Social Impact Entertainment & Persuasive Entertainment

While Social Impact Entertainment is a wide arena, we focus on persuasive narratives that set out to inform and shift perspectives. Our interest and dedication is to develop a wider practice amongst creative professionals to make their social goals clear, impactful, and measurable.

people working around a table
people working around a table

About the Social Impact Writers Lab

The October 2020 Social Impact Writers Lab is a weekend that connects creators with experts to develop powerful pitches of social impact narratives. These stories can be told in any medium — television, film, streaming, social media, emerging media, you name it — and are currently open to any topic. By Sunday night, you will have a strong concept, backed up by expert insights, with a plan to measure the impact once released.

Social Impact Areas

Looking for inspiration for a project? Consider one of these social impact subject areas.

The Science of COVID-19
Supporting Vaccine Confidence
Countering Misinformation
Communicating the Climate Crisis
UN Sustainable Development Goals
The Scientific Method
Social Impact Writers Lab


Who are the "mentors"?

The October 2020 Lab Mentors included:
  • Adnaan Wasey, Emmy Award-winning producer/writer/director
  • Ann Christiano, Director, Center for Public Interest Communications
  • Ann Merchant, Deputy Executive Director Office of Communications, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Caty Borum Chattoo, Executive Director, Center for Media & Social Impact, School of Communications, American University
  • Dietram Scheufele, Taylor-Bascom Chair in Science Communication and Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in the Morgridge Institute for Research
  • Emily Lyon, award-winning director and story editor
  • Heidi J. Boisvert, PhD, Founder & CEO, futurePerfect lab and Director of Emerging Media Technology, CUNY
  • Julia Jelenkowski, Editorial Psychologist, RTL interactive GbmH
  • Reyhaneh Maktoufi, WGBH Civic Science Fellow in Science Misinformation
  • Riki Conrey, Director of Science, Harmony Labs
  • Zoe Katz, Vice President, Entertainment Partnerships / Head of WCPG Content, WCPGroup

When is the next lab?

How do I apply?

  • The application deadline for the October 2020 Lab has passed.

When is the lab?

  • The October 2020 Lab was held Saturday October 17 - Sunday October 18, 2020.

Who was selected for the October 2020 lab?

  • Look out for impactful television, films, and more from Ali Hart, Alyssa Harden, Ben Flores, C.J. Hudson, Christene Seda, Dan Curry, Grant Stuart, Jose Morey, Kelly Turner, Kristine Surla, Paula Coop McCrory, Shubhra Prakash, Tim Eliot, and ZoĆ© Salicrup-Junco.

What kind of projects can I bring to the lab?

  • Proposed projects should be narrative fiction series intended for a defined social impact subject.

What if my project is for [television / cable / streaming / VR / Snapchat / TikTok / Instagram / Twitch / some other new platform]?

  • The project may be envisioned for distribution on any medium (television, film, streaming, social media, emerging media).

Is there a cost to participate?

  • No. There is no cost to apply or participate.

Where is the lab?

  • The lab will take place online over video chat (i.e., Zoom). Please have Zoom installed and tested before the start of the lab.

Can I apply if I'm outside of the United States?

  • Yes, as long as you can commit to full participation during the dates and times of the lab.

Who owns the project, if I'm bringing my idea to the lab?

  • You own your project. The nature of the lab format means you'll likely have to share a lot about it with strangers. You may want to register your project with the WGA or seek legal advice before applying.

About Us

The people and partners behind the lab.


Emily Lyon



Adnaan Wasey


Emily is an award-winning director and story editor. This year, she is leading a call to action to include women playwrights in the classical canon workshopping 3 productions, and was selected for the first US Creative Climate Leadership cohort.

Adnaan is an Emmy Award-winning producer, writer and director who's created work for PBS, The New York Times, Snapchat, Twitch, and others. He's the first Rita Allen Fellow for Science Communication and a recent recipient of The Roddenberry Impact Award.




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