Terrence McNally

Terrence McNally

Closing Plenary Speaker

A few years after graduating from Harvard, Terrence McNally left his role as founding director of a Boston secondary school for Los Angeles and the entertainment industry in search of larger audiences. After twenty years as an actor, director, screenwriter (Earth Girls Are Easy — starring Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, and Damon Wayans), songwriter, and record producer (classic novelty songs and Julie Brown’s Goddess in Progress, #4 EP in the Village Voices 1985 Music Critics Poll), he wasn’t fulfilling his vision: helping to create a world that just might work.

His experience and aspiration come together now in consulting and media work. As a speaker, writer, consultant, and coach, McNally uses all he learned as a teacher and in the entertainment industry to help foundations, non-profits, public agencies, and progressive businesses communicate more strategically. He offers expertise in media training, presentation skills, message development, and marketing. His most popular work focuses on storytelling and narrative, as he helps individuals and organizations deliver their best messages in person, in writing, or through the media. He also speaks on issues of social responsibility and sustainable development.

Clients include the cities of San Jose and Berkeley, League of California Cities, Annenberg Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Nemours Foundation, Pfizer Foundation, Glaxo-SmithKline Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, NASA, FINRA, CDC/Centers for Disease Control, Urban Library Council, Bank Of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative, CERES, Friends Of The Earth, Greenpeace USA, League of Conservation Voters, US Climate Action Network, Volunteers Of America, Intel Corporation, Interface Flooring, and Herman Miller.

McNally hosts and produces the podcast Disruptive for Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, where he makes their cutting-edge science understandable to all. On his weekly radio show on the Progressive Voices Network on TuneIn.com (podcast at aworldthatjustmightwork.com), McNally engages visionary individuals, ideas, and actions—based on the fact that he believes we can do better, and wants to find out how. One week Michael Lewis explains the Wall Street crash, the next Father Greg Boyle and one of the thousands of gang members he’s hired at LA’s Homeboy Industries offer hope. Guests include Temple Grandin, Nicholas Kristof, Cornel West, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Craig Venter, Arianna Huffington, and Robert Wright. Print interviews appear at AlterNet.org.

Co-author of Kava: Nature's Answer to Stress, Anxiety, and Insomnia with Hyla Cass, Terrence is an annual participant at the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, CO, a member of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, and served on founding boards of Earth Communications Office, Show Coalition, and Education 1st.

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