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PopTech Social Innovation Fellows 2013

There is something incredibly delightful about writing on one’s skin. The feel of the marker as it transcribes its path, forming letters which form phrases which create meaning which suggest a narrative. A tactile narrative made more fantastic still because it rests proudly upon the flesh of its creator. The two are unified in form and message. One adding meaning and context to the other. A circular journey of discovery.

Just a few days ago I had the opportunity to work with long-time collaborator Beth Cohen (producer extraordinaire) and PopTech to create a short film introducing this year’s PopTech Social Innovation Fellows. I’ll let the film do its job of niftily delivering the life work and fascinating stories of the fellows. They were a captivating and enthralling group of thinkers and doers; energized with a creative and narrative passion that was as infectious as west nile virus on a midnight train to Georgia. But in a good way. Actually, nothing at all like west nile, though their passion was marvelous to experience none-the-less.

Beyond the stories that each fellow told of themselves, their passions and their work (often one in the same), what they ultimately shared was a succinct, compressed and freely given imprint of hope – written in black marker on their bodies. Arms and hands became an organic tablet, ultimately personal, upon which a singularly individual note of hopeful meaning found expression.

And each of those expressions made each of these fellows so delightfully real and human – instant connection. And ultimately that’s what we seek – connection. Connection to another person; some knowledge of who they really are and how they engage with the world – our world.

Now I’ll stop and let you watch the film. It’s short and delightful. And perhaps it will spark a connection within you as well.


(postscript: This short film exists due  to the combined talents of fellow filmmakers Beth Cohen, Josh Povec and Brian Goding – all of them exceptional, gifted and surprisingly good at knitting – and the organizational talents of Heidi Newell)