STORY 2017 – The Key Takeaways

Guest Blogger Blog

Recently, we developed the 30hands Storyteller Web App because we believe that stories are an integral part of learning. After all, stories help people connect with lessons and ideas in an enjoyable and easily understandable manner, allowing them to remember important points better.

STORY follows that same principle. The conference, which was held last September 21-22 in Nashville, Tennessee, was geared towards storytellers, artists, and other creatives who use stories as a platform to trigger change in the world. The premise of the conference was for both instruction and inspiration, and participants were challenged to exercise creativity through their medium of choice.

Using the art of storytelling to teach lessons is nothing new. In fact, the Huffington Post says narratives have served as tools to transmit messages even before writing started.

To understand better, consider the relationship between an abstract and a technical subject. For example, Tootsa presented the idea that math and arts can be combined together to introduce complex concepts to children, proving that creativity is not on the opposite side of the fence of hard sciences. What STORY sought to do was not dissimilar, in the sense that it encouraged storytellers and artists to hone their craft so they can present elaborate ideas effectively to their respective audiences.

The speakers at STORY 2017 are among the leaders of the creative industry today. The roster included Matthew Luhn, a story consultant and writer, who has over 20 years under his belt of working at Pixar; Steven Spiegel, an executive of Story Development at Disney Imagineering; Jim Kreuger, a comic book writer, filmmaker, and a former creative director at Marvel Entertainment; Gillian Ferrabbee, who served as the director and producer of various productions of Cirque du Soleil; Amena Brown, a spoken word poet, storyteller, and author; and Laura Youngkin, a producer and activist.

The highlights of this year’s event, which can be seen on the STORY 2018 page, revealed that the gathering more than delivered its “Carnival of Curiosities” theme. Various performances were mixed with the interesting talks during the length of the conference. While details on the contents of the discussions are yet to be officially released by the organization, the presentations of STORY 2016 already provide a fair hint of how the latest edition turned out.

Video footage shows that the presentations were intended mainly to motivate creative individuals to maximize their talents. One of the presenters last year was Nikkolas Smith, an architect, artist, activist, and Disney Imagineer who talked about using art as a platform to have meaningful conversations with other people.

Another guest speaker was author and entrepreneur Hannah Brencher, who discussed the different stages of the creative process to help people fight their fears and insecurities when creating something new and different.

As mentioned earlier, the conference was targeted towards adults who are working in the field of creatives. Nonetheless, teachers can actually use the lessons gleaned from the lectures and workshops to improve how they impart knowledge to their students.

For instance, one of our previous posts discussed how to use digital technology and storytelling techniques in the classroom. Given the high-profile personalities who spoke at the event, as well as the concept of STORY 2017 in general, participants were also able to learn about the different technological tools that are useful in education or even in simply passing wisdom to others.

If you were unable to attend STORY 2017, there are also other avenues where you can learn from fellow creative individuals. STORY organizes local gatherings in many different cities if you want to meet like-minded people within your community. You can also listen to their podcast which features talks on creativity and storytelling.

About the Author
JenBtells is a primary school guidance counselor and a mother of two. When not with kids, she likes to practice her passion for writing by taking freelance jobs and creating her own literary works.

30hands Storyteller can help teachers, students, and sales and marketing folks hone their message through iterative storytelling. They can use the creation experience for in-person discussions and presentations, OR push to create a video from the app to share OR use it as the storyboard draft before creating a fancier video production.

Try a free 30-day trial of 30hands Storyteller Web for Chrome.

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