At The Conway Hall, London - 10am - 4.00pm, Friday 20th February 2015

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Final speakers announced for The Story – James Bridle, Matthew Plummer-Fernandez & Anna Rafferty

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

It’s just over a month till The Story on Conway Hall on Feb 20th, and there a few tickets left, so get yours now if you don’t have one already. Here’s the final two speakers and fabulous host – it’s shaping up to be another fantastic, inspiring day. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

James Bridle is an artist, writer, and publisher based in London, UK. His writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, Matter and many others, in print and online, and he writes a regular column for the Observer. His artworks and installations have been exhibited in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, and have been viewed by hundreds of thousands visitors online. He has been commissioned by organisations including Artangel, Mu Eindhoven, the Istanbul Design Biennial and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC, and been honoured by Ars Electronica and the Japan Media Festival. His formulation of the New Aesthetic research project has spurred debate and creative work across multiple disciplines, and continues to inspire critical and artistic responses. In 2014, he was resident at the White Building in London and Eyebeam in New York, and received the Graphic Design of the Year award from the Design Museum, London.

British/ Colombian artist and researcher Matthew Plummer-Fernandez critically and playfully examines sociocultural entanglements with technologies. His current interests span algorithms, bots, automation, copyright and file-sharing. He was awarded a Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction for the project Disarming Corruptor; an app for disguising 3D Print files as glitched artefacts. Matthew shares his research on Algopop, a popular tumblr that documents entanglements with algorithms in everyday life, as well as the artists that respond to this context in their work. This has become the starting point to a practice-based PhD funded by the AHRC at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he has worked as a research associate/ technologist and visiting tutor. He holds a BEng in Computer Aided Mechanical Engineering from Kings College London and an MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art.

Our host for The Story this year will be Anna Rafferty. Anna has been one of the most influential and innovative people working in the UK in digital media, leading the digital strategy at Penguin for over a decade. After a brief period working as a consultant, she has just joined J K Rowling’s Pottermore project as Director of Product, Creative and Content. She is Chair of Culture 24, and sits on BAFTA’s Childrens and Digital Strategy Committees. We’re very pleased she’s able to join us this year as host.
So that’s it! The full lineup is now confirmed. We’ll be posting the running order and the usual advice for the day in a couple of weeks, so in the meantime, if you haven’t got a ticket, get one now!

New Speakers for The Story 2015 – Nelly Ben-Hayoun, Lucy Perman and Alexa Clay

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2015 at 10:14 am

Hello, and Happy New Year!

It’s the first week back at work, and in Brighton at least, it’s very grey and rainy out. So you’re probably looking for some inspiration to get you through these dark, gloomy early days of 2015.  Don’t worry – we’ve got another three fantastic and inspiring speakers to announce for this year’s The Story. And it’s only a few weeks till the event on 20th February, so if you haven’t got your tickets, get them now!

Dubbed the Willy Wonka of Design and Science, award-winning director and designer of experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun is a critical explorer, and a fearless and passionate provocateur. In 2013, Icon Magazine nominated Ben Hayoun as one of the 50 international designers “shaping the future”. She is the Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, Head of Experiences at We Transfer, and a member of the Space Outreach and Education committee at the International Astronautical Federation. Wired magazine awarded Nelly Ben Hayoun with a WIRED Innovation fellowship for her work to date and its potential to make ‘significant impact on the world.

Lucy Perman is the Executive Director of Clean Break. Clean Break was set up in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that theatre could bring the hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience. Still the only women’s theatre company of its kind today, they tell stories about women and crime that are not being told elsewhere, taking this work into prisons and onto stages across the UK. Complemented by a theatre education programme for vulnerable women in community and custodial settings, their plays aim to draw in audiences, capture their hearts and minds, and make them leave wanting to change the world.

Alexa Clay is a writer and researcher, specialising in underground and grassroots innovation, technological change and economic transition. Her project The Misfit Economy looks at how bottom-up, informal, and black market economies may have something to teach the traditional economy about ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and human resilience. The Misfit Economy will be published by Simon and Schuster later this year, and as a film by Laura Gamse.

We hope that has given you some inspiration for the new year, and encouraged you to buy a ticket to come and join us on Feb 20th at Conway Hall. See you there!

New Speakers announced for The Story – Danny Miller, Gary Carter and Simon Munnery

In Uncategorized on December 4, 2014 at 9:49 am

We’ve already sold nearly half the tickets for The Story in Feb, so get your tickets while you can! And to convince you to come along next year, here’s three new speakers who will be joining us next year:

Danny Miller is co-founder and CEO of Human After All, a London based creative agency who believe that creativity connects. Danny has recently launched Weapons of Reason, a magazine dedicated to turning knowledge into action. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on creative economy, where he’s currently exploring open knowledge sharing among the creative industries.

Gary Carter is almost certainly the only international television executive with a Time Out/Dance Umbrella Dance and Performance award.  Gary joined Shine Group in June 2013  working closely with the heads of Shine Germany, the Shine Nordics companies and Shine 360. Prior to joining Shine, Gary was COO of FremantleMedia Group, where he was responsible for leading their overall strategy, ran the group’s central Creative Networks, founded their digital divisions as well as managing its various European production operations. Prior to this he worked for 5 years as Executive Director of Programme Affairs at Endemol International, where he united the group’s intellectual property in one division, oversaw the international roll-out of Big Brother and acquired the production licences across Europe for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Simon Munnery has been described by Time Out as ‘an avant-garde comedy god’. He has recently been featured on Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, The Culture Show, Alternative Comedy Experience, and The News Quiz. He is a British Comedy, Perrier, and Barry Award nominee, and Chortle and Sony Radio Award winner. His latest project Fylm stabs at the void between film and theatre, involving visual sketches performed by Simon amongst the audience, and projected live on screen.

So that’s your next three speakers. It’s already shaping up to be another diverse, challenging and inspiring day, so if you haven’t got your tickets yet – get them now!


First speakers announced for The Story – Kati London, Philip Hunt and George Oates

In Uncategorized on November 21, 2014 at 10:50 am

Tickets for The Story 2015 have been on sale for a couple of weeks, and we’ve sold nearly a third of the tickets already. And we haven’t even announced any speakers yet. So we’d better put that straight and announce the first speakers. If you haven’t got your ticket yet, get them now before they’re all gone!

Kati London is currently a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, FUSE (Future User Social Experiences). Previously, she was Director of Product for Zynga New York and Vice President and Senior Producer at Area/Code (acquired by Zynga). In 2012 she became Innovator-in-Residence at USC’s Annenberg School, where she led workshops in Design Patterns for Autonomous Objects. Kati will be talking at The Story about her work on communities, autonomous objects and the future of cities.

Philip Hunt is one of the founding partners of Studio AKA, one of the best animation studios in the world (this is our opinion at Storythings – Philip didn’t write this!). Philip’s work includes the BAFTA winning Lost and Found, based on the best-selling book by Oliver Jeffers. Philip’s diverse body of Directing work on an eclectic range of animation projects also includes the multi-award winning short film AH POOK IS HERE- an interpretation of recordings by the late William S. Burroughs.

George Oates is the director of Good, Form & Spectacle, a new design firm exploring themes in cultural heritage. George recently started a project inserting female characters into some classic Grimms tales. Some of these tales contained no female characters at all. George’s new book, If Only The Grimms Had Known Alice, is a fun read for all ages, challenging you to re-imagine these well known stories with women at the centre of each story.

So – that’s the first three speakers for next February. An eclectic mix, as always at The Story. We’ll be announcing another three speakers in the next two weeks, so get your tickets now!

Tickets on sale for The Story 2015!

In Uncategorized on November 3, 2014 at 10:32 am

The Story is returning to The Conway Hall, London, on Friday, February 20th, 2015 for its sixth (!) year of inspiring talks and interesting stuff. Last year we had Alan Rusbridger on Snowden and the NSA leaks, Bryony Kimmings on creating awesome role models for kids, Gruff Rhys on American Interior, Iain & Jane on making the brilliant Nick Cave film 20,000 days on earth, and the unforgettable Stella Duffy on Fun Palaces.

We believe in paying our brilliant speakers well, so we’ve doubled the fee we’re offering speakers this year, but we’ve kept the price the same as last year, as we want to make sure it’s as affordable as we can possibly make it. We’ll be announcing speakers over the next few weeks, so in the meantime, get your tickets from Eventbrite now!


Thank you!

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm
The Story 2014 Notebook

The Story 2014 Notebook by Leonora Oppenheim –

Last Friday was the 5th The Story conference, and it was quite a day. We’re always blown away by the buzz and atmosphere at The Story, and last Friday’s event was no different. This is really down to the huge generosity of the speakers, and the great welcome and response from the audience, so a *huge* thank you to everyone who came.

As ever, The Story was produced by an incredibly talented group of people, so I’d like to thank:

Carina and the team at The Conway Hall for letting us use their amazing venue.
The brilliant speakers for giving such an incredibly diverse range of talks.
Live Union for doing their usually expert job with the sound – made harder this year by having live Foley effects and Gruff Rhys’ acoustic guitar to record.
The Story team and volunteers for their help – Andrew Birley, Holly Locke, Kim Plowright, Rebecca Denton, Silvia Novak, Helen Maier and Sophie Walker.
Kitty Wong for taking the official photographs, which you can now see on Flickr

And most importantly – all 450 delegates for coming along and making the atmosphere so incredible. If you’ve blogged or otherwise recorded the event, we’d love to add it to our list – here’s what we’ve noticed so far:

Hugh Garry’s Storify
great write up of the day from Grow The People
Adam Gee on his experience of the day
Your Story Starts Here by 100% Open
Truth, Lies & The Story by James Caig
10 Things I Learnt At The Story by Fiona Thompson
Notes from The Story 2014 by Giles Turnbull
The incredible Stella Duffy reflecting on her amazing talk
Katie Harrison from W+K on The Art of Storytelling
Rishi Dastidar on Crafting your story
Wired UK on Kenyatta Cheese’s talk
Wired UK on Bill Wasik’s talk
And finally – Wired UK on the Alan Rusbridger session

And if you were there, you would have seen Philip Larkin making the end to one of his ‘push the button’ Vines live on stage. Here it is – and it’s since been shared nearly 9,000 times!

Thanks again to everyone involved in making it such a great day. See you in February 2015 – if you want to be first to buy tickets for next year’s event, then sign up to our newsletter now!

Everything You Need To Know for The Story 2014

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm

It’s nearly time for The Story 2014, so here’s the usual FAQ for everyone coming to The Story. This should answer most of the questions you might have, but if there’s something else you need to know, email me or ask me on Twitter @thestory2014 and I’ll get back to you asap.

BTW – We send a newsletter every week from Storythings with interesting stories from around the web, and advance ticket sales for The Story and our other events (yes, we might be planning a second big event later this year…) If you want to make sure you get first chance to buy tickets, and also get 10 lovely stories in your inbox every week, you can sign up here.

How do I get to Conway Hall?
The Conway Hall is at 25, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL. The nearest tube is Holborn, and there is information about bus routes on the Conway Hall’s website.

Is the venue accessible?
There is a street level entrance to Conway Hall on Red Lion Square. The main hall is at the same level, and there is a disabled toilet available. The balcony seating area is not accessible, but we’ll make sure there’s room for everyone with access needs in the main hall. Please let me know if you have particular needs, and I’ll make sure we sort them out for you. There is also an induction loop in the hall for those with hearing impairments.

What are the best places for tea/coffee/lunch?
We’ll be providing tea and coffee at the breaks in the lobby of the Conway Hall. We won’t be providing lunch, but there are loads of lovely sandwich shops and cafes on Theobalds Rd and Lambs Conduit Way, which are a few steps from The Conway Hall. There’s also a lovely cafe in Red Lion Square itself, and plenty of room to sit and eat in the Square gardens.

What is the hashtag for the event?
If you’re tweeting, blogging or uploading photos of the day, please use #story2014 as a hashtag. The wifi in The Conway Hall isn’t up to much, though, so feel free to put the phones, ipads and other devices in your bag for the day, and let your mind have some fun on its own for a bit.

I booked a ticket but haven’t got my ticket yet!
Eventbrite should have emailed you a PDF of the ticket as soon as your payment went through. If Paypal still has an old email address for you then it could have been sent there instead. If you still can’t find it, email me with the booking name or email address used and I’ll resend the ticket. We’ll have printed lists of all the bookings on the day, so if you can’t find it at all, just turn up with proof of your identity (this will need to be the name you’ve booked the ticket under) and that’ll be fine.

I booked a ticket for a group/someone else, but the PDF only has my name on it
This is a bit of a limitation of using Eventbrite – it doesn’t seem to handle group bookings/alternate names very well. There are two ways round this – just give the person/group you bought the tickets for a copy of the PDF each, and we’ll cross them off when they turn up, making sure the right number of people come for your group (so if you print more PDFs than tickets, you won’t get extra places!). Or, if you can email me the list of people in the group, we’ll make a note of their names and tick them off as they turn up. Either way is fine by us.

I bought a ticket but something has come up and I can’t now come
Ach – that’s a pity. The best thing to do would be to send a tweet to @thestory2014, and I’ll retweet it around to see if anyone else wants to buy the ticket from you. If you’re not on Twitter, email me and I’ll tweet it myself.

Fancy a pint afterwards?
You betcha. I think I’ll need it. The event finishes at 4.30, and its a Friday, so I make that beer o’clock. Last year most of us retired to The Square Pig on the opposite corner of Red Lion Square. So that sounds like a plan again this year.

I can’t make it – are you recording the talks?
Yes – I’m taking an audio feed out from the sound desk, so will try and release the talks as podcasts as soon as I can after the event. A few of the talks from previous years are up on the Storythings website. Not all the talks really work as podcasts – particularly ones from artists that involve lots of copyrighted material – but I’ll put up the ones that I think work well.

Will there be anything to buy/read/do at The Story this year?
Yes! so bring some spare cash. As we did in 2011, the Hoxton St Monster Supply shop (aka the Ministry of Stories) will set up a temporary store in the foyer, as I want to raise as much money as possible for them. There will also be copies of the first Storythings Publication –Vacuum Days by Tim Etchells – on sale at a special discount price of £15, so bring some money and get a copy of this gorgeous, limited edition book!

Will it be cold?
This is about the time that I start looking at the medium-range weather forecasts with a nervous look on my face. Running an event in February means there’s always the chance of a cold snap. Its looking like it will be a cloudy, but cold day, and The Conway Hall takes a while to warm up, so make sure you wrap up well.

I think that’s it. If there’s anything else you need to know, please let me know via email or on Twitter. See you on Friday!

Running order for The Story 2014

In Uncategorized on February 11, 2014 at 10:08 am

It’s just over a week until The Story 2014, so here’s the line up. I’m very pleased to say that Meg Pickard, who hosted The Story in 2012, is back as host this year, and will do a brilliant job of herding speakers and keeping the event ticking along.

We’ve also just signed off final designs for the gift we’ll give to every delegate at The Story this year, produced by our friends at the Ministry of Stories, and it’s looking fantastic. I think its our best one since the famous custom-printed chocolate bar in 2012. In the meantime, here’s the running order for the day:

10.00 Welcome – Meg Pickard
10.05 Ministry of Stories
10.20 Bryony Kimmings
10.40 Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
11.00 Coffee
11.20 Kyle Bean
11.40 Kenyatta Cheese
12.00 Stella Duffy
12.20 Lunch
13.20 Barnaby Smyth
13.40 Bill Wasik
14.00 Tony Ageh
14.20 Meg Rossoff
14.40 Coffee
15.00 Gruff Rhys
15.20 Philip Larkin
15.40 Lisa Salem
16.00 Alan Rusbridger

That’s quite a lineup. We can’t wait till Friday 21st. See you there!

Final Speakers for The Story 2014 – Lisa Salem, Bill Wasik, Tony Ageh & Alan Rusbridger

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Tickets for The Story 2014 are selling fast, and we’re now very happy to announce the final four speakers who will be joining us at The Conway Hall on Friday February 21st next year. Its an awesome lineup, and we’re unbelievably excited about the event next year. If you haven’t got a ticket yet, get one from our Eventbrite page now!

Lisa Salem  is an interviewer and a film/audio/digital storyteller. She is currently directing Walk LA With Me – a feature documentary about the people she met whilst walking across Los Angeles, filming the walk with a camera in a baby-stroller. Lisa also works as a Content and Social Media Producer, creating content for and across The Beatles social platforms. She also co-runs and moderates 10×10 – a documentary-in-progress workshop and forum that celebrated its 6th year at Sheffield Doc/Fest last June.

Bill Wasik is an editor at WIRED and the author of And Then There’s This: How Stories Live and Die in Viral Culture and Rabid: A Cultural History of the World’s Most Diabolical Virus. And Then There’s This is, in our opinion, by far the best, most vivid, and most insightful account of how culture actually works in an age of digital attention. The book is a fantastic account of spending the early part of this millenium playing with how ideas spread, accidentally inventing flash-mobbing, and working with colleagues like Jonah Peretti to understand why some things go viral and others fall flat. I don’t think there’s a writer who better understands digital culture now, so we’re really pleased Bill can come over and join us at The Story in Feb.

Tony Ageh is BBC’s Controller of Archive Development, where he is working on a wide range of projects exploring how to create a new kind of Digital Public Space and ensure that past, present and future public archives are available to all. Tony has been a hugely influential figure in the history of the UK internet, helping to establish the Guardian’s New Media Lab, the first iteration of Wired UK, and the hugely influential dot-com era company UpMyStreet, before joining the BBC and leading the development of the BBC iPlayer. At The Story, he’ll be talking about a ‘life spent making lists’, and his vision for the future of archives and public media.

Alan Rusbridger has been the Editor of The Guardian since 1995, after working as a report and columnist for many years. In the last few years, Rusbridger has led The Guardian through an era of groundbreaking digital innovation and extraordinary journalism scoops, including the publishing of the Wikileaks documents, and more recently the publication of the Edward Snowden leaks. There is probably no other newspaper editor who has more first-hand experience about how journalism is changing in the 21st century, and we’re very excited that he is joining us at The Story to give his personal account of an incredible era for newspapers, journalism, and the relationship between the media and the state.

So – that’s the full line up for The Story on February 21st, 2014. It’s going to be an incredible day, so if you haven’t got a ticket yet, get yours now, as I’m sure the last tickets will be snapped up very quickly. See you in February, and in the meantime, have a great xmas and new year!

More Speakers for The Story 2014: Meg Rosoff, Bryony Kimmings and Gruff Rhys

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2013 at 8:45 am

Tickets for The Story 2014 are selling fast – about half of them have gone now, so buy yours if you haven’t already!

Here’s three more speakers who will be joining us at Conway Hall in Feb. It’s looking like a cracking line-up already, and there’s still more to be announced.

Meg Rosoff was born in Boston, educated at Harvard and St Martin’s College of Art in London, and worked in New York City for ten years before moving to England in 1989.  She worked in publishing, journalism, politics and advertising before writing How I Live Now (released October 2013 as a feature film directed by Kevin MacDonald and starring Saoirse Ronan). Her books have won or been shortlisted for 19 international book prizes, including the Carnegie medal, the National Book Award in America and the Orange first novel prize.  Meg’s most recent book is Picture Me Gone.  She lives in London with her husband and daughter.

Bryony Kimmings is a Performance Artist. She creates full-length theatre shows, cabaret works, homemade music, sound installations and documentary films. Her work is larger than life, outrageous, visually loud, often dangerous, somewhat unpredictable but above all fun. She is inspired by the taboos and anomalies of British culture and her autobiographical themes promote the airing of her own dirty laundry to oil conversations on seemingly difficult subjects. Her work follows real life social experiments that she embarks upon with genuine genius intrigue and wholehearted, fearless gusto. She is currently touring Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model, an ongoing project with her nine-year old niece to design a new kind of teen pop star.

Gruff Rhys is a singer, writer and film-maker, who has had global success with Super Furry Animals, Neon Neon, and as a solo artist. Gruff will be talking about his new book, film and album project American Interior, an epic quest to discover for the legend of John Evans, a Welsh pioneer and entrepreneur who travelled through the newly independent USA in the late eighteenth century.

So – that’s nine speakers announced so far, and we’ll be announcing the rest of the line up before Xmas. So if you haven’t already – get your tickets now!


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