How Storytelling Can Change the World


Shaun MacGillivray on the power of great storytelling at TEDxChapmanU

 

Chapman University’s TEDx event on June 21, sold out of the 950 tickets quickly, with 2,000 people on the waiting list. The theme, taken from TED 2007, one of the most talked about TED conferences in history, was “Icons, Geniuses and Mavericks.” The impressive lineup of speakers was filled with creativity, intellectual ability and originality. TEDx is a program of “local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.”

 “I was honored and excited to share One World One Ocean’s story with Orange County and the global TED community, especially on a subject so aligned with our mission,” said Shaun MacGillivray, managing director of MacGillivray Freeman Films and One World One Ocean, of being asked to participate in the event.

Shaun spoke about storytelling, and how it can change the world. Through video and pictures he illustrated how connecting people to a cause through vivid stories and incredible images can inspire them to act when they otherwise might not. He showed how One World One Ocean is moving the needle when it comes to important issues, such as climate change, the environment, and inspiring people to protect the ocean. Showing pictures of his family and his life history traveling around the world on film shoots with our father, Greg MacGillivray, Shaun personalized the world of storytelling, and made people feel connected not just to the films they love to watch, but to filmmaking itself.

He was joined by speakers like Erin Gruwell, a teacher who inspired the film “Freedom Writers” with Hilary Swank, who spoke about her connection to underprivileged students, inspiring them to “put down that gun and pick up a pen,” finding creativity and connection through writing. Also speaking was Ryan Heuser, the co-founder of Paul Frank, who described starting out in his garage, the bumpy road to entrepreneurship, and having the courage to follow his dreams. Joe Kiani spoke about “microfixing” – changing the things near us that we know how to fix, and having the courage to do it. Leigh Steinberg, the inspiration for the character “Jerry Maguire” spoke about how he challenged athletes to find a cause they wanted to tackle. He influenced a field goal kicker who raised over 10 million dollars for endangered species through “Kick for Critters.” Shelen Bryan spoke about how she decided on a whim to travel to Africa to find the children she was supporting and founded Skip1.org, a non-profit that brings food and water to children all over the world.

Every speaker gave clear and passionate talks, and the audience was held rapt.

“It was incredible to be on the same stage that I’ve watched so many of my heroes speak from. I’ll never forget it,” said Shaun.

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