Faculty Director

Frank Rose

Senior Fellow, Columbia University School of the Arts

Member, Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab

Author, The Art of Immersion


Frank Rose is a leading authority on the future of media and communications. In his most recent book, The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation is Remaking HollywoodMadison Avenueand the Way We Tell Stories, he argues that we are witnessing the emergence of a new form of narrative that is native to the Internet – one that is nonlinear, participatory, and immersive. He has addressed this issue at marketing summits and film festivals in New York, London, Paris, Copenhagen, Sydney, and Hong Kong, in academic gatherings at Stanford and the Politecnico di Milano, and at such companies as Google, Lucasfilm, Unilever, and the BBC. Hailed as "an essential overview" by the International Journal of Advertising and “a new media bible” by the Italian daily La Repubblica, the book is required reading for business, film, and game development courses at Columbia, Cambridge, NYU, USC and other schools.
Previously, as a contributing editor at Wired and a contributing writer at Fortune before that, Frank worked as a journalist at the intersection of media and technology, covering such developments as the making of Avatar, Samsung and the rise of the Korean techno-state, and the posthumous career of Philip K. Dick in Hollywood. Among his earlier books are The Agency: William Morris and the Hidden History of Show Business, about the rise and eventual unraveling of the oldest and at one time most successful talent agency in Hollywood, and the 1989 best-seller West of Eden: The End of Innocence at Apple Computer, which detailed the ouster of Steve Jobs from Apple and was named one of the year's ten best by BusinessWeek. Having gotten his start chronicling the punk scene at CBGB for The Village Voice, he currently contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.



Rachel Ginsberg

Member, Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab


As a member of the Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University School of the Arts, Rachel Ginsberg helps design frameworks that are used to address pressing global challenges. She also helps provide strategic direction for the Lab’s digital adaptations and prototypes, including Sherlock Holmes and the Internet of Things, Frankenstein AI and the Empathy Lab, a collaboration with Refinery29. As a multidisciplinary strategist, she works for clients like Microsoft, Nike, L’Oréal, Target and Yale Medicine to develop initiatives that will bridge the space between brand and experience. She studied literature at UC Santa Cruz and received a Masters in Management of Fashion, Experience and Design from Milan’s prestigious SDA Bocconi School of Management in 2009.


Guest Speaker

Brian Collins

Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, Collins


As chief creative officer of the New York-based brand consultancy Collins, Brian Collins has worked with such companies as Airbnb, CNN, Coca-Cola, Dropbox, Facebook, Ford, Mattel, Nike, Spotify and Target. For ten years before co-founding Collins, he was chairman and chief creative officer of the brand and innovation division of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Over his career, Brian and his team have won every major creative award. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Creativity, Fortune, NBC News, ABC News and Fast Company, which named him an American Master of Design. In 2008 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Art Center College of Design, and in 2005 he was named a “master of design” by Fast Company magazine. He currently teaches in the graduate program of the School of Visual Arts and is a director and treasurer of the One Club for Creativity , the world’s leading organization promoting excellence in design and advertising.


Guest Speaker

Karen Palmer

Multi-disciplinary Filmmaker


Karen Palmer creates immersive film experiences that combine the genres of film, gaming, art, neuroscience, and technology. RIOT, her current project, is an emotionally responsive, live-action video installation that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to navigate through a civil disturbance. As the viewer/participant, you are in a protest march that swiftly escalates into a dangerous riot. The idea is to get through it alive. But the course of the narrative is governed by your emotional state, which is measured by bespoke facial expression recognition software and by devices that monitor neurological activity. RIOT responds to your emotional state in real time to alter your journey: If you get agitated, characters will become defensive or impatient, and you will be taken ever deeper into an unknown world.


Developed in partnership with Brunel University London and the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, RIOT was honored at the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab’s annual Breakthroughs in Storytelling awards as one of the Digital Dozen for 2016. It has been exhibited in prototype form at the Future of Storytelling Festival in New York, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Lima and the Festival of the Mind in Sheffield, England. In its next iteration, RIOT is being exhibited at the Phi Centre in Montreal and at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum as part of its renowned Digital Design Weekend. Karen herself has spoken at TEDx Australia, the Arts and Machine Summit at the Google Cultural Institute in Paris, the Games for Change Festival in New York, the Bergen International Festival in Norway and the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival. Normally based in London, she is currently in New York as the recipient of a TED residency as well as a ThoughtWorks arts residency to investigate the implications of AI.


Guest Speaker

Ellen Lupton

Author, Design Is Storytelling | Curator, Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum


Ellen Lupton has been cited as one of America’s “design legends” by AIGA, the professional association for design. A writer and designer herself, she is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York and director of the MFA program in graphic design at Baltimore’s Maryland Institute College of Art, where she also heads the Center for Design Thinking. She has spoken at TED and lectured at numerous schools and universities, including Princeton, Yale, Cranbrook, the University of Michigan and the MIT Media Lab. Among her books are the 2004 classic Thinking with Type and the forthcoming Design Is Storytelling, a “playbook for creative thinking” devoted to showing designers how to use storytelling techniques to make their work more satisfying—a subject she will expand upon at Strategic Storytelling.


Guest Speaker

Mike Monello

Partner, Campfire


Mike Monello is a true pioneer when it comes to immersive storytelling and innovative marketing. In the late 1990s, Monello and his partners at Haxan Films created The Blair Witch Project, a story told across the burgeoning internet. A Sci-Fi Channel pseudo-documentary accompanied by books, comics, games and a feature film, it became a pop-culture touchstone and inspired legions of “found-footage” movies in its wake. The Blair Witch Project forever changed how fans engage with story and how marketers approach the internet. Inspired by the possibilities for engaging connected fan cultures and communities online, Monello co-founded Campfire in 2006. There, he leads an agency that has developed and created groundbreaking participatory stories and experiences for HBO, Amazon, Netflix, Cinemax, Discovery, National Geographic, Harley-Davidson, Infiniti and more. Campfire won the Advertising Age Small Agency Campaign of the Year in 2013 and was named Small Agency of the Year in the Online Marketing Media and Advertising Awards in 2012, in addition to winning top honors at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, the Clios, the One Show, MIXX and the Emmys. Monello regularly speaks at high-profile events such as Advertising Week, SXSW, Digital Hollywood, and more.