SOURCE: Future of Storytelling

September 24, 2015 09:00 ET

The Future of Storytelling® (FoST®) Announces Headline Speakers Al Gore, Glen Keane, and Edward Snowden

The Two-Day, Invitation-Only Event Brings Innovators, Communicators, Storytellers, and Creators Together in Immersive, Interactive Environment

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2015) - The Future of Storytelling (FoST) today announced its speaker lineup for its annual two-day, invitation-only summit. Headliners include Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and Chairman of the Climate Reality Project, Glenn Keane, legendary Disney animator, and Edward Snowden, former intelligence officer and board member of the Freedom Press Foundation. Summit attendees will experience lively and insightful discussions from these speakers around the global climate crisis, technology and creative expression, as well as cybersecurity and civil liberties, among other topics.

The 2015 FoST summit will take place in New York City on October 7 and 8. The gathering of technology, media, and communications visionaries from around the world is intended to put participants in direct contact with the most vital ideas, people, and technologies that are shaping the way we tell stories. Leaders in communications and technology, like Jonah Peretti (Founder & CEO, Buzzfeed) and Angela Ahrendts (Senior Vice President, retail and online stores at Apple Inc.) attended in the past, along with creative innovators like Damian Kulash (Lead Singer and Guitarist, OK Go) and Chris Milk (Director & Founder, Vrse), and other practitioners from diverse fields to share ideas and experiences on everything from the new/old oral tradition to computers telling stories with big data. The biochemical impact of stories on the human brain to cutting-edge collaborative storytelling projects will be addressed, along with many other hot topics, such as virtual reality as an empathy machine and the merging of narrative and play in gaming. Attendees participate in one-of-a-kind immersive experiences, hands-on workshops, live performances, and the Story Arcade and the VR Space, two exhibits that feature the latest and greatest in interactive and immersive storytelling technologies.

"I'm thrilled by the passion and commitment from thought leaders, cutting-edge practitioners, and marketers who have become loyal participants in the FoST community. The relationships and collaborations that have grown from the summit over the past four years have been remarkable," said Charles Melcher, Founder and Director of FoST and CEO of Melcher Media. 

FoST disrupts the traditional conference model by making short films with each speaker in advance of the event, and it uses those films as a point of departure for roundtable conversations that take place at the summit. Each speaker leads a series of sixty-minute, twenty-five-person conversations with attendees who have selected to take part in their sessions. The highly engaging, participatory format encourages everyone to lean in, ask questions, formulate answers, and help shape the conversation around how storytelling is changing in the digital age.

Glen Keane, the legendary Disney animator who created some of the world's most memorable characters, such as the Little Mermaid and the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, shares some of the secrets to his success and his excitement about the potential of new technologies in this FoST film. The video has already been viewed more than 1.5 million times. 

Other notable FoST speaker films are listed below. The catalog of all short films created for this year's summit can be found here.

  • Editor in Chief of WIRED, Scott Dadich, talks about a future where digital journalism includes web, mobile, tablet, and print content that all support each other.
  • Author Margaret Atwood explains the history of print and takes us on a journey through her research in her moving FoST film.
  • Gaia Dempsey, Managing Director of DAQRI International, explains the very real promise of "augmented reality" and what it means for storytelling and society in the future.

For more information about the summit or to apply to attend, visit the FoST website.

More about the Future of Storytelling
In addition to producing the annual Future of StoryTelling Summit, FoST creates a daily blog, a weekly online speaker series, a monthly newsletter, quarterly influencer salons, the FoST Prize for Innovation in Storytelling (presented by TimeWarner), and dozens of short films highlighting the big ideas shaping the storytelling landscape. This year, FoST organized and curated Sensory Stories, an interactive museum exhibition that opened at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City, and is currently on display at the Phi Center in Montreal, Canada.

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