Images & Voices of Hope (ivoh.org) is pleased to announce that Ilsa Flanagan, of Chicago, IL is its new Executive Director effective immediately. ivoh, a global network of media makers, has worked for almost 20 years to elevate media as a force for creating meaningful, positive change in the world. ivoh supports the emergent movement in strength-based media, with a recent focus on the “restorative narrative” genre it incubated (ivoh.org/restorativenarrative).
Ilsa comes to ivoh from her work as director of the National Reframing Initiative, where she helped mobilize community and national leaders across the country to disrupt and shift the public discourse on human needs. Prior to that she was the founding executive director of the Office of Sustainability at the University of Chicago, which saw significant fundraising and strategic success under her leadership. Her roots in nonprofit leadership are deep, going back to the 90’s, when she was director of public policy for United Way of America.
“In choosing Ilsa, we have a leader who we believe can drive a broad movement in strength-based media at a time when the media and the public are in the grip of fear, anger and a kind of moral confusion,” said board chair and ivoh founder, Judy Rodgers.
Ilsa, who will direct the organization from Chicago, will work closely with ivoh’s board to expand its physical presence in selected cities and to engage media makers from all media sectors in an approach to storytelling that explores what gives life to individuals and to communities, even in the most trying circumstances. “I am so excited to join this groundbreaking organization at such a pivotal moment in time. By helping to create a space for journalists, artists, gamers and others to tell stories that speak to what truly matters in the world, we can engage the public in new and powerful ways.”
ivoh began in 1999, by convening media makers in New York City around the question, “What is the impact of public image making and public story telling on society?” It remained focused on personal mission and social impact, until 2013. After the tragic shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, the organization developed an approach to story called restorative narrative, which draws on extensive literature in positive psychology to encourage a strength-based approach to public narrative. Since that first convening, ivoh has served as a connector, bringing together media innovators in small group conversations, online and at its signature annual Media Summit each summer in the Catskill Mountains of New York.