Silver Spring, MD
From our archive, we pulled this one to share with you as it continues to resonate with people and has taken on a life of its own. Over the past three years we have been exploring a thematic arc on the power of narrative and storytelling that led us to consider alternatives to broadcasting as the primary mode of communicating. One of the elements that arose from that arc was an emphasis on listening as a critical first step. We have given presentations on our findings to various groups and over the course of the past year we have found listening to be included in the conversation on new approaches to engagement in foreign policy.
The event that kicked this off for us was "One Night in Tehran", an evening of Iranian feature films and documentaries at the American Film Institute's Silver Theater. We brought together senior military and civilian leaders from agencies of government to view a number of film clips and engage in a discussion of their meaning and context with the Dean of the USC School of Cinema and Television and Iranian and American film professors from USC and Rice University.
The strategic aspects of listening, co-creation of dialogue, and the long tail of local, regional and global communications have found their way into continuing conversations across the private and public sectors. It has been picked up and furthered by, among others, the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy (http://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/), the National Defense University, blogger/author/scientist David Brin (http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2005/12/power-of-strategic-listening.html), and John Seely Brown and John Hagel III in their business strategy development.