A LETTER FROM our FOUNDER

Students of the World has always been an organization driven by people with passion, compassion, hard work and a vision for the world we want to live in. As Vincent Van Gogh once said, “I dream my painting and paint my dream;” and that is exactly what we have done at Students of the World - both as an organization, and in the stories we create.

Starting as a dream in a computer lab at Duke 15 years ago - Students of the World has used media to shine a light on stories that would inspire positive change around the world.  Through the last couple of years, we have seen an increased interest coming from a new type of partner and client; brands, companies and professional associations who were all interested in working with our community.

So we tried out some new types of production opportunities this last two years that ranged from a full-on commercial production for Hyundai celebrating the creative collaborative process, to a national documentary competition for Silk Soy Milk, whose winning films told personal stories of courage and growth. We were able to design a grant program and social campaign for the Robin McGraw Foundation, and to launch a production program to support and amplify diverse perspectives in the media.

We saw companies, brands and nonprofits wanting us to help co-create their stories; and through that we get to provide our community with greater professional experiences.

It is beautiful when work reveals itself in this way: there is a market for the work we do - and our community has a need and desire to do that work.

And it was from this - and after much thought, research and discussion - that I realized that the natural evolution for us meant I needed to launch a new company to further our mission, to cultivate and provide more of  these types of opportunities for our community. And so the CSpence Group was launched.

Our goal is to work with companies and organizations to create collaborative, high-impact experiences, content creation strategies, and productions with purpose.  CSpence Group and Students of the World, although separate organizations, have a special relationship. While The CSpence Group focuses on bringing in new clients and on spectacular client service, Students of the World is fully focused on growing our community, supporting our members through trainings, resources, networking opportunities, mentorship and of course, production opportunities.   

So we have a big year ahead of us; we will have more opportunities for our network to engage in production, in events and in celebrating and supporting the work our community is producing.  My hope is that together, we can follow in Van Gogh’s steps. Let’s pick up our brushes and start painting the world we wish to see in 2015.

-Courtney Spence, Founder

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