by Catherine Geanuracos, 10x10 Digital and Program Strategy Consultant

I went to the Skoll World Forum to find new partnership opportunities for 10x10 and to learn more about the state of the art for linking storytelling to impact.  10x10 Educate Girls, Change the World enhances the global movement to support girls' education by telling girls' stories in ways they’ve never been told before, inspiring people to take action.  Combining the media production expertise of The Documentary Group with a comprehensive social action campaign that will formally launch in Fall, 2011, 10x10 is creating a unique platform for global storytelling.  We’re creating a global narrative about how education impacts the lives of girls and communities, making action and engagement central to the storytelling process.  In collaboration with nonprofit organizations and corporate partners, we are building a truly pervasive distribution model for the 10x10 film and associated media that will reach deep into, and far beyond, the 10 countries on which the film will focus.  Creating a multiplatform distribution system and tracking the impact of our campaigns are central to achieving the potential of the 10x10 project.  We’re excited to be in the forefront of creating  new methodologies to transform story into impact, and were thrilled to be able to participate in a session at Skoll World Forum focused specifically on that topic. Here’s a video of me created by the Skoll Foundation, talking about the importance of storytelling and the 10x10 project:

Lead by Cara Mertes, who directs the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, the session featured small group discussions to uncover strategies for effective collaboration.  Wendy Levy, Creative Director at the Bay Area Video Coalition, discussed a new technology platform that will allow filmmakers to visualize the impact of their films in real time. John Marks from Search for Common Ground talked about the goals and production of “The Team” a television program produced in 6 countries that uses the global love of football to address racial/ ethnic tensions via a soap opera format (the second film completed through the Sundance- Skoll Foundation partnership is about the making of  “The Team”).  The participants ranged from independent producers and directors, to social responsibility experts from major networks and entertainment companies, to foundations, to technology companies.  We all had the power of storytelling reinforced - by hearing each other’s stories, and talking about examples of storytelling creating global impact.

We’re thrilled that the Skoll Foundation and the Sundance Institute are contributing to the growing emphasis on the need for compelling, engaging stories to build global engagement and solve critical problems ( Tribeca Film Institute has also just announced a new grant for programs using technology to link media with social impact).  I’m looking forward to continuing to participate in the global dialogue about storytelling and social impact as the 10x10 project grows.