Bintan (INDONESIA) – 2017

The southern tip of an island – Welcome to LooLa
The cohort travels to Indonesia for 5 days and 4 nights. Their destination LooLa is one of the world’s top sustainable resorts. Forward Slash Story expands in a number of exciting ways that empower participants resulting in a number of interesting breakthroughs.



Topaz Adizes is an award winning Writer, Director & Storyteller. His lms have been selected to Cannes (BOY), Sundance (Trece Años, Laredo Texas, {THE AND} Marcela & Rock), IDFA, SXSW, Cinéma Du Réel, and other festivals around the world. His interactive documentary {THE AND} won an Emmy for New Approaches to Documentary 2015 as well as the World Press Photo award for Best Interactive Documentary 2015. {THE AND} was also a viral sensation reaching #1 on Reddit and Buzzfeed and experienced by over 35 million users in over 144 countries, featured on the CBS Morning show and Good Morning America and selected to numerous international digital storytelling competitions. Topaz’s work has exhibited at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Natural History Museum and United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as featured in the NY Times and The New Yorker. He has also directed commercial work for clients including Net ix, Deloitte, Vogue, and WalkFree and television for National Geographic, Animal Planet, and TV Azteca. Topaz has also had the valuable experience learning under the tutelage of Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, and PT Anderson. The last two years, Topaz’s primary focus has been as the Founder and Creative Director of The Skin Deep – a platform agnostic publishing collective focused entirely on human connection in the digital age. {THE AND} is the rst experience created by The Skin Deep. Senior Orientation, their second experience was a pure digital series and distributed by Vanity Fair. Our upcoming interactive experiences for 2016 include THE DIG and HONEST X, both done in collaboration with Murmur.


Barrie is an imaginative play designer, master people connector, and expert kid experience translator. She brings products and programs to life through ethnography, collaboration, and rapid prototyping. Inspired by story’s ability to enchant and connect peoples and worlds, her work explores how, why, and where games are created and stories are told. With diverse experience in educational tech, including UX/UI, game design, hardware hacking, and coding, Barrie has developed and evaluated programs that grow early innovation. As a data scientist and creative content producer, she pays unique attention to the alignment of user testing and core design principles. When she’s not setting off empathy bombs, you can find her sketching toy designs and discussing the convergence of story and technology at Columbia University.


Sue Biely is an accomplished leader and member of the independent media community with over 20 years of varied domestic and international experience. With her Organization Development and Leadership skills she has found herself crossing over into other sectors with her consulting work (primarily health care, educational and non-profit work).She designs and facilitates learning and innovation intensives for adult professionals to strengthen their team dynamics, collaboration and breakthrough thinking. Her work helps groups bridge the gap between core strategy and implementation, often using rapid prototyping and experimentation to help an organization learn faster and take risks. Sue has worked all over the world, and happily returns to where the land meets the sea on the wonderful west coast of British Columbia, Canada.


Timothy Braun is a writer living in Austin, TX. His essays have been published by The New York Times, Huffingtonpost, Culturebot, The Good Men Project, the Austin Chronicle, Austin Monthly, and American Theatre Magazine, and The Weeklings, among others. He has been an artists-in-residence at the MacDowell Colony, Djerassi, Santa Fe Art Institute, Edward F. Albee Foundation, Ucross, Blue Mountain Center for the Arts and Humanities, Anderson Center for the Interdisciplinary Studies, Prairie Center For The Arts, Madroño Ranch: A Center for Writing, Art, and the Environment, the Writer’s Colony at Dairy Hollow, the Osage Arts Community, HERE Arts Center, The Lilian E. Smith Center, and was a Dorothy Norton Clay fellowship at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts. The Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Hatch, John Anson Kittredge Fund, and Puffin Foundation, and the City of Austin Cultural Foundation grants have funded his projects. His plays and operas have been performed in theatres, site-specific spaces, and festivals across the United States and Europe. Playscripts publishes some of his work. He is the co-author of The Hand Book of Creative Writing (Edinburgh University Press) and The Half Life of 64 (Blurb). Education includes a BS from Ball State University in History and Theater, an MA from the University of New Mexico in Theater and Dance, an Exile fellowship at the University of Ulster in conjunction with the University of California San Diego and Yale University, and an MFA from Columbia University. In 2015 Braun was invited by the Columbia University’s Digital Storytelling Lab to work on “Sherlock Holmes and The Internet of Things”, a collaborative project in 20 cities across the world with writers, game designers, and hackers launched at the 53rd New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center with his piece “The 66th Motivation.” The project was in London as part of Power to the Pixel: Cross Media Forum, held in association with the 59th BFI London Film Festival. His Re/Play project has been to SXSW, and Come Out and Play Festival of New York and San Fransisco. For the 2017 SXSW festival, Braun participated in the “Frankenstein AI: a monster made by many,” and was a Forward/Story fellow in Indonesia in the summer 2017. Braun is also a founding member of Teleludonics 3000. He teaches at St. Edward’s University, where he serves on the Common text committee, and the University of Texas at San Antonio, where serves on the Faculty Affairs Committee. Braun was on the board of directors of Salvage Vanguard Theatre 2012-2016, is an associate writer for the New York Journal of Books, and the Editor-In-Chief of New and Social Media for the Fusebox Festival. braun hates writing in the third person.


Michael is an interactive and audio producer with expertise in storytelling on mobile devices. He has a M.S. degree in Comparative Media Studies from M.I.T. where he specialized in developing multiplatform documentary films. He has a B.A. in Science, Technology and Society from Vassar College where he wrote his thesis on scientific innovation in the works of Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut. Michael’s media production career began as a freelance radio reporter filing segments on human issues in technology for NPR’s “Morning Edition” and PRI technology shows. At MIT he developed an award-winning radio show, “News Lab,” which explored new formats for presenting current events, including live jazz, spoken word, and news satire. In 2006 Michael founded Walking Cinema, an interactive storytelling studio comprised of filmmakers, developers, and designers specializing in cinematic applications for mobile devices. The company has developed cross-platform apps for MTV, PBS, Audible, the Venice Biennale, and many museum and broadcast clients. Walking Cinema’s 2009 project WALKING CINEMA: MURDER ON BEACON HILL extended a PBS American Experience documentary into the streets of Boston as a mobile app. The app uses historic sites, interactive installations, and GPS guided video to rehash the details of a 160-year-old unsolved murder. The project was the first iPhone app to win an award at a major film festival, garnered international press, and has been continuously running in Boston for 5 years. In 2013 Michael directed the Gold Muse-winning WALKING CINEMA: POSTS FROM GLOUCESTER. Built in tandem with the construction of a 2-mile Harborwalk along America’s oldest fishing port, this handheld documentary and augmented reality app immerse audiences in one family’s fishing history. Epstein is currently working on WALKING CINEMA: MUSEUM OF THE HIDDEN CITY, a hybrid popup museum/documentary about San Francisco’s current tech. boom. The story blends a smartphone walking tour, live documentary film, and a popup museum to question San Francisco’s current housing policy. He is a contributing writer for Wired Magazine and the producer of a new Audible Original’s podcast called PEN AND PLACE. He is currently in development on another podcast for Audible called UNCANNY VALLEY, that follows an artist’s attempt to develop a high tech company whose products are actually philosophy.


Toiya holds a Ph. D. in literature and creative writing from Binghamton University. With nearly 70 published works in print, she has nearly 20 years of experience writing in a range of genres, tones, styles, and voices. She gained editorial experience interning at Henry Holt’s imprint, Owl Books. At Binghamton, she founded the literary journal Harpur Palate and served as its managing/fiction editor. Toy wrote mini e-books to get children interested in reading as Head Writer at Quantum Learning Technologies. Her work in the games industry has included narrative design, game writing, and game design. She has consulted with Slooce Technology on developing interactive fiction and social game concepts for text messaging over SMS. Toiya has been a writing center tutor, writing mentor, English tutor, and an instructor in both traditional and online classrooms. Her current projects include narrative design on VR and educational games, writing for a manga series, and writing and editing a book on narrative design and game writing for mobile games.


Anthea Foyer is a Strategist. Artist. Storyteller. City Builder. Experience Creator. Schemer. Dreamer. She likes to make beautiful things using technology, compelling narratives across platforms, and starting conversations between strangers & friends – on and offline. She believes that anything is possible when worlds collide. She has had an art practice for as long as she can remember. She ended up studying sculpture because it allowed her to work with a wide variety of platforms and materials – including the creation of participatory experiences. This led her to an MA in Interactive Narrative from Goldsmiths College in the UK. Anthea continues this practice under the guise Red Squid Lab where she is officially Head Squid. In tandem to her art practice, Anthea ran a new media residency program for several years; has created, produced and advised on a wide array of critically acclaimed projects; has spoken, mentored and designed and facilitated workshops about the continually evolving realm of digital media, with a focus on transmedia and multiplatform projects. Currently Anthea is working as a Digital & Creative Engagement Specialist for the City of Mississauga where she uses art and storytelling to engage the residents of Mississauga with their local government.


Geoffrey Long is a storyteller, scholar, and designer exploring the future of storytelling and where storyworlds and technology co-evolve. Having been the Creative Director and a Research Fellow for the Annenberg Innovation Lab at the University of Southern California (where his projects included exploring storytelling with such new screens as virtual reality, augmented reality, wearables and the Internet of Things, and how new creators and makers are flourishing using a mix of these new screens, new business models and emerging platforms), the Lead Narrative Producer for Microsoft Studios (where his projects included the Xbox One, SmartGlass, HoloLens, Quantum Break, Adera, Ryse and Halo), in a think tank under Microsoft’s Chief Experience Officer and Chief Software Architect, a researcher and Communications Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a magazine editor and a film producer, Geoffrey now serves as the Creative Director for the World Building Media Lab in USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. In his various lives, he has consulted for such clients as BET, FOX, HBO, MTV, Warner Bros., Turner Broadcasting, Havas, GSD&M, Cisco, DirecTV, IBM, the Los Angeles Times, the City of Los Angeles, and Walt Disney Imagineering.


An Emmy®-winning experience designer, Steve began his career as a roller coaster operator, which probably explains a lot. A pioneering force in Alternate Reality Games and Transmedia Entertainment, he has worked on some of the biggest and most innovative interactive experiences to date. In addition to founding No Mimes Media, Steve was VP of Experience Design at Fourth Wall Studios, where he worked on projects like the interactive web series Dirty Work and 6 Minutes to Midnight (for the feature film Watchmen). Prior to that, he worked at 42 Entertainment on projects including “Why So Serious?” (for the feature film The Dark Knight) for which he was Experience Designer.


Michael Rau is an artist working at the intersection between live performance and digital technology. His most recent project was TEMPING, an immersive digital experience that used hacked office equipment (laser printer, phone system and Microsoft Excel) to create an interactive story about mortality and office culture, which premiered last fall at the 53 New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center. Other notable work includes, “Absent” an interactive walking tour of an abandoned subway tunnel in Cleveland Ohio, which was awarded “best-of-fest” at the Ingenuity Festival. These two storytelling experiences were for solo audience members and blurred the lines between art, theater and interactive game. As a professional director, he directs operas and plays in New York City, the UK, and Berlin. He has taught at NYU, Wesleyan University, and Columbia University, and has created developed new work with New York Theater Workshop, the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and The Kennedy Center. He most recently served as the associate director for David Bowie’s music-theater piece Lazarus.


Dylan Reiff is a creative event professional with a background in experiential marketing, event management, production, and PR. He has spent the last ten years fulfilling Interactive Marketing and PR contracts for the Sundance Institute, Fantastic Fest, Sony Electronics, Sony Computer Entertainment America, The Overlook Film Festival, and Sears. Reiff was formerly the Associate Manager of Publicity for the Sundance Film Festival and is currently creative lead for Bottleneck Immersive where he concepts long form immersive games, escape rooms, and interactive happenings. Reiff is the architect of the critically acclaimed Immersive Horror Game, the signature event of the Overlook Film Festival and recently designed and produced the Satanic Panic Room a story-driven escape room commissioned for Austin, TX based Fantastic Fest’s which The Guardian called “[An] extremely clever and meticulously timed experience.” Dylan has been an innovator in interactive spaces for over 15 years and is widely known for other Living Theater Events like the cult classic “The Future Shock”. Dylan lives in Portland, OR where he runs Kickstand Comedy Space, builds living story-worlds, and plays a lot of pinball. Areas of Expertise: Immersive Events, Event Production, Experiential Marketing, Film, Music, Gaming Industry, New Media, Comedy


Stone Roberts serves as the Senior Vice President of Global Video Strategy at Refinery29, the number-one destination for stylish, intelligent women who crave thought-provoking conversation around limitless ideas. Previously, he successfully launched ULIVE, a premium lifestyle video portal and distribution network developed by Scripps Networks Interactive. As executive producer, Stone oversaw the execution of ULIVE’s diverse slate of video content, spanning home, food, travel, parenting and wellness which garnered over 1 billion streams in under a year. Prior to this role, Stone was executive producer of production and development for Travel Channel, working on shows such as The Layover with Anthony Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. His work on the seventh season of No Reservations earned him and team four Emmy nominations and one win, and another four nominations for the eighth and final season of the series. Stone has more than a decade of experience in media having created and produced hundreds of hours of award winning broadcast, digital, documentary, and branded entertainment content for Travel Channel, MTV, NBC, ESPN, Discovery, Food Network and Cooking Channel. He began his career at McCann Erickson where he produced for brands including Microsoft, Applied Materials, Supercuts and Nestle. Following his agency stint, Stone moved into documentary, live music and reality television production where he has remained on both the network and production side of the industry.


Michelle Senderhauf is a Chicago-area artist, writer, and game designer with over a decade of experience creating games and interactive online experiences for corporate and non-profit clients. She is a founding partner at Dog Tale Media and some of the company’s most notable past work includes the World Without Oil Alternate Reality Game, Ford’s online reality show, Focus Rally: America and GE’s interactive scavenger hunt, Wonderground. Michelle has spoken at ARGfest and participated in Bay Area Video Coalition’s Producer’s Institute. When she isn’t busy in the transmedia and gaming world, Michelle scours local antique shops for trinkets and artifacts she can repurpose for her Etsy store, Artifacts and Fictions.


Simon Staffans is a content developer, media strategist, writer and speaker working across all media, and passionately interested in how the art of telling stories is changing. Starting out in radio in the 80s, through newspaper journalism, television and research into lesser-used languages in the 90s, he worked for eight years at the Finnish Broadcasting Company as an editor, show host, producer and regional director. In 2005 he moved to MediaCity Finland, a part of the Åbo Akademi University, charged with developing cross- and transmedia concepts for production and UX-research. “The Space Trainees” was nominated for an Emmy in 2010 and won an International E-Learning Award the same year. “The Mill Sessions” (2011) featured a uniquely developed financing model and millions of YouTube views. “The Energy Ambassador” in 2013 combined transmedia storytelling methods with corporate storytelling for a number of multi-billion companies in the energy sector. He has held workshops and talks in a number of territories, is a published writer and is an appointed expert for the EU:s EACEA and Horizon 2020 programmes. Simon is right now in the process of finishing the pilot for “#thebuildup”, a concept stretching the borders of engagement and entertainment.


Hannah Wood is a writer at Story Juice, a studio which specialises in interactive storytelling. Her most current projects are theatre game Press Go for the Almeida Theatre, London, and Dangerous a one-woman show that she wrote, directed and performed in the Lab at Theatre Royal Plymouth. In 2016, she submitted her creative practice PhD Playable Stories: Writing and Design Methods for Negotiating Narrative and Player Agency to University of Exeter. The thesis includes a creative work in the form of a script prototype for crime drama video game Underland and a series of interviews with leading industry practitioners and writers in theatre, video games, pervasive games and interactive experiences. Hannah is committed to the development of writing for an active audience and has a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to creating work across formats. She is an Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Falmouth University and has worked with the BBC, on international alternate reality games, on feature films, with TEDx Transmedia and as a national newspaper journalist and online editor.




Christy Dena is a writer-designer-director who has worked on award-winning pervasive games, film, digital and theatre projects. Her clients include Nokia, Cisco, Weiden & Kennedy, and Bangarra Dance Theatre. Her comedy web audio adventure “AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS” won the “Digital Narrative” category at the 2-14 WA Premier’s Book Awards, won the “Interactive Media” category at the 2014 Australian Writer’s Guild Awards, and was Finalist for “Best Writing in a Game” Award at the 2012 Freeplay Independent Gaming Festival. She was commissioned to create an game installation for Experimenta’s 2015 International Biennial of Media Art: Recharge, and that was Shortlisted for the 2015 International New Media Writing Prize and is currently touring Australia and can be downloaded online. She was granted Australia’s first Digital Writing Residency at The Cube for her project “Robot University,” for the Australia Council for the Arts and QUT. Christy co-wrote “The Writers Guide to Making a Digital Living” for the Australian Literature Board, has a PhD in Transmedia Practice, presented and published worldwide, and is a Member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Christy is Chair and Department Coordinator of Games, SAE Creative Media Institute.


Lance Weiler is a storyteller and entrepreneur. An alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and engage audiences, Lance has designed experiences that have reached millions of people via theaters, mobile devices and online. In recognition of these storytelling innovations, BUSINESSWEEK named Lance “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.” Lance is recognized as a thought leader in the entertainment space. He sits on a World Economic Forum steering committee for the future of content creation and is a founding member and director of the Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab. He  is also a Professor in Practice at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Lance is currently developing a slate of film, tv and gaming projects.




As a multidisciplinary strategist, Rachel Ginsberg explores the space between brand and experience, and designs initiatives to bridge it. She adds value primarily through her ability to synthesize and integrate across organizations, with strategy skills ranging from brand to digital to experiential. Rachel has had the pleasure to contribute to talented teams whose work has been executed across organizations large and small, for clients like Microsoft, Target, L’Oreal, Nike, Yale Medicine, Caleres, and Clean. Rachel is a member of Columbia University School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab, where she helps to design frameworks merging storytelling, education, collaborative practice, and emerging technology, used to address pressing global challenges. She supports the Lab in transforming prototypes into methodologies suitable to be deployed by changemakers and practitioners all over the world. In addition, she supports strategic direction for DSL digital adaptations and prototypes, such as Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things, and Frankenstein AI, and the Empathy Lab – a collaboration between the Digital Storytelling Lab and Refinery29. Rachel received her Masters in Management of Fashion, Experience and Design from SDA Bocconi in Milan in 2009, and studied literature as an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz. Whenever she can make the time, Rachel loves taking epic road trips, and getting lost in the woods with her dog, Beatrice.

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