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Skoll World Forum Op-Ed on the Power of Story by Teri Schwartz from Forbes.com


Story, Social Responsibility and the Case for a New Model for Entertainment and Performing Arts Education

Story.

It is the timeless, universal language that ties us together as human kind. It helps us make sense of our lives and the world around us. It can illuminate the human spirit and not only delight and entertain, but enlighten, engage and inspire change for a better world.

Story has the infinite power to connect us across time and space, and frame the human narrative by transcending borders, cultures, boundaries, and barriers. It gives voice and meaning especially to those who may have been silenced or where no voice existed before.

Story can be an extraordinary force for good; for transformation; for positive social change, influence and impact. And, at this critical moment in our human history, there is a need, more than ever before, for new diverse humanistic voices to be heard and for new stories to be told and delivered over a multitude of platforms that digital technology has democratized and made available to everyone.

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Participant MediaAbout Participant Media

Founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll, Participant Media’s (www.participantmedia.com) content combines the power of a good story well told with opportunities for real world impact and awareness around the most pressing global issues of our time. As an industry content leader, Participant annually produces up to six narrative feature films, five documentary films, three episodic television series, and more than 40 hours of digital short form programming, through its digital subsidiary SoulPancake—all aimed at entertainment that inspires social awareness and engaging audiences to participate in positive social change. Participant’s content and social impact mandate speaks directly to the rise of today’s “conscious consumer,” representing over 2 billion consumers who are compelled to make impactful content a priority focus. Through its worldwide network of traditional and digital distribution, aligned with partnerships with key non-profit and NGO organizations, Participant is positioned uniquely within the industry to engage a rapidly growing audience while bringing global awareness and action to today’s most vital issues.

Participant’s more than 80 films, including Spotlight, Contagion, Lincoln, The Help, He Named Me Malala, The Look of Silence, CITIZENFOUR, Food, Inc. and An Inconvenient Truth, have collectively earned 56 Academy Award® nominations and 12 wins, including Best Picture for Spotlight and Best Foreign Language Film for A Fantastic Woman. Participant’s digital entertainment division, SoulPancake (www.soulpancake.com), is an award-winning provider of thought-provoking, joyful, and uplifting digital content including such widely popular series as Kid President and The Science of Happiness and reaches an audience of nearly 9 million fans. Follow Participant Media on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow SoulPancake on Twitter and on Facebook and Instagram.