Highlights from the 2016 Media Impact Forum

More than 150 funders and media makers gathered at Civic Hall in New York on Tuesday, June 28, for our annual meeting dedicated to sharing insights about the field's most influential projects and trends.


  1. Front row seat to Michael Thurber's performance at #MIForum at #CivicHall ! #fromthetop #uprightbass #music #frontrow
    Front row seat to Michael Thurber's performance at #MIForum at #CivicHall ! #fromthetop #uprightbass #music #frontrow
  2. In keeping with our theme for the day, "Mapping the Power of Story," we explored important new efforts to use data maps to understand our fields of practice in media and philanthropy. Throughout the day, we examined many different ways that stories—delivered in journalism, public media, documentary film and new interactive media and virtual reality—are serving the public interest.
  3. Before we get into our recap, we just want to say thanks to all of our participants for making this year's #MIForum our best yet. We were invigorated by all the positive buzz around our agenda this year, including from our live stream participants.
  4. Oh, and did we mention we trended on Twitter? Not bad for a group of 150.
  5. A word about Civic Hall: Co-founded in 2014 by Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry, Civic Hall is a vibrant co-working space where change makers of all kinds can share knowledge, build tools and solve problems together.
  6. We got to enjoy a lovely warm-up by our musical guest Michael Thurber, a composer and performer who plays bass on the The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Years ago, Thurber performed on NPR Music program From the Top (where he now serves as a board member). Thurber played and sang a beautiful rendition of the Beatles' "Blackbird."
  7. Also at the Forum, we announced the launch of our new mapping tool, Foundation Maps for Media Funding, which shows the full scope of philanthropically-funded media projects worldwide since 2009. Developed by the Foundation Center and available on our website, this new tool allows users to see, understand, and dig deep into the numbers, networks and trends surrounding media and philanthropy.
  8. We switched gears a little bit to talk with JasonDaSilva, a brilliant filmmaker and a dynamic social entrepreneur who has moved beyond telling his own courageous story in the powerful documentary When I Walk, to creating a tool called AXSMap that people can use to find accessible public accommodations.