Creativity and Identity: What is Your Story? (as part of Shared Perspectives)

Building a compelling online story creates deeper meaning for the products and services we offer. One of the oldest artforms, storytelling is a powerful tool for connecting people with the mission and message of our business, project, organisation or network. It also creates deeper empathy with customers and audiences- as well as helping other staff understand our aims, objectives and ethos. Creating this kind of meaning and value was at one time restricted to major networks, but technology now offers a way to reach larger audiences than ever before in a far more cost-effective way, and to deliver your story in multiple forms. This session brings together a diverse range of perspectives from creative industries, health and wellbeing and science to discuss how they use storytelling as a key creative skill across their working lives. From NASA to Knoydart, digital storytelling is a core skill that can open a world of opportunities.


Jessica Fox: Director, Writer, XpoNorth Digital Specialist Advisor

Jessica is a director, author and co-founder of Innerwell Media. She is also a specialist advisor for XpoNorth Digital. She has over 15 years of directing experience with credits that span award-winning film, theatre and TV. Her memoir, Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets was Waterstone's Book of the Month and is in development with Endeavor Content. Innerwell Media’s most recent film, Stella, a period-drama feature set in Galloway, Scotland won Best Drama at Tel Aviv International (2023) and Best First-Time Filmmaker at Montreal Independent Film Festival (2022). She also consults for science organisations and start-up companies in the UK/US looking at storytelling, creativity and communication (nerd-whispering). She was the resident storyteller at NASA and co-host "Fourth Wall", a podcast with NASA's former Chief Knowledge Officer, Ed Hoffman. She also co-founded The Open Book, the first ever bookshop holiday and Airbnb’s most popular pre-Covid destination in Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town.


Willeke Van Rijn: CEO, The Resource Alliance

The Resource Alliance works globally to strengthen the social impact sector, by helping organisations of every size and type develop the critical human, financial and intellectual resources necessary to build a better world. Through their global network, they bring together the very best thinking and curate the knowledge, tools and connections most vital to help social impact organisations succeed in delivering on their missions. Willeke previously led the Strategy and Analysis team at SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest charity focused on providing a loving home for children everywhere. Willeke was formerly a consultant for FUNDES in Mexico, where she provided guidance on research as well as strategic recommendations on an innovative online capacity-building platform for micro and small enterprises in emerging markets. Prior to that, she spent 13 years at OXFAM as a global fundraising strategy advisor for affiliates around the world, including Mexico, India, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, Germany, and Belgium, where she provided strategic fundraising oversight; R&D of new fundraising markets and channels; and entry, set-up, and market development of new fundraising departments and personnel from idea to execution.


Bridget McNulty: Writer, Entrepreneur

Bridget McNulty is a writer, diabetes advocate and co-founder of Sweet Life, South Africa’s largest online diabetes community. She is also the co-founder of the Diabetes Alliance, a non-profit that brings together all the organisations, associations and companies working in diabetes in South Africa, and the current chairperson of SA Diabetes Advocacy, an umbrella non-profit of all the organisations of people with diabetes in South Africa. Bridget recently internationally published The Grief Handbook: A guide through the worst days of your life.


Catherine Deveney: Journalist, Novelist

Catherine Deveney is an experienced journalist who has worked across the media in the UK, including both newspapers and television. A former Scottish Journalist of the Year, she has won awards for feature writing, interviewing, and is this year’s Scottish Columnist of the Year for her opinion columns in the Press and Journal. As well as working freelance, she works part time for the National Union of Journalists organising and delivering media training courses. Catherine has also written four novels, a process which prompted her to study the psychology of writing, and she graduated in 2019 with a PhD. She is particularly interested in the therapeutic benefits of creative writing and has published academic papers in this field. She currently teaches Creative Writing for Wellbeing, working with a psychologist to help participants process trauma.


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