May 18, 2017

Sharing stories is at the core of GoPro. In fact, GoPro wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for effective storytellers. We have a deep appreciation for the art, and for those who have mastered it—from talented GoPro users to dedicated filmmakers. So when the San Diego Diplomacy Council reached out to the local GoPro office looking to host a storytelling event, we couldn’t help but say yes.

On May 8, the Council brought the Changing Tides Foundation, the Wild Ideas Worth Living podcast and a panel of four traveling, storytelling visionaries together to share their knowledge at GoPro’s San Diego office. The event—The Art of Storytelling: Sharing Cultures and Creating Change—was free and open to the public upon RSVP.

The inspirational Shelby Stanger, host of Wild Ideas Worth Living, moderated the panel consisting of self-proclaimed vagabond Albara Alohali, filmmaker Alison Teal (who’s been dubbed the “Female Indiana Jones”), Huntington Beach-based documentarian Devyn Bisson, and GoPro Senior Producer Cort Muller.

The conversation covered a range of topics, from best practices to favorite moments in the field, but a general theme of using fear as a tool emerged.

“It's actually living when you try going out of your comfort zone,” Albara explained. “It's part of your discovery to play with that red line that defines what's comfortable and what's uncomfortable for you.”    

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The panel unanimously agreed that skirting this line leads to the best stories because you’re putting yourself out there, and as Devyn put it, “if you're truly engaged in authentic and raw storytelling, it's one of the most vulnerable experiences ever. … [and] storytelling next to love is the greatest tool we have as humans”

 “If you want to make people do something that they've never done before, you have to make them see, and imagine, and feel they can do it first,” Albara added. “And that's what storytelling does.”  

Another important tool, Cort also pointed out is knowing when to stop and listen. “Great storytellers are great listeners,” he said, which was proven true throughout by the attentiveness of the 50-plus avid storytellers in the audience.

And Allison really hit home the importance of the evening with her closing plea to keep stories alive. “Storytelling—that's what keeps our world going and that's what's going to keep all the different cultures alive,” she said.

Attendees were also treated to poke bowls provided by Fish 101 and beverages from Duck Foot Brewing beer served up BYOC-style (Bring Your Own Cup). Not to mention all the awesome networking that went down. We can’t wait to host more events like this in the future—keep an eye on The Inside Line for more event news.