One month from today, I’ll be in New York City to participate in the Future of StoryTelling 2014 (FoST). Back in the spring, I learned about this unique, invitation-only summit and decided to apply. Last month I received my invitation.

This will be the third annual FoST and I am really looking forward to attending. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some insights about what I have learned about the past summits and my hopes and expectations for my participation this year. In this post, I’m going to focus on the format of FoST and how it got started. 

So, what is all the fuss about?

The Future of StoryTelling summit was started by Charles Melcher. You may not know who Charles is, but chances are you know of or have seen some his work. His company, Melcher Media, has published 20 New York Times bestsellers, and has worked with brands like Harley-Davidson, the Gap, General Electric, Lexus and Nike, to name a few. In 2006, Melcher Media produced Al Gore’s film, "An Inconvenient Truth. The company has also produced a number of award-winning story-based apps.

The Future of StoryTelling summit is described as "an exclusive gathering of highly influential people who are shaping the way that technology is revolutionizing human communications. This participatory summit will expose top-tier individuals and corporations to the new ideas and technologies that are driving the storytelling renaissance in the digital age."

FoST takes place at a private campus on Staten Island. Over the course of two days, I will be participating in workshops, small-group discussions, and high-level sessions led by a Who’s Who of storytelling experts and innovators from companies like General Electric, Buzzfeed, Google, Netflix, MIT, Radiolab and others. Part of the summit also includes immersive experiences, such as the ‘story crawl’ where we will have the opportunity to visit creative storytelling studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn.


Susan Bonds, Cofounder & CEO, 42 Entertainment

Susan Bonds, Cofounder & CEO, 42 Entertainment

John Maeda, Design Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

John Maeda, Design Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer, General Elecrtic

Beth Comstock, Chief Marketing Officer, General Elecrtic

Dana Zimmerman, Executive Producer, Microsoft

Dana Zimmerman,
Executive Producer, Microsoft

Dr. Rosalind Picard, Director Affective Computing Group, MIT Media Lab

Dr. Rosalind Picard, Director
Affective Computing Group, MIT Media Lab

Todd Yellin, VP of Product Innovation, Netflix

Todd Yellin, VP of Product Innovation, Netflix


What makes the FoST Summit unique from most conferences are the hands-on, interactive sessions. Speakers lead 60-minute, roundtable conversations with small groups of 25. Creating a more engaging and interactive experience that allows encourages participation.

At Brilliant Lens, we carefully consider how our attendance at a conference or training event fits with our core mission: To help businesses strengthen their culture and build brand awareness that contributes to ongoing organizational success and lasting, loyal relationships with employees and customers. Over the past 25+ years, if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that stories and storytelling are key components in developing a strong brand and culture. From that perspective, and what I have learned about the summit, FoST is going to be a great experience and will give me plenty of inspiration to share with our clients.

More to come,

Bryon McCartney
Creative Director
Brilliant Lens


Be Brilliant! | Brilliant Lens LLC is a branding, marketing and visual communications agency based in Fort Myers, Florida. Our work and experience has taken us around the globe, working for clients ranging from local entrepreneurs to global, Fortune 100 companies. If you’re on Facebook, be sure to Like our page. Follow us on Twitter @BeBrilliantSWFL