Women on the Move at Skoll World Forum

My recent virtual reality project Women on the Move is…on the move! In addition to exhibition at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference and Atlanta Film Festival this upcoming week, it will be exhibited at the Skoll World Forum, April 4-7 in Oxford, UK. I will also be attending as a speaker and giving a masterclass with my team from the VR for Good by Oculus program, representing CARE, Oculus, and Matter Unlimited.

About the Skoll World Forum
The Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship is the premier international platform for advancing entrepreneurial approaches and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Our mission is to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by uniting them with essential partners in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage, and large-scale social change.

Women on the Move at Harvard Social Enterprise Conference

Next weekend, I will be presenting and exhibiting my virtual reality project Women on the Move at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference in Cambridge, MA. The annual conference, taking place March 25-26, has been recognized as a leading forum for dialogue, debate, and networking around social enterprise. I’m excited to showcase the project in this context, and discuss how immersive experiences can engage donors and attract attention to pressing social causes.


Joining 1% for the Planet

We’re pleased to announce that Vivid Story has joined 1% for the Planet, where we will be donating 1% of our annual sales to environmental nonprofits creating positive change.

1% for the Planet us a global network of businesses, nonprofits and individuals working together for a healthy planet. Launched in 2002 by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and Blue Ribbon Flies founder Craig Mathews, member companies have given back more than $150 million dollars to the environment.

Join us and learn more at onepercentfortheplanet.org.


B Corp Certification

Honored that Vivid Story is officially a Certified B Corporation®. We’re excited to join a global movement of leaders who are using business as a force for good.

B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. With over 2000 member businesses including Patagonia, Etsy, Kickstarter, and Warby Parker, we believe in the vision of this movement to redefine how businesses measure success.

Women on the Move Official Selection at SXSW

Proud to announce that Women on the Move, the virtual reality experience I directed, has been accepted into official selection at SXSW. It will be playing in the inaugural SXSW Virtual Reality Cinema from March 14-16 in Austin, TX. Grateful to everyone involved at CARE, VR for Good by Oculus, Nokia, Reel Fx, and on our team. We’ll be releasing it on Facebook, the Oculus Rift, and Samsung Gear VR this Spring.

See the announcement on the Oculus Blog »


VR for Good at Sundance

I’m proud to be part of the Oculus VR for Good Creator’s Lab. The virtual reality project I directed with CARE, Women on the Move, is premiering at the Oculus House during the Sundance Film Festival. It is available for public viewing from January 24-27.

See CARE’s press release about our debut.

The project will be released at other events and festivals this Spring, and soon available on the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and Facebook 360 platforms.

Vivid Story Newsletter

We recently sent out our final Vivid Story newsletter of the year to highlight our most recent news and projects. These included being part of the VR for Good program by Oculus and Facebook, and Weiner making the Oscar Shortlist, a feature-length documentary Liz Co-Produced.

Sign up for our newsletter »

At Vivid Story, we’re committed to powerful personal storytelling. We are deeply proud of the organizations we partner with, from educational nonprofits, to humanitarian agencies and social impact leadership programs.

As 2016 comes to a close, we reflect on the importance of our work. From the environment, immigration, to women’s and minority rights, the amplification of empowering stories is needed more than ever.


Grand St. Settlement Centennial Gala

On Wednesday evening, my company Vivid Story photographed Grand St. Settlement‘s Centennial Gala. Over the past year, we’ve been creating a gala video that played for their audience of 400 donors. The event helped the nonprofit raise over $1.1 million for their programs, from Early Learning to Afterschool to Seniors and capital projects.

It was a gorgeous event. We were thrilled to support this amazing organization that has provided resources, advocacy and direct services for Lower East Siders and Brooklynites for over a century.

View the slideshow »


Speaking at SXSW 2017

I’ve been invited by Oculus to speak at SXSW 2017 on the panel Nonprofits Get the Keys to the VR Kingdom. Come learn about VR as a tool for empathy and connection and our work in the VR for Good by Oculus program.

[Update: the panel was a great success! I’ve updated this post with a photo taken by Reel FX.]

More about our panel:

Virtual Reality has been touted as the ultimate empathy engine, immersing viewers in experiences that can open their eyes and create personalized memories for important causes. To widen the reach of this unique immersive technology to deserving nonprofits, Oculus has created the “VR for Good” workshop that pairs budding filmmakers with veteran VR talent to craft powerful storytelling pieces for a variety of featured charities and causes. Participants in the inaugural launch of this program will discuss their process in collaborating with these nonprofits and how the program combats the pitfalls that worthy causes often face with innovative marketing approaches.

Mentored at StartingBloc Institute DC ’16

After attending the StartingBloc Institute in NYC this past summer, I felt called to mentor at their following Institute which took place in Washington, D.C. in late October. The Institute is a transformative five-day experience to enter attendees into the StartingBloc Fellowship. I have become so grateful for this community that’s focused on growth and mutual support to activate social change.

As a mentor, I guided mentees through the experience by modeling behavior, facilitating conversations, a design thinking scrimmage and leading a breakout group of five amazing individuals. They included: a Lost Boy of Sudan who now lives in the U.S. and has started a nonprofit and coffee initiative to support refugees still living in camps; a Tufts Fletcher school student who has started his own shoe making social enterprise to connect the Latin American market to the US and provide a Living Well Wage; a New Zealander who is tackling underutilization of people in workplaces; a chemical engineer from India who is passionate about building sustainable and affordable technologies; StartingBloc’s new Director of Search, whose background spans youth advocacy and anti-poverty initiatives and runs her own beautiful podcast. It was deeply inspiring to meet this group and in turn support them through the Institute.

In the followup feedback to the Institute, I received several nice anonymous comments about my role:

“Shannon is incredibly inclusive and enthusiastic. She knew exactly the questions to ask to foster conversation and create a good group dynamic. I’ve never felt so immediately supported by someone I’d just met in my life! :) Go Shannon!”

“[Shannon] facilitated the discussions, brought out the best in us, helped in every situation. Made all the discussions very fun.”

“Everything — Shannon was fabulous.”

“I really enjoyed talking to Dhanya and Shannon. Super smart, interesting and strong women! All of them were so kind, engaging, and supportive!”

If you are interested in becoming a StartingBloc Fellow, their institutes run four times a year in NYC, DC, New Orleans and LA. Apply now »