This is our first Skoll Foundation | Sundance Institute Stories of Change Impact Lab. The Stories of Change Partnership began with initial convenings at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and the Skoll World Forum. Ever since then, Sundance Institute and Skoll Foundation have continued to facilitate the conversation between filmmakers and social entrepreneurs to explore that intersection of social impact and story—with tangible results.
A combination of invited convenings, labs, workshops and independent documentary film project funding for 10 feature-length projects, the Stories of Change partnership believes that powerful storytellers can provide the momentum for the adoption of transformative approaches to seemingly intractable challenges. At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, we had the opportunity to celebrate the cumulative work of five years of convenings and collaborations with a Stories of Change panel event. When watching previews of films that were funded through the partnership, these words echoed: “If you can change the narrative, you can change the outcome.” This is the core of the Stories of Change partnership.
We have designed the Stories of Change Impact Lab as an immersive five-day prototyping Lab to extend the narrative power of film into the community through digital strategies. It is offered to invited social entrepreneurs and filmmakers as part of the Stories of Change partnership. The Lab brings together multidisciplinary teams of social entrepreneurs, filmmakers, designers, technologists and thought leaders to identify the challenges they face and refine sustainable, innovative solutions. Over the course of five days, participating teams will be led through workshops in design research, interaction design, storytelling for impact, marketing and engagement strategy and resources for community-centered innovation.
This Impact Lab is the result of years of discussion between Skoll Foundation and Sundance Institute on how to effectively leverage storytelling towards social change. The Producer’s Institute model developed by Wendy Levy served as a primary inspiration, and we are delighted to be producing this first Impact Lab with Wendy and her colleagues at Tomorrow Partners. As with all Stories of Change collaborations, the result of this endeavor is one we will be watching closely. It is one more step towards making the voices of social entrepreneurs heard, of highlighting the ingenuity and passion of storytellers, and of inspiring stakeholders to take action in their own ways.
Director | Documentary Film Program and Fund Sundance Institute
Director of Strategic Alliances Skoll Foundation