneurs innovations. Working closely with the Skoll Foundation, they developed an intensive one-day workshop, the first stand-alone event of the partnership, it took place just prior to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in order to take advantage of so many social entrepreneurs presence in the city that week.

The workshop included 25 participants from 11 different Skoll Foundation Awarded Social Entrepreneur organizations, and 7 media professionals, award-winning filmmakers, advisors on the leading edge of digital storytelling strategies, social issue documentary impact assessment and purpose-driven marketing, communications and brand building.

In advance of the Workshop, Sundance Producer Patricia Finneran, working from a customized questionnaire, conducted in-depth interviews with a representative from each entrepreneur’s organization, tracking how they use storytelling to advance their work, and identifying areas of interest and opportunity.

On the day of the workshop, each media advisor gave a 20-minute presentation, in the following order:

  • It Starts With Story –– Anne Makepeace, Director, We Still Live Here
  • Extending the Story –– Paco de Onis, Producer, Granito
  • The Evolving Story: Data and Impact––– Wendy Levy, Senior Strategist, Tomorrow Partners
  • Flexible Storytelling: Social | Digital | Media ––– Ingrid Kopp, Editor-in-Chief, Shootingpeople.org and Consultant, Tribeca Institute New Media Fund
  • The Big Story: Social Branding ––– Carol Cone, Managing Director & EVP, Brand & Corporate Citizenship, Edelman

Following a networking lunch, the organizations broke in to three groups and each participated in break out sessions moderated by the media advisors and the Sundance team.

Session A: Identifying, then Extending the Story Filmmakers who create social change documentaries start with a good story well-told. They can also create extensions –– across various channels but especially on-line –– that engage and involve both audiences and partner organizations in the story over time.

Session B: The Evolving & Flexible: Digital, Data & Real-time Impact The organization’s impact data can be part of a design framework that tells an evolving story; social media allows organizations to update their story, both in real time. New digital platforms provide brand new and flexible approaches to telling your story.

Session C: The Big Story: Your Brand and the Larger Story of Change Each organization must refine mission and story in order to clarify its brand. Simultaneously, social entrepreneurs are each part of a larger story of change in their issue area.

Skoll Foundation

Jeff Skoll created The Skoll Foundation in 1999 to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. Led by CEO Sally Osberg since 2001, the Foundation’s mission is to drive large scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and the innovators who help them solve the world’s most pressing problems. The Skoll Foundation defines Social Entrepreneurs as society’s change agents, creators of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better. By identifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, they empower them to extend their reach, deepen their impact and fundamentally improve society. Over the past 10 years, Skoll Foundation has awarded more than $250 million, including investments in 85 remarkable social entrepreneurs and 70 organizations on five continents around the world who are creating a brighter future for underserved communities. Skoll Foundation also operates operate two programs that foster collaboration including the annual Skoll World Forum, the premier conference on social entrepreneurship, and Social Edge, the online community led by social entrepreneurs for social entrepreneurs.

Click here to learn more about the innovative organizations run by Skoll supported social entrepreneurs.