PETER BISANZ NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SKOLL CENTER FOR SOCIAL IMPACT ENTERTAINMENT AT THE UCLA SCHOOL OF THEATER, FILM AND TELEVISION
Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), recently announced the appointment of Peter Bisanz as the new executive director of the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT.
"We are delighted to welcome Peter Bisanz as the new executive director of the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT," Schwartz says. "Peter brings a wealth of experiences and innovative strategic thinking that will be critical to building the new Skoll Center for SIE into a global hub for the finest talent in the world for social impact entertainment. We are excited to have Peter lead the effort, and very proud to partner with our amazing benefactor, Jeff Skoll, and his team, on this important endeavor."
"I founded Participant Media with the belief that a story well-told has the power to ignite positive social change," says Skoll. "This new center at UCLA TFT extends that vision, with the goal of empowering the next generation of media professionals to understand how their craft can both simultaneously entertain audiences and get them involved in the biggest social issues we face today."
As executive director of the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT, Bisanz will bring his extensive experience as a social entrepreneur, filmmaker and global communications expert to build awareness and transform social capitol in a way that affects society positively. He was formerly the head of development and communications for the Global Knowledge Networks (GKN), the think tank to the World Economic Forum where global experts work to address the most pressing challenges facing the world today. Prior to joining the Forum, he was the founder and director of Entropy Films and the Beyond Our Differences Foundation where he created socially relevant documentaries, films and education programs on global issues. In 2007, Bisanz was named one of the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders and currently serves on their advisory board. Early in his career, he worked at Paramount Pictures and later became vice president of development at the Ladd Production Company where he helped develop more than 40 projects including An Unfinished Life starring Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford and Jennifer Lopez, and the Oscar-nominated film Gone Baby Gone directed by Ben Affleck. Bisanz has a B.F.A. in film and television from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, an M.B.A. from University of Oxford's Said Business School and a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He was a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow for Social Entrepreneurship at the School's Center for Public Leadership.
In November 2014, Skoll donated $10 million to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television to launch the new Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT, dedicated to promoting social change through entertainment and performing arts. Skoll's gift named and endowed the Center.
The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT is the first of its kind dedicated solely to advancing the power of entertainment and performing arts to inspire social change. The work of the Center is organized around three pillars: research on a global scale that provides a structure to measure the influence of social impact storytelling; education and special initiatives that not only enhance and complement the educational experience by exploring innovative approaches to curricular development for the emerging field of social impact entertainment, but also provides students and faculty with workshops, lectures, distinguished visiting artists programs and unique opportunities to focus their scholarly and creative work in this arena; and public programming and exhibition to ignite and engage the public in meaningful debate around society's most pressing problems and the important role entertainment and performing arts plays in this conversation. The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT is Skoll's second endowed university program. Ten years ago, he endowed the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, at Oxford University's Saïd Business School, to demonstrate and accelerate the impact of entrepreneurial activity that aims to transform unjust or unsatisfactory systems and practices.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's landmark vision re-imagines entertainment and performing arts education as an interdisciplinary enterprise grounded in humanistic storytelling, social impact, global diversity and technology and innovation. The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT is a dynamic extension of the School's vision and leadership for a new kind of entertainment and performing arts education that prepares its students to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global industry not only with new skill sets, artistry and real-world knowledge, but with and an eye towards using the power of story and research to inspire and galvanize social change.
For more information about the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT, please visit the Skoll Center's webpage.
Posted: April 26, 2016