Monday, 8 April 2013


Between 10-12 April 2013,
Oxford UK is venue to the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, "the premiere international platform for accelerating entrepreneurial approaches and innovative solutions to the world's social issues".

This forum deals with disruptive changes in the way we work, live and play.

Over 30 sessions deal with "d
isruptive innovations [that] can reshape industries, supplant old technologies, and topple political regimes." What ideas here relate to changes in rural culture, technology and well-being?

When I think about the disruptive social change this Forum presents I think about S├ębastien Paquet's "How to be a Culture Hacker" videoPaquet outlines nine tools to hack culture and cause cultural/social change. The Skoll World Forum hacks culture. This is not meant to be derogatory but describes someone who will change the way we view things and the way we relate to one another. The Skoll Forum brings people together who have discovered "cracks", people who can make you feel uncomfortable, who challenge you, "who see bullshit for what it is", who make changes and create something new.

The sessions of particular interest to creativeRural are:

Story Matters: creating your own impact videos.
Tools and Strategies for Making a Difference: Sundance storytellers.
Oscars and Indices: case studies on storytelling for impact.
Driving Change from Within: the social intrapreneur.
The Evolving Role of Media in Social Progress.

You will notice that I highlight storytelling, because I believe that matters; a lot. I have previously posted to this blog about the impact and role of storytelling on rural communities (here and here) and plan to post about ten storytellers' experiences and ideas on "redefining rural" from the Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Road to Georgetown Conference; a prelude to the Georgetown Conference in Prince Edward Island, 3-5 October 2013.

Stories define us. They describe our cultural DNA. They can help change us. Destination tourism consultant, Roger A. Brooks, writes in his book "The 25 Immutable Rules of Successful Tourism" that "great stories make the campfire memorable" (Rule 16). Communities succeed when they can tell great stories because they let visitors see into their soul, history, environment, arts and culture and can tell people what sets them apart from others. Today we have the technology and tools to open our communities, inform, motivate and inspire others, continents away.

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