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Samuel Díaz Fernández

The School of Slow Media Founder

Samuel is a documentary filmmaker, visual artist, and educator. He has spent the past 11 years designing communications tools and leadership experiences that promote communal and social attunement. Samuel is the founder of TÁPI Story, a digital studio that helps build empathy in communities worldwide through video and photography. He practices this as the founder and director of The School of Slow Media.

A Colombian-born immigrant who has lived and worked across 4 continents, Samuel’s commitment to making visible the stories emerging at the intersections of society is what defines his passion to develop a new kind of education. His work with the United Nations and the international NGO sector has led him to design hands-on media and peace trainings for young people in Oslo, Paris, NYC, Kosovo, Nairobi, Cambodia and across Southeast Asia. He has also spoken passionately about the intersection of education and development at the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, the 51st Commission for Social Development at the UN Headquarters in NYC, the Vanguardia Iberoamericana in Madrid, Spain, and most recently at the Communication Summit and Commward for the Bangladesh Brand Forum in Dhaka, Bangladesh, amongst others.

He strives to see people from different communities and with different bodies, creating and listening together. He worked in Geneva, Switzerland as the global coordinator for communications and advocacy of the World YMCA and as a communications consultant for the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Prior to that he also also worked in the USA as a public school teacher for at risk-bilingual students and as a camp curriculum trainer for abused and neglected kids.

After spending a year in Cambodia and the Philippines exploring the crossroads of violence, peace and story-listening, Samuel was invited to join the leadership team of “Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership” (DSIL), a global social impact accelerator program running its pilot year out of Thailand and Cambodia in 2014. In 2015, he founded the School of Slow Media— a leadership school that uses human-centered storytelling and mindful narrative practices to cultivate news way of sensing and creating stories for humanity’s future needs. With more than 140 alumni in over 20 countries, the School of Slow Media signature REMIX program has now been run in 4 countries: Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangladesh, with a desire to pilot the program in more countries in Asia.

As a way to ground his work with the school and with film, Samuel is a meditation teacher and practitioner, an Art of Hosting and Circle practice practitioner, and is in the process of becoming a certified TRE (Tension Release Exercise) provider.

Samuel feels most at home wherever there is Totoro to keep him anchored in nature and magic. So he looks for Totoro everywhere.