Keynote addresses

News-Decoder's leadership team welcomes invitations to give keynote addresses at schools, conferences and special events. We have experience giving powerful addresses targeted at young people and adults.

In 2019, Nelson Graves gave the keynote address at Oxford University at the invitation of Pamoja, a digital education technology company celebrating its 10-year anniversary. In early 2020, he will be making keynote addresses to faculty and students at the GIN Asia Summit in Bangkok, Thailand and the GIN South America Conference in Medellin, Colombia. Savannah Jenkins, News-Decoder's communications manager, will be giving a keynote address to students at the GIN Europe Conference in Luxembourg.

If you are interested in having a member of our leadership team speak at your event, please contact us to discuss your proposed theme for an address and our availability, speaking fees and travel arrangements.

keynote addresses
News-Decoder founder and president Nelson Graves giving a keynote address at Oxford University.

Workshops

News-Decoder's leadership team and veteran correspondents welcome invitations to lead educational workshops at schools, universities, summits and symposiums. We have experience leading impactful workshops appropriate for all ages: youth, young adults and professionals.

If you are interested in having someone from our team lead a workshop at your organization, please contact us to discuss your proposed workshop topic and our availability, speaking fees and travel arrangements.

<center><em>News-Decoder strategy officer and managing editor Lauren Heuser leading a student workshop.</em></center>
News-Decoder strategy officer and managing editor Lauren Heuser leading a student workshop.

Sample keynote & workshop topics

Below is a brief summary of the themes of previous keynote addresses and workshops. We welcome suggestions to present on other topics within our fields of expertise.

Media Literacy

Your average person spends seven hours a day online, bombarded by articles, ads, social media posts and more. This tsunami of information affects how we see the world and feel about people, products and events. Given the influence of media on our lives, it is essential to be able to think critically about its accuracy, claims and agendas. This workshop helps participants appreciate the core functions of media in society; fosters critical thinking about who owns the media and why; and equips participants to distinguish good quality content from bad.

Writing for a Global Audience

After graduating, most people cease to have a captive audience for their written work. The public — unlike our teachers — is not obliged to read what we put down in pen. Yet, having the ability to capture an audience's attention and convince them of your message is a powerful skill that is useful in any line of work. This workshop teaches participants how to bring journalistic skills to everyday writing, enabling them to write with power, precision and flair.

How to Conduct an Interview

Interviewing is not a skill that is commonly taught in schools or companies. But knowing how to interview well is an indispensable skill. Good interviews draw out untapped insights and human elements from sources, ultimately changing how the interviewer and audiences understand issues and other people. This workshop teaches participants core interviewing techniques such as what to look for in an interviewee; how to arrange and prepare effectively for an interview; what questions to ask and when; and how to build rapport and trust with interviewees.

Effective Op-Ed Writing

Writing opinion pieces is an effective way for young people to take action on issues that matter to them. Opinion pieces can inspire, educate, motivate, convince and mobilize an audience. However, writing opinion pieces is a skill like any other — one that can be learned by developing the foundational building blocks of effective op-ed writing. This interactive workshop takes students through the nuts and bolts of op-ed writing, covering how to generate insightful op-ed topics, develop authoritative arguments, structure an article and get published.

Creating Better Global Citizens

Many schools are committed to helping their students become global citizens. But teaching global citizenship is easier said than done. Why? Because global citizenship competencies include a mix of hard and soft skills formed by communicating with people different from ourselves. By virtue of their work living in and speaking with people from a range of countries, experienced journalists naturally reflect the qualities of global citizens. This workshop explores how schools can help their students develop global citizenship competencies by fostering the behaviours, attitudes and skillsets of journalists.

Helping Youth Defend Democracy

In a polarized media climate, it's easy to see issues through a black-and-white, us-versus-them lens — especially when our political leaders nurture these attitudes. But if tomorrow's leaders are to tackle intractable challenges and shore up democracy, they need to develop nuanced understandings of problems and potential solutions, be willing to hear out those they disagree with and see past outrage and partisanship. This address speaks about how innovative teaching methods can change how youth see themselves, issues and the world.

Fake News: Not the Only Danger

Fake news and lies are a danger to democracy, but so too is the absolute conviction that you have a lock on the truth — that your side is always right and the other side always wrong. Truth is a moving target, sometimes very hard to get your hands around, and often found in the murky grey areas. It takes courage to hear viewpoints that differ radically from your own. Stick up for your rights, but come down off your moral high ground and take the time to really listen.

Understanding Media Biases

Every day, you’re bombarded with information about important global events: climate change, elections, a terrorist attack. Whether you realize it or not, your perspective on these events is deeply informed by the media content you consume. It’s essential to understand how different media outlets can cover the news accurately, while emphasizing different facts or angles. To be a discerning media consumer, it’s critical to understand the media’s own biases and agendas.

<center><em>News-Decoder communications manager Savannah Jenkins presenting the Global Youth & News Media Prize.</em></center>
News-Decoder communications manager Savannah Jenkins presenting the Global Youth & News Media Prize.