The countdown has begun for our sixth Social Media Exchange on the 5 Feb. With just four weeks to go we’re excited for all the masterclasses, lunchbites and Lightning talks our speakers are preparing and we were thrilled to announce our Keynote Speaker (more on that below). But of course, we’ve put aside some time to gather our picks of all of the interesting and exciting stories that have crossed our radar this week.
So grab a cup of tea, put on a pair of headphones and enjoy this week’s storytelling highlights.
1. Announcing our SMEX18 Keynote Speaker
Yesterday we were thrilled to announce our Keynote Speaker to be Dr Sue Black OBE. Sue is one of the leading tech personalities in the UK today, being named in the list of top 50 women in tech in Europe. She is well known for founding the campaign to save Bletchley Park, much of which was realised through her use of social media. Sue’s book about the campaign Saving Bletchley Park, was one of the fastest crowdfunded book in history. Sue is very open about her experiences of a challenging upbringing, life on benefits as a single parent, a survivor of domestic violence spending six months in a refuge. Education was key as she was driven to create a better life for her children. Find out more about Sue and the rest of our speakers here.
2. Combatting the Culture behind Knife Crime
New Year’s Eve 2017 recorded a staggering number of stabbings across the UK. London alone saw four young men murdered in unrelated incidents and one young man left with fatal injuries. This week our Being the Story 2017 speaker Simeon Moore shared his story with the Huffington Post, speaking out about the current wave of gang/gun and knife attacks in the country. He admits he was once part of the problem and that is part of his motivation to create a cultural shift. We need to find solutions and people like Simeon at the hearts of their communities can help lead the way. Find the article here, and you can watch his Being the Story talk with fellow ex-gang member and campaigner Dylan Duffus here.
This week you can’t have missed the Golden Globes news. It was dominated by the many incredible women who used the event as a platform to speak out against the sexual harassment that has been exposed, and also to the lack of diversity in Hollywood. Of course, the standout speech was given by Oprah who said ‘Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. I’m especially proud and inspired by the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories’ This rings true of so many women we’ve been honoured to meet and work with to share their stories from the women at the Maya Centre to the authors of An Untold Story in Hull. We hope this gives more women the confidence to speak out and end sexual harassment and abuse.
4. Working Class White Men
Professor Green’s new documentary series began this week sharing great insights into the diverse experiences of working class white men. From a man who lost his parents as a teen and found himself homeless with few opportunities to a man applying for Cambridge University feeling that he had to disguise his working class roots to be accepted. He spoke to Jon Snow on Channel 4 News this week ahead of his new documentary. Pro Green spoke of the lack of diversity in parliament and the impact of decision makers that have no experience of how these decisions play out. It also highlighted the importance of having representative leadership, Rachel Gibbons talked about her mission to get more Working Class individuals into leadership roles at Being the Story, watch here.
5. Made in Stoke
We love this new short film series from the Guardian. After being dubbed the ‘Brexit capital’ and a left-behind town mired in apathy, the people of Stoke asked the Guardian to come and see the place afresh. Director John Domokos had filmed a video report, which illustrated this sense of apathy in Stoke, but when he read the reactions from other locals he wanted to explore the other side of the story, the pride and determination. He returned to Stoke to film as many local people as possible, and be led by what they thought was important. It’s a brilliant series sharing different stories, aspects of local culture and the strong sense of pride felt by many to be from Stoke.
Don’t forget to grab your ticket for the Social Media Exchange less than 4 weeks away! Charity sector experts from NHS England, Crisis, Crowdfunder, Lightful, Parkinson’s UK and The Bike Project and media experts from the BBC, Lambent Productions, Channel 4 news and Huffington Post will be leading interactive masterclasses and informal lunchbites for all your digital storytelling needs. Find out more and book your place at www.socialmediaexchange.org.uk
Do keep us updated with what you think I should be finding out more about.
And if you like what you read – do help us by sharing it and spreading the word
Jude and Helena the sounddelivery team