Past Event

A conference day presented by the SODEC and co-curated by Future of StoryTelling and the Phi Centre, as part of the exhibition Sensory Stories

Early birds tickets: $150 per ticket–limited quantities available
Early bird tickets now on sale exclusively for members of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal: $150 per ticket–limited quantities available. (please send an email to Anjali Caillat to purchase tickets)
Tickets: $200

Taxes and fees not included

The New Storytellers 5 will take place on December 4, 2018.

September 23, the Phi Centre will be welcoming prestigious all-day conference, hosted by Justin Kingsley (creative strategist, author and Montreal Canadiens consultant ), with some of the world’s most visionary storytellers. This day includes a keynote by renowned digital artist Jonathan Harris, two panels with international experts, and an encounter with some of the Quebec artists who contributed to the Sensory Stories exhibition.

The first panel, The Future of Journalism and Documentary, explores the changing roles, tools and processes of non-fiction storytellers. This panel will be moderated by Ingrid Kopp, Senior Consultant in the Interactive Department at the Tribeca Film Institute.

The second panel, Empathy, Technology and Fostering a Multidisciplinary Storytelling Culture, is a discourse around collectives that foster diversity in creative practices. This panel will be moderated by Jamin Warren, founder of Kill Screen.

The conference’s panelists include Peabody award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist Elaine McMillion Sheldon; filmmaker and United Nations Senior Advisor Gabo Arora; the New Museum’s NEW INC director Julia Kaganskiy; BeAnotherLab co-founder Marte Roel; MIT Open Documentary Lab director Sarah Wolozin and experiential artist and educator with a focus on food and sensory storytelling Emilie Baltz.

The conference will also explore the process behind creating a storytelling experience with some of theSensory Stories artists. Charlie Melcher, founder of FoST, will converse with creators Vincent MorissetElias Zanarini and Jean-Pascal Beaudoin.

Please note that the conference will be held in English.


8:30 – 9:15 Arrival of participants/ breakfast

9:15 – 9:30 Word of welcome by MC Justin Kingsley and introduction by Penny Mancuso, President of the Phi Group; Charlie Melcher, Founder of Future of StoryTelling (FoST); and Monique Simard, SODEC President and Chief Executive Officer

9:30 – 9:45 Participatory storytelling workshop with Justin Kingsley

9:45 – 10:45 The Future of Journalism and Documentary panel
Moderator: Ingrid Kopp
Panelists: Gabo Arora, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Sarah Wolozin

10:45 – 11:15 Sensory Stories visit / snacks and refreshments

11:15 – 12:00 Discussion about the process behind creating a storytelling experience with some of theSensory Stories artists
Moderator: Charlie Melcher
Participants: Jean-Pascal Beaudoin, Laurent Craste, Vincent Morisset, Elias Zananiri

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:30 Spontaneous storytelling by Justin Kingsley about a theme selected by participants

1:30 – 2:30 Keynote by Jonathan Harris about technology’s dehumanizing effect on the human experience

2:30 – 3:00 Break: Sensory Stories visit / snacks and refreshments

3:00 – 4:00 Panel Empathy, Technology and Fostering a Multidisciplinary Storytelling Culture
Moderator: Jamin Warren
Panelists: Emilie Baltz, Julia Kaganskiy, Marte Roel

4:00 – 4:50 Special presentation by David Usher: Core Creativity: How to Bring Creativity, Innovation and Inspiration to the Work that You Do

4:50 – 5:00 Conclusion by Justin Kingsley

5:00 – 7:00 Cocktail

* Breakfast, lunch and snacks
** A networking cocktail will be also held the day before the event, on September 22, at 5:30 PM.


Gabo Arora

Gabo Arora is a Senior Advisor to the United Nations and award-winning filmmaker with extensive global experience in advocacy projects related to sustainable development, human rights, post-conflict and emergency relief. His current focus is on new technologies that promote social causes and make decision-making processes more inclusive. Among these projects, he has developed a viral video campaign for the climate change summit, and worked with internet influencers to promote accountability on global humanitarian aid assistance. His most recent work was as a co-creator, director and producer of the UN's first-ever virtual reality film on Syrian refugees.

Emilie Baltz

Emilie Baltz is an experiential artist, food designer and educator focused on creating sensory stories that cultivate play, delight and curiosity. She is based in New York City and is a founding member of NEW INC, the first museum led incubator hosted at the New Museum. Baltz's work has been commissioned by EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center), The Vitra Design Museum, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, New Media Scotland, Trienal of Portugal, Eyebeam, New Zealand Food Institute, Yale University and The Museum of Art and Design. She is the former Creative Director of the Museum of Sex, New York, where she reinvented the culture of Sex through collaborations including exhibitions with street artists, technologists, and experiential artists. Therein she also developed the first museum cafe dedicated to the history of aphrodisiacs and Play, the bar and den housed in the Museum of Sex.

Jean-Pascal Beaudoin

Jean-Pascal Beaudoin is a director of sound design, supervising sound editor and re-recording mixer based in Montreal. With extensive experience in the world of audio post-production and driven by a combined passion for cinematic storytelling through sound and immersive audio technology, he established himself as a key pioneer in the emerging field of immersive 3D audio for live-action virtual reality. Along with long time collaborators Félix & Paul Studios, he co-founded Headspace Studio, the first sound studio entirely focused on the creation and production of immersive 3D 360° soundscapes for virtual reality content. The studio has recently created the sound for the Jurassic World: Apatosaurus and Inside the Box of Kurios, a co-production with Cirque du Soleil Média.

Laurent Craste

Ceramist by trade, Laurent Craste is an internationally renowned visual artist whose practice focuses on the exploration of the multiple layers of meaning of decorative objects: ideologically, aesthetically, and through their sociological and historical dimensions. The porcelain vase, in particular, has for years been the subject of predilection of the artist's work. Laurent Craste appropriates this archetypal figure of decorative arts, using it as matter, support and playground for his artistic interventions, in order to create striking formal and conceptual proposals.

Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris is a digital artist, known for his work with data visualization and storytelling. He is the creator of seminal interactive projects like We Feel Fine, 10x10, The Whale Hunt, Wordcount, and I Love Your Work, and is the founder of the storytelling community, Cowbird. The winner of three Webby Awards, his work has also been recognized by AIGA, Ars Electronica, and the state of Vermont. His projects have been exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Le Centre Pompidou (Paris), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), and his TED talks have been viewed over two million times. In 2008, Print Magazine named him a “New Visual Artist,” in 2009, the World Economic Forum named him a “Young Global Leader,” and TIME Magazine named his project, Cowbird, one of the fifty best websites of 2012.

Julia Kaganskiy

Julia Kaganskiy, Director of NEW INC, is a recognized cultural producer across the art and technology fields. She previously served as Global Editor of The Creators Project, a partnership between VICE Media Group and Intel, and founded #ArtsTech Meetup, a group that brings together professionals from New York City’s museums, galleries, art-related start-ups, and digital artists. She has been cited by Fast Company (2011) and Business Insider (2013) as one of the most influential women in technology, profiled in the 2012 AOL/PBS series MAKERS honoring women leaders, and in 2015 was named one of Crain’s New York Business’s "40 under 40."

Justin Kingsley

Justin Kingsley is a writer, strategist, creative director, and photographer. He is the author of The Way of the Fight, a New York Times Bestseller and he is about to publish his second book, We First: How Everybody Wins When We Comes Before Me, about new ideas in leadership (HarperCollins, September 2015). He writes 24CH, a weekly documentary about the Montreal Canadiens (CTV, RDS, Canal D) and consults with the CH Group to build its brand and creative products. He has wide-ranging experience as a storyteller and strategist, most recently as Partner and Chief Socialist at Sid Lee, one of the world’s five best creative agencies (Forbes 2012). The strategy and campaign idea he developed for Adidas at the 2012 London Olympics, titled Take the Stage, won international acclaim and was named best global campaign of the Games. Adidas was voted 2012 UK Brand of the Year. Justin also developed the award-winning branding and communications strategies for UFC World Champion Georges St-Pierre, world champion sommelier François Chartier, and comedian Sugar Sammy, two-time recipient of the Olivier of the Year (2013, 2014).

Ingrid Kopp

Ingrid Kopp is a Senior Consultant in the Interactive Department at the Tribeca Film Institute where she works at the intersection of storytelling, technology, design and social change. Through the TFI New Media Fund she has supported projects like Hollow, Priya’s Shakti and Do Not Track. Ingrid also created the TFI Interactive conference and Tribeca Hacks. She curates the Tribeca Storyscapes program at the Tribeca Film Festival and is a frequent speaker on the subject of interactive storytelling. Ingrid started her career at Channel 4 Television in London before moving to NYC in 2004 and is now based in Cape Town.

Charlie Melcher

Charlie Melcher is the founder and president of Melcher Media, Inc., an award-winning app developer, book publisher, and corporate content-producing company with over 13 million books in print and 22 bestsellers. In 2011, Melcher Media produced Our Choice by Al Gore, a #1 bestseller on the iTunes store and recipient of Apple’s prestigious award for best designed app of the year. Charlie Melcher is also the founder of Future of StoryTelling.

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is a Peabody award-winning documentary maker, visual journalist and media artist. Sheldon’s film and interactive work has been screened and exhibited nationally and internationally, from the New York Film Festival to the American Museum of Natural History. She is the co-creator of She Does, a bi-weekly audio documentary series that documents creative women’s journeys. Her most recent project, Hollow, is an interactive documentary that examines the future of rural America through the eyes and voices of Appalachians. Hollow received a 2013 Peabody, 2014 Emmy nomination and 3rd Prize in the World Press Photo Multimedia Awards.

Vincent Morisset

Director, producer, inventor, Vincent Morisset is a pioneer in interactive films. Vincent has been collaborating artistically with Arcade Fire for the past decade. The video Neon Bible is considered as the first interactive music video. He also created motion controlled short films for the songs Reflektor and Sprawl II. Vincent directed two feature documentaries, Miroir noir and INNI. With the support of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB,) he created BLA BLA and Way to Go. Vincent is the founder of the studio AATOAA. He is also the instigator of the Digital Storytelling Manifesto.

Marte Roel 

Marte Roel is a co-founder of BeAnotherLab, a Creative Commons initiative that aims at communicating and understanding subjective experience for building empathy between individuals. BeAnotherLab's project, The Machine to Be Another, has been awarded internationally and applied in a wide variety of contexts from conflict resolution to neuroscientific research. He is an associate professor of psychology at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and has worked extensively in different applications for virtual reality ranging from cognitive science research to artistic practices.

David Usher

David Usher is an artist, best selling author, entrepreneur and keynote speaker. As a musician he has sold more than 1.4 million albums and performed all over the world. When he is not making music, he is equally passionate about using technology to build new and interesting businesses. His company, Cloudid Creativity Labs works at the intersection of art and technology bringing together artists, designers and programmers to work on a vast range of innovative projects. He has worked as a project leader, consultant, and/or presenter for companies such as Autodesk, Cirque du Soleil, the Royal Bank of Canada, and Deloitte, and as a speaker has shared the stage with acclaimed thought leaders including Seth Godin, Biz Stone (Twitter), Guy Kawasaki (Apple) and Colonel Chris Hadfield. David Usher's best selling book on creativity and the creative process, Let the Elephants Run • Unlock Your Creativity and Change Everything is out now.

Jamin Warren

Jamin Warren founded videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen. Formerly a culture reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he serves as an advisor to MoMA's department of Architecture and Design. He also hosts Game/Show for PBS Digital Studios. His thoughts on games and digital culture have been featured in the New Yorker, New York Times, Paris Review and others. Ebony named him one of their top tech leaders to watch and the New York Observer called him a “burgeoning media baron.” He’s also a frequent contributor to NPR, and has spoken at SXSW, the New York Film Festival, XOXO, and others.

Sarah Wolozin

As Director of the MIT Open Documentary Lab, Sarah Wolozin develops and oversees lab projects, operations, and partnerships with leading media organizations. She is the founder and editorial director of Docubase, an online curated database of the people, projects and technologies transforming documentary in the digital age. Together with Tribeca Film Institute, she launched the Media Impact Initiative and with the Sundance Institute she launched the Creating Critics Program, a partnership with Indiewire, Sundance and MIT to bring MIT students to Sundance Film festival annually to write about the New Frontier exhibition. She helped develop and produce Moments of Innovation: When Documentary and Technology Converge, a collaboration with IDFA Doclab.

Elias Zananiri

Elias Zananiri is a creative developer specialized in dynamic and reactive programming. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics from Concordia University, as well as a Master in Interaction Design from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He has exhibited work and given workshops internationally, notably at the Sundance Film Festival (USA), Tribeca Film Festival (USA), Venice Biennale (Italy), Medialab-Prado (Spain), Typ09 (Mexico), and FILE (Brazil). He is a regular contributor to the Processing and openFrameworks creative coding toolkits. Elias Zananiri is the director of technology at Dpt., where he specializes in largescale Interactive experiences and mobile applications.

About Sensory Stories

Sensory Stories invites visitors to discover immersive experiences and new technologies that engage our senses of sight, sound, touch and smell.

Entertaining and playful, the exhibition features 16 works by artists from all over the world who are redefining the way we experience narrative. Five of these were created by Canadians, including three works by Quebecers and three produced with the collaboration of the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

After being the main partner of the exhibition Sensory Stories, presented by Future of StoryTelling (FoST) at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the Phi Centre is proud to host the exhibition on its home turf.

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