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Being Human: How Personal Stories Change the World

Race. Poverty. Immigration. Too often, conversations on the most critical issues of our time stall in anxiety, ignorance, and inaction. Those who provoke us to change often do so through personal stories that disarm, surprise, and, ultimately, empower. But what makes a story “authentic”? And how do the tools of modern media--from Facebook Live to podcasts--empower change agents to move past talking points to the heart of the issue? With leading voices from the Obama Administration’s senior speech (and joke) writing team, the Ford Foundation, and The Atlantic, our panel will explore how we bear witness and give meaning to the defining issues of our time with humor, rage, grief, and honesty.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What has fueled the trend towards personal narrative in media, and where is it headed?
  2. How can journalists and organizations walk the line between honest, uncensored accounts and content that is too upsetting for viewers?
  3. How can brands empower individuals within their organizations to have meaningful, highly personal dialogues with audiences?



Kristin Hume, Dir of Brand & Mktg, Atlantic Media Strategies

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