social impact & storytelling

What is the role or influence of storytelling within social impact? How can stories carry these messages? We will dive deeper into these questions in a panel with curators, non-profits, and makers alike. 


Erinn sullivan - Director of programs for social impact media awards (sima)

Erinn has worked in the marketing, film and media industry for the past 8 years, combining expertise in design, independent film production, program development, campaign strategy and community activism. Born in a small town just outside the Sierra Nevadas, Erinn was inspired by nature, design and creative activism at an early age. She completed her BA in Broadcast Journalism and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Nevada, with an emphasis in ethnography and storytelling. Her journey into the world of social impact began with a multitude of undertakings including: co-founding independent production company, Photon Harvest, managing numerous grassroots documentary campaigns, serving as a graphic designer for The Neda Nobari Foundation, KPJR Films, Human Rights Watch, The Redford Center to name a few, and assisting in campaign strategy and development for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation educational media campaign Teacher2Teacher. She is also an event co-chair for UN Women Los Angeles and a member of the National Association of Professional Women, in addition to contributing, managing and attending various women’s rights organizations and forums. She joined SIMA in January 2014 where she now serves as the Director of Programs, dedicated to utilizing her myriad of skills to further the efforts of documentary filmmakers and change-makers alike.

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Lauren tucker - executive director of kiss the ground

Lauren Tucker is a community organizer and Executive Director of the nonprofit Kiss the Ground.  Lauren’s passion for community building has led her to projects in Washington, D.C., West Africa, New Orleans, and Southern California. Lauren has studied permaculture design, biodynamic farming, and earned a B.A. in International Studies and Psychology from American University. She is a mother and urban farmer.  

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Urs Baur - Founder of CTLST* and President & co-founder of topanga film insitute

Urs and his wife Sara Baur-Harding founded the Topanga Film Festival in 2004 and the Topanga Film Institute, the 501[c]3 parent, in 2011. With the move into TFI's permanent space and the opening of CoLAB, the creative co-working space in the heart of Topanga, Urs is thrilled to see a long-time vision coming into being.

A serial entrepreneur, Urs has 20 year of experience from brand development and communications, developing and leading international brand initiatives for global companies such as Volkswagen, Singapore Airlines, Logitech and B/S/H, and is also the co-founder of several companies and organizations, most recently Energizing Co., an international company providing sustainable, community driven improvements to energy infrastructure in cities across North America.  

He trusts in the combined power of technology and storytelling to inform, empower, and inspire better communities.



Moderated by kelly carlin - Writer, actor, producer, monologist and radio host

Whether she’s talking on her podcast, “Waking from the American Dream,” performing her solo show about her life and family, or interviewing today’s top comics on her SiriusXM show, “The Kelly Carlin Show,” Kelly pursues the big questions, and reveals unmined perspectives that opens minds and hearts. Her personal stories, pathos, and beautifully articulated psychological insight reveal what it takes to live the authentic life.

Most recently she’s done that in her highly acclaimed memoir, published by St. Martin’s Press in September 2015, “A Carlin Home Companion: Growing up with George,” Kelly’s honesty, keen insight and humor is also on full display. Lewis Black called it, “Honest, biting, savage, funny, sad, dark, and profound.” And Jay Mohr reveals her true gift by saying, “For anyone that has ever not been sure who they are, this book is for you. There is a landing spot. Let Kelly Carlin be your beacon.”

When Kelly travels the country to speak in front of organizations, companies and non-profits, you’ll find her exploring the dark crevices and celebrating the sunny heights of her own life in service of being that beacon – calling forth women to become the truth tellers of world, inspiring the Secular Humanist community to define the meaning of life without religion, and challenging our culture’s thinking about death and loss by revealing the transformational power of grief.