Leading Through Storytelling

We’re live at the Next Generation of Government Training Summit! NextGen is a two-day training summit aimed at inspiring and educating rising government leaders. The sessions and workshops presented are jam packed with information to further enhance their day-to-day career and the betterment of government overall.

Day 2 closed with a keynote address from Alden Stoner, Vice President, Social Action Film Campaigns, Participant
Media. Stoner has worked on recent film releases such as Lincoln, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Middle of Nowhere. In her discussion, she shared how this work inspires citizen awareness, education and engagement in order to create active communities engaged in positive change. As Stoner noted, content is an excellent way to get people to take the next step in government and actively participate in improving their communities.

We all like movies and one real benefit of movies is the ability to tell a story. The movie Lincoln is a great example of storytelling for two reasons. The first being that it is an awesome movie that explains a pivotal point in American history. The second is that Abraham Lincoln himself was a great storyteller as he was able to connect with the public and inspire change.

During her discussion, Stoner shared three other examples of movies making a difference:

Food Inc– Food Inc is a movie that sheds light on the food industry in the Unite States. Over 50% of people surveyed that saw the movie said it changed their life, with many people making the switch to buying organic food.

A Plate at the Table– Shows a different side of poverty in America by highlighting the growing number of people who don’t have enough to eat everyday. By putting a human face to the 50 million people in America living in poverty, they were able to not only change public opinion about hunger and poverty, but the political conversation.

The Snitch- This movie focuses on a teen that gets involved with drugs. The movie shed light on law enforcement, mandatory minimums and drug culture in America. Again, by putting a human face on the issue, they were able to make the problem relatable and enact real change and public attention.

Stoner ended her discussion by stating “a story well told can truly change the world.” Something really interesting to think about and an excellent way to end NextGen 2013. Be sure to check out all of the other NextGen 2013 recap blog posts here!

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