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2016 FoST Summit Highlights
Highlight clips from the 2016 FoST Summit
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FoST Studios Presents: A Snug & Deadly Harbor
THE DAILIES!
The streets of Snug Harbor reflect the light from the street lamps. VICKI enters the frame running, coming to a sudden stop against a lamppost. Her hand rests on her forehead in a feigned post of exhaustion. ROY enters, breathing hard.
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FoST Summit 2015 Highlights Reel
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FoST: Our Story
Future of StoryTelling Founder & Director Charles Melcher on the age of immersion.
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Introduction to Future of StoryTelling
The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) was founded on the belief that stories—in the broadest sense of the word—shape the meaning and momentum of everyday life.
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FOST FILMS

Aaron Koblin — Data-Driven Stories
Koblin's remarkable oeuvre demonstrates in the most vivid ways imaginable the infinite artistic and narrative possibilities of crowdsourced digital creation and autonomous storytelling.
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Alan Gershenfeld and Amy Fredeen— World Games
Gaming industry veteran Alan Gershenfeld partnered with Amy Fredeen of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council to transform IÐupiaq stories into an award-winning video game.
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Alex McDowell — World Building
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN
Master Production Designer Alex McDowell explores how lessons learned from fictional world-building can be applied to the real world.
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Alexis Lloyd — Object Narratives
When ordinary objects are imbued with the power to tell their own stories, they become active participants in their surroundings and transform the way we interact with the world around us.
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Andrea Phillips — Touching the Storyworld
This film reveals Andrea Phillips's journey of discovery in becoming...
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Andrew Stern — The Ground Rules for AI Storytelling
COFOUNDER, PLAYABL.AI
Using artificial intelligence to enhance digital stories will be a challenge, but Andrew Stern lays out the ground rules for making the most of AI in storytelling.
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Angela Ahrendts — Authentic Branding for a Global Audience
Angela Ahrendts shares how brands can effectively target millennials and engage global audiences through digitally-led authentic and emotive storytelling.
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Beau Lotto — Understanding Perception: How We Experience the Meaning We Create
NEUROSCIENTIST, FOUNDER & CEO, RIPPLE & LAB OF MISFITS
Our senses tell us stories about the world. Our perceptions evolved to interpret those stories—and understanding how will help us create meaning in our lives.
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Benedetto Vigna — Super Senses
Physicist Benedetto Vigna explains how the mass production of tiny electronic sensors is allowing us to augment our senses like never before. We now have...
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Beth Comstock — Mind Share
GE CMO Beth Comstock emphasizes that connecting with your audience through an authentic, personal story...
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Bjarke Ingels — Worldcraft
FOUNDER & ARCHITECT, BIG
World-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels refers to his projects as “promiscuous hybrids”—they combine seemingly disparate elements and turn fiction into fact.
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Bjarke Pederson: Becoming The Story
LARPING EXPERT & CREATIVE DIRECTOR, ODYSSé
LARP (Live Action Role Playing) allows you to step into a character’s shoes and engage all of your senses alongside other people to create intense and emotionally engaging stories.
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Brian Seth Hurst — Participation Continuum
For generations, the relationship between storyteller and audience has been largely one-sided, but...
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Bruce Flohr — Bands and Brands
Bands and brands have one thing in commonÑtheir consumers. Brands can't advertise like they used to, and bands need more than...
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Candice Faktor - Mobile Storytelling: The Rebirth of Reading and Writing
“People say teens don’t read…I have some evidence to suggest completely otherwise,” says Candice Faktor. Wattpad has revolutionized the way novels are created and consumed. As a social platform, Wattpad offers writers an outlet to share their voice and have their stories resonate with a larger community, while allowing global access through mobile devices.
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Charles Spence — Sensploration
PROFESSOR OF EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, OXFORD UNIVERSITY
Experience designers are taking cues from neuroscientists and purposefully activating certain senses in order to enhance experiences.
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Chris Charla — Level Up
Chris Charla explains how the democratization of game development tools is leading to an explosion of more diverse games with richer narratives.
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Chris Milk — A Different Canvas
Chris Milk's work challenges the boundaries of technology, integrates the digital world into the physical one, and feels, at its core, deeply personal and human.
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Chris Plutte — Digital Campfires
Chris Plutte explains how sharing cross-cultural stories breaks down stereotypes and stigmas and builds empathy.
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Clint Smith — Beyond This Place
Societal problems like racism and inequality can often feel overwhelming. Clint Smith sees understanding and empathy as...
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Corey May — Playing the Story
Corey May aims to break down the conventional tension between the "story" of the game and the "playing" of the game, with the goal of creating a more immersive video game experience.
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Damian Kulash — Artistic Integrity, Corporate Collaborations, and Making a Living
OK GO, LEAD SINGER AND GUITARIST
OK Go’s stratospheric success represents an epoch-defining shift in the way music and music videos—which together constitute one of the most visceral kinds of storytelling—are made.
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Daria Musk — The Ripple Effect
One year after her first Google+ Hangout concert, Daria Musk is singing for some 2 million fans...
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David Carey — Digital Transitions in Storytelling
David Carey, President of Hearst Magazines, looks ahead to the future of publishing and digital strategy, while reflecting on how he guided the world’s largest publisher of monthly magazines through its transition to the digital age.
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David Weinberger — The Networking of Knowledge and Storytelling
David Weinberger identifies the cardinal challenge of the storyteller in the age of networked knowledge: to expose us to points of view other than our own, to free us from the "echo chamber" of narratives that merely reinforce what we already know or believe.
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Derek DelGaudio — Invisible Dialogues
Derek DelGaudio, writer, performance artist, and magician, investigates how magic can still exist in a world where technology can unveil even the most hidden of secrets.
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Dr. Marvin Chun — Decoding the Mind
RICHARD M. COLGATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY, YALE UNIVERSITY
For the first time in human history, science and technology have caught up with the imagination, introducing tools to decode the mind.
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Dr. Michael Wesch — Unboxing Stories
Dr. Michael Wesch studies how our evolution from a literate culture to a digital one can return us to our heritage of collaborative storytelling...
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Eddy Moretti — The Crisis & Liberation of Information
Eddy Moretti, Chief Creative Officer at VICE, argues that the past decade has been defined by changes in access to information.
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Eli Pariser — Media & The Crisis of Trust
After the election of Donald Trump, an international conversation began around the role of the media, and broader themes of authority, and truth.
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Fabien Riggall — Bringing Film to Life
Fabien Riggall created Secret Cinema with the intention of letting audiences "step inside the world of a film." The audience becomes the hero and the stageÑthey interact with one another and with the film, bringing the adventure to life.
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Felix Barrett — Burn the Seats: Audience Immersion in Interactive Theater
FOUNDER & DIRECTOR, PUNCHDRUNK
Felix Barrett's productions transform existing architectural spaces into interactive theater pieces in order to disrupt the traditional, formulaic, and passive theater model. They demand the attention of all five senses.
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Florian Radke – Enhance The World Around You
SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, META
The promise of augmented reality is not to replace our reality, but to enhance our natural environments and facilitate greater learning and communication than ever.
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Fox Harrell — Virtual Identities
D. Fox Harrell, Professor of Digital Media in Comparative Media Studies and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT, is working to create new forms of computational narrative that are free from human biases and stereotypes.
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Franklin Leonard — It Starts With The Story
When Franklin Leonard created the Black List, he started remaking Hollywood into a place where content rules and diversity is rewarded.
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Gaia Dempsey — Knowledge Transfer
By layering digital information over the real world, augmented reality transforms the entire world into an interface we can intuitively discover and interact with.
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Glen Keane — Step Into The Page
Disney animator Glen Keane created some of the world's most memorable characters; now he shares the secrets to his success and his excitement about the potential of new technologies.
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Hugh Howey — Where Words Become Worlds
NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, WOOL, SAND & BEACON 23
The ability to receive real-time feedback from fans gave self-published author Hugh Howey a space to create that resulted in a New York Times best-selling novel.
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Ian Schafer — Feeding The Feed
Social media has profoundly changed how people consume content, says Ian Schafer. Today, the biggest stories are the ones light and nimble enough to travel far and wide across the vast shared communities of social media.
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Jade Raymond — Blurring the Lines
Jade Raymond, Group General Manager for Electronic Arts, has overseen the development of some of the gaming world’s most successful franchises and explores what it means to blur the line between creator and audience.
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Jaime Robinson — Who is the Audience and Who Is The Author?
Jaime Robinson has pioneered a series of "social films" that rely on audience participation via social media platforms. The creation of the story becomes a collaborative process, rather than a one-directional presentation.
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Jake Barton — Story (US)
Online and mobile platforms have allowed everyday people to share experiences with an audience on a scale never before...
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Jake Shapiro — Voices in Our Heads
Smartphones have put a radio in every pocket, making audio storytelling more emotional, educational, and effective than ever before.
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Jameel Jaffer — Reframing the Debate on Free Speech
FOUNDING DIRECTOR, KNIGHT FIRST AMENDMENT INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY
How can individuals explore information, think independently and creatively and express their ideas if they feel they are being monitored?
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Jamie Gutfreund — Realism and Idealism
Jamie Gutfreund has drawn up a full personality profile for the people who will soon be ruling the world: Generation Z.
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Janet Murray — Dramatic Agency
Stories are always evolving, now more than everÑand today, we can finally actively engage with fictional worlds as we experience them.
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Jeffrey Seller — Setting the Stage: The Power of Live Art
PRODUCER, HAMILTON, AVENUE Q, RENT & IN THE HEIGHTS
Jeffrey Seller has devoted his life to creating powerful stories on the stage. He believes that in our present digital age, the unique excitement of live entertainment is more valuable than ever.
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Jennifer Aaker — The Happiness Narrative
We assume happiness is stable, an endpoint to achieve. But Jennifer Aaker and her colleagues have discovered our ideas of happiness change over the course of our lives.
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Jennifer Aaker — The Power of Story
Dr. Jennifer Aaker studies the psychology of time, money and happiness.
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Jim Marggraff — The Language of Looking
CHAIRMAN, CEO & FOUNDER, EYEFLUENCE
Jim Marggraff is paving the way for a future in which we navigate the digital world primarily through sight, the same way we do the natural world.
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Joe Lewis — Where Is Storytelling Going Next?
HEAD OF COMEDY, AMAZON STUDIOS
As head of Comedy, Drama, and Virtual Reality at Amazon Studios, Joe Lewis is one of the visionaries spearheading the new paradigm for how we watch television—one that is becoming increasingly immersive.
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Joe Marchese — Future of Advertising
PRESIDENT, ADVANCED ADVERTISING FOX NETWORKS GROUP
As one of the world’s top experts on how advertising is evolving in today’s digital world, Joe Marchese explores how new digital tools can target consumers with strong content that truly engages them.
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John Maeda — From Storytelling to Storylistening
John Maeda discusses how successful leaders apply design thinking and start with storylistening before they get to storytelling.
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John S. Johnson — The Metrics of Maximum Impact
John S. Johnson explores how computational social science and data science are giving storytellers unprecedented tools to accurately assess the social impacts of their storiesÑand become better storytellers in the process.
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Jonah Sachs — Story Wars
With insights from mythology, advertising history, evolutionary biology, and psychology, Jonah Sachs explores...
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Jules Urbach: Rendering the Metaverse
FOUNDER & CEO, OTOY & LIGHTSTAGE
Jules Urbach is engineering a world in which anyone can be a creator and anything you imagine can be effortlessly brought to life in fantastic visual detail.
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Karen Palmer — The Future of Immersive Filmmaking
Karen Palmer, an award-winning multidisciplinary immersive filmmaker, believes a new type of storytelling is needed in order to shift people’s perspectives and make a difference in the world.
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Kevin Slavin and Kenyatta Cheese — The Audience Has an Audience
Unlike theater or a concert, where the audience watches together, TV provided...
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Kris Hammond — Automated Storytelling
The great challenge in the Big Data era is understanding the stories the numbers tell and, just as important, connecting the right people with the right stories.
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Lance Weiler — Igniting the Imagination of Many
In the vast, amorphous group of people formerly known as the "audience," Lance Weiler sees thousands of imaginations waiting to be ignited, thousands of...
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Laura R. Walker —The Power of the Personal Narrative
PRESIDENT & CEO, NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO
We all have our own personal narratives and a desire to find meaning in our lives. Sharing these stories has the potential to inspire conversations and unlock deeper insights.
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Lisa Donovan — In the Eye of the Beholder
Lisa Donovan, one of the cofounders of Maker Studios and a self-made YouTube star, believes that self-produced content is causing a sea change in the film and TV industry.
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Lorraine Bardeen — Bringing Stories Back into 3D
GM, WINDOWS AND HOLOLENS EXPERIENCES, MICROSOFT
Mixed reality brings digital content into your real world, opening unprecedented opportunities to enhance emotional connection through storytelling.
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Margaret Atwood — A State of Wonder
We've always told stories—it's part of our humanity—but how those stories are created and shared is changing all the time.
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Margaret Robertson — Stories You Can Win
Games are engines for making stories, says Margaret Robertson. We need to let them go free range. If you build a captivating world and give players interesting rules, then they'll tell a thousand stories for you.
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Maria Popova — Wisdom in the Age of Information
Popova believes it's the storyteller's role to interpret information and shape it into wisdom for the rest of the culture to share.
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Marije Vogelzang — Edible Memories
Marije Vogelzang uses food as a storytelling device to explore people's memories and communicate their stories, taking advantage of taste and smell's unique power to bypass the processing parts of our brain and connect with our emotional self.
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Mary Spio — Sense of Wonder
FOUNDER & CEO, CEEK VR
Virtual reality has the opportunity to change people’s lives and allow them to see what is possible.
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Matt Adams — Smart Stories
Artist Matt Adams's work playfully explores the storytelling potential of new technologies. His present fascination is big data. How will stories...
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Melissa Bell & Lindsay Nelson — Journalism in the Digital Age
PUBLISHER OF VOX MEDIA & COFOUNDER OF VOX.COM, GLOBAL HEAD OF BRAND STRATEGY & MARKETING, VOX MEDIA
Melissa Bell sheds light on how to find digital-advertising strategies that work for advertisers, news organizations, and readers, with trust and transparency at the core.
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Nancy Pearson — Watson & You: Storytelling in the Age of AI
VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING FOR COGNITIVE BUSINESS, IBM
The cognitive system IBM Watson and its powerful machine learning have been put to use for everything from business applications to creating recipes. Nancy Pearson explores how Watson can be used as a creative tool and put to use by human storytellers.
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Nonny de la Peña — Journalism in the Age of Virtual Reality
Nonny de la Peña is an immersive journalism pioneer who uses virtual reality to tell nonfiction narratives. Witnessing these powerful stories firsthand evokes a personal and emotional reaction that is not as easily harnessed by traditional journalism.
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Paul Zak — Empathy, Neurochemistry and the Dramatic Arc
Paul Zak studies the neurochemical roots of decision-making and behavioral economics, and offers...
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Phil Chen — Virtual Agency
Virtual reality directly engages with you, and making it interactive opens up new frontiers for learning, communication, and storytelling.
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Philip Rosedale — Rebuilding Reality
CEO & COFOUNDER / CREATOR, HIGH FIDELITY / SECOND LIFE
Philip Rosedale anticipates a future where we spend most of our waking time in virtual worlds. His company, High Fidelity, is creating the building blocks of a virtual universe.
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Rachel Shechtman — Reinventing Retail
Rachel Shechtman has taken lessons from digital retailÑthe importance of community engagement and constant reinventionÑand used them to make a physical space into a full-fledged experience.
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Rahul Chopra – A User-Generated Story
CEO, STORYFUL
User-generated online videos are “the world’s largest natural resource.” News organizations and brands must learn how to take advantage of this.
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Rana el Kaliouby: Responsive Stories
COFOUNDER & CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER, AFFECTIVA
Technology is becoming more emotionally intelligent. Soon, our digital stories will adapt and change based on the audience’s reactions.
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Richelle Parham — Objects of Our Desire
Richelle Parham and her team of marketers can look at the transaction history of eBay's millions of sellers and buyers, look at the relationships they build with each other, and see stories emerge.
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Rob Sorcher — Animate Your World
CHIEF CONTENT OFFICER, CARTOON NETWORK
Cartoon Network is leading a radical shift away from classic episodic TV storytelling toward a more collaborative, participatory process that threads stories over many digital platforms.
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Robert Wong — The Fiction of Science
Robert Wong never imagined he would be influencing the future of scientific development—and yet he does just that, breaking down the boundary between art and science by creating stories that inspire engineers and the technology they build.
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Rosalind Picard — What Lies Beneath
MIT professor Rosalind Picard is the foremost expert on "affective computing." Her groundbreaking research uses computers...
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Sam Gustman – Preserving the Stories of Our Past for the Future
In his work as Chief Technology Officer of the USC Shoah Foundation, Sam Gustman has pioneered data preservation techniques that will allow the testimonies of 55,000 genocide survivors to exist and be accessible for future generations.
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Sarah Wood—9 Viral Video Myths
Sarah Wood, Cofounder and COO of marketing technology company Unruly, debunks common myths about what it takes to make a video go viral.
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Saschka Unseld — Uncovering The Grammar of VR
Virtual reality's new storytellers are just beginning to understand how to break down the fourth wall and make you the center of the story.
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Scott Dadich — Multiplatform Storytelling
Scott Dadich offers a guide to a new ecosystem where web, mobile, tablet, and print content support each otherÑand take advantage of each platform's strength.
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Scott Snibbe — Sound That Wants To Be Touched
With interactive digital programs and apps like Bjork's Biophilia, Scott Snibbe aims to reconnect music with its audience. His work...
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Scott Trowbridge — Unexpected Magic
Powerful experiences arise when audiences are encouraged to direct stories themselvesÑcreating surprising, impactful narratives that even their creators couldn't imagine.
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Seth Farbman — The Signal and the Story
CMO, SPOTIFY
Successful marketing is a combination of art and hard data science that results in personally resonant narratives.
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Shannon Loftis - The New Art of Approachable Immersion
Shannon Loftis designs video game technology that centers “around full-body motion”– reading the movements, facial expressions, and even the heartbeat of the player.
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Sherwin Siy — To Have and To Hold
Sherwin Siy works at the intersection where the laws governing copyright and sale of physical goods collide with the growing demands of...
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Sriram Kosuri — Encoding Stories and Big Data In DNA
Sri Kosuri and a team of Harvard synthetic-biology researchers successfully encoded the contents of an entire digital book—words, images, Java files, and more—in about a milligram of living DNA.
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Susan Bonds — Connected Immersion
Susan Bonds, CEO and Cofounder of 42 Entertainment, is a trailblazer in the field of "connected immersion." Her team creates stories that...
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Tatjana Dzambazova — Recreating Reality
Technology now lets anyone easily create high-quality 3D models, democratizing digital creation and erasing the line between the physical and the virtual.
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Tiffany Shlain — Connecting Our Global Brain
Filmmaker and Webby Award Founder Tiffany Shlain compares the Internet to a child's developing brain. The Internet is in an early stage of development, and...
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Tim Kring — We Can Be Heroes
Tim Kring, writer of the hit TV series Heroes, discusses his latest project, "The Conspiracy for Good," an exploration in leveraging audience engagement to create positive social action.
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Tim Pool — The Journalism Revolution
Mobile "phone-and-drone" journalism is changing the way news is...
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Toby Barlow — Brands as Broadcasters
Big brands are putting stories firstÑproducing multiple content streams covering a broad range of genresÑand are taking over the societal niche once occupied by traditional TV networks.
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Todd Yellin — Stories You'll Love
Netflix VP of Product Innovation Todd Yellin and his team devised a system to cut through the clutter and match viewers with the stories they'll love.
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Tom Perlmutter — The Evolution of Cinema and the Birth of a New Art Form
Technological advances have made it possible for films to be interactive, putting the power...
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Ze Frank, Michael Shamberg, and Jonah Peretti — The Media Frontier
Jonah, Ze, and Michael are collaborating to reinvent what it means to be a media company in the twenty-first century.
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Dan Pinchbeck: Parachuting Into The Story
CREATIVE DIRECTOR, THE CHINESE ROOM
Game narratives must be willing to leave room for the player as co-creator in order to create more fully immersive, emotionally-resonant story experiences.
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FoST Summit 2016 Overview
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