Storytelling Event for Social Entrepreneurs and Film Makers: Scaling Change Conference

(3BL Media and Just Means)- It’s a match made in Dover, Vermont. Social entrepreneurs meet film makers meet the next Academy Award. If your business plan or your movie plot is about social impact, then mark your calendars for Friday, September 26- Sunday, September 28th for the Scaling Change conference as part of this year’s Independent Television and Film Festival (ITVFest) in Dover, Vermont.

ITVFest attracts thousands of independent, film makers to create, learn and produce together. In 2013 the festival moved from Los Angeles to the quaint town of Dover, Vermont with the intent to grow and foster talent on the East Coast. This year, a group of socially-minded professionals organized a storytelling component to ITVFest called Scaling Change. Scaling Changes invites social entrepreneurs to develop their stories of impact through a series of hands-on workshops and storytelling activities and to network with thousands of like-minded filmmakers who are seeking powerful stories for film. I recently spoke with Scaling Change Founders and Organizers, Valerie Vandermeer and Jim Verzino about the goals of Scaling Change.   

“It’s a perfect marriage,” Vandermeer told me. “Storytelling is essential for social entrepreneurs to succeed and it is often the missing piece of the puzzle for TV and film producers. Phil Gilpin, the Executive Director of ITVFest, keeps telling us his TV and film people need stories so why not give them stories that will do the world good?”

Scaling Change panelists include social entrepreneurs and marketers, Shel Horowitz and David Snyder as well as six other workshop hosts, including yours truly. Saturday’s key note speaker is Founder and Executive Director of Idealist, Ami Dar.  The conference will be very hands-on, each workshop serving as practice for synthesizing pitches, developing impact into quick taglines and learning how to make engaging videos.

“Social entrepreneurs will walk away knowing some practical video workarounds, but we  also hope the participants will have a renewed connection to their story’s meaning and purpose and learn how to keep the emotional core of their message front and center when they connect with others, regardless of the medium,” said Vandermeer.

Attendees of Scaling Change will leave the conference with their own short video message, two targeted pitches and an idea of how to incorporate video storytelling into their work.  But the biggest goal of Scaling Change is for social entrepreneurs to develop confidence in their ability to communicate and share their stories of impact.

“Storytelling is simple,” said Vandermeer. “It takes you and your audience back to the basics: Who am I? What do I do? What makes me happy? How can I help other people? Stories have the capacity to touch us at our core and linger in our minds. We know that when social entrepreneurs tell their stories well, they have enormous impact on the world. And that’s what it’s all about.”

I couldn’t agree more with Vandermeer. I’ve personally seen stories change the way social entrepreneurs see their work. Often, they don’t know the impact they are making until they ask their community to tell them. The human story reinvigorates us and renews our vision. Stories can change corporate culture and remind us that the work we do really is important. And, that’s a sneak peak of my session at Scaling Change. You won’t want to miss it!

Read here for more information on Scaling Change. Click here to register.