January 2021—
11:00 am—11:40 am

Online discussion

This is a funder-only gathering.

The National Geographic Storytellers Summit brings together inspirational and influential photographers, writers, filmmakers, illustrators and journalists to celebrate the art of storytelling and its ability to connect us and inspire change. The next Storytellers Summit will convene virtually from Jan. 12-14, 2021.

In collaboration with the National Geographic Society and the Rita Allen Foundation, Media Impact Funders will convene a pre-conference gathering for funders from 11-11:40 a.m. ET. on Tuesday, Jan. 12, which will be followed by this year’s Storytellers Summit beginning at noon ET. This event registers you for the National Geographic Storytellers Summit, and there is no cost to attend.

This meeting provides a special opportunity to engage in an intimate discussion with these dynamic National Geographic storytellers:


Michele Norris

Current National Geographic fellow and featured storyteller in the Summit




Álvaro Laiz

An incoming National Geographic Explorer and Storytelling fellow



Please note: This is a funder-only event. This event registers you for the Storytellers Summit, and there is no cost to attend.  The Storytellers Summit starts Tuesday, Jan. 12, at noon ET, after our program.


Jan. 12-14
For more than 50 years, the storytellers of National Geographic have gathered at the Society’s headquarters to share stories during an annual celebratory event know as the Storytellers Summit.  In 2021, our storytellers will convene virtually, and from all corners of the globe, with contributors participating in what will be the largest and most dynamic gathering of this kind to date.  We extend this special invitation to join the writers, photographers, filmmakers, and other artists whose work to illuminate our world is more important now than ever.

Join us for this celebration of the incomparable power of storytelling.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12 at 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


The natural world is at a crossroads, and our relationship to nature has never been more important. Hear from the photographers, writers, and artists who help illuminate the powerful and poignant connection between humans and the wild. The session includes a sneak peek of the Secrets of Whales project from Brian Skerry – the subject of a television series to air on National Geographic channel in 2021 .


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13 at 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


While storytelling has a rich history of  inspiring and igniting change, storytellers are increasingly pushing beyond traditional forms and approaching the process from a new direction. From augmented reality to spoken word, and even at-home jellyfish habitats, photographers, writers, and artists are practicing innovation in  their work. Learn how these innovators create surprising and unique experiences for their audiences through their current storytelling practices.


THURSDAY, JANUARY 14 at 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM


Shining a light on others’ experiences— those of people, animals, and landscapes—is fundamental to connecting us with the world through storytelling. This is never more true than in times of instability and change. Discover what happens when storytellers bring their own unique, personal perspectives to the impactful stories that shape and define us in uncertain times.