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The Career Path of a Global Storyteller: Insights from Kiran Singh Sirah

Craig Zelizer

September 25, 2023

PCDN is delighted to present the next episode in the Social Change Career Podcast Livestream featuring Kiran Singh Sirah, a renowned Folklorist, Storytelling for Change specialist, Artist, and Peacebuilder. With a career spanning over two decades, Kiran has developed award-winning programs in arts, culture, and human rights. He has been recognized globally and has supported and advises many leading global and local institutions working on dialogue, narrative change and arts based engagement. This episode will focus on the career lessons Kiran has learned in using storytelling as a tool for social justice and peacebuilding.

Why You Should Tune In:

  • Learn from Kiran's extensive career on how to navigate the impact sector through storytelling and peacebuilding.
  • Gain actionable advice on building a fulfilling career that intersects with social justice, arts, and human rights.
  • Explore the role of storytelling in creating social empathy and fostering community connections.

In This Episode, We'll Dive Into:

1. Career Lessons in Storytelling: Kiran will share insights on how storytelling has been a pivotal tool in his career, helping to drive social change.

2. Navigating the Impact Sector: Understand the steps Kiran took to build a career that intersects storytelling, peacebuilding, and social justice.

3. Global Career Milestones: Kiran will discuss key moments in his career, including his advisory role to UNESCO Scotland, As a Rotary Peace Fellow and his recognition at the United Nations Peace Week.

4. The Importance of Interdisciplinary Work: Learn how Kiran's career has benefited from an interdisciplinary approach, combining arts, human rights, healthcare, community development and social justice.

5 Advice for Aspiring Impact Professionals: Kiran will offer tips for those looking to build a career in the impact sector, emphasizing the role of storytelling and community engagement.

How do I attend: The Social Change Career Podcast livestream can be watched on LinkedIn & YouTube. The recording will also be uploaded to our YouTube Channel and converted into an episode of the Social Change Career Podcast.

When: The session will be streamed October 2 from 9 am to 10 am est.

Why is PCDN doing this? We are committed to helping social impact professionals and students find their path to impactful careers. For those seeking more support, please visit the PCDN Career Campus.

Format: The podcast features interviews led by the PCDN leadership team with our guests. We strongly encourage questions and participation from the audience.

Bio: KIRAN SINGH SIRAH is a Folklorist, Artist, Peacebuilder, Storyteller, and Past President of the International Storytelling Center (ISC), an educational and cultural institution dedicated to enriching the lives of people around the world through storytelling. In over two decades Kiran has developed a number of award-winning arts, cultural and human rights in numerous countries.

These programs have received recognition from UNESCO, UK Authority in Education, and the European Commission. He has spoken at the Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the US State Department, the US Department of Defense’s force directorate, and led peace trainings for US commanders at Fort Benning military base in Georgia. As well as collaborations with Yo Yo Ma and Dolly Parton, helping to elevate marginalized Appalachian traditions. He is widely recognized for advancing storytelling as a tool for building social empathy and intercultural understanding. In 2015, he was invited to the White House in support of storytelling efforts for national grassroots peace building efforts. An advisory member to UNESCO Scotland and a Rotary Peace Fellow, he has developed articles, talks and advises on interdisciplinary narrative approaches to relationship building in communities around the globe.

In 2017, he was awarded the “Champion of Peace” recognition at the Rotary International ceremony at the United Nations Peace Week in Geneva, and recently nominated for a prestigious national Martin Luther King Jr. human rights award for his work in advancing social justice through storytelling and education.

Kiran believes that storytelling is not just a force for social change; it is social change itself. It helps people connect, engenders new understanding, and inspires people to act for positive change in their communities and in society at large. He emphasizes his interest in “the power of human creativity, arts, storytelling and social justice, and the notion of a truly global multicultural society.”

As a prolific speaker and advisor, his current work promotes the power of storytelling as a democratic art and a gift of hope for people in societies that feel increasingly divided, isolated or burnt out. He has a talent for bringing different kinds of people together to connect and achieve a common goal. Working at the cutting edge of folk art preservation, social justice and community building, his big ideas are matched by his passion and dedication to the hard work of realizing them one small step at a time.


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