The Original Originals
David Holbrooke is a filmmaker and cultural entrepreneur, as well as the host and founder of Original Thinkers. In his previous role as the director of Telluride Mountainfilm he inspired and entertained thousands of people every year with his innovative programming and watched nearly three thousand documentaries over the course of a decade. He also directed The Diplomat, a film about his father, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. In this new venture, he seeks to illuminate the role that storytelling plays in a changing society. Holbrooke lives in Telluride, Colorado with his wife Sarah, three kids, two dogs and bunch of chickens (one less after an unfortunate encounter with a hungry bear.)
Nancy Schafer is an independent film producer and consultant. Over the past four years, she’s premiered six feature films at top festivals, all of which have received distribution in the United States. Her last two narrative films, premiered in Competition at SXSW, one of which won the Audience Award. Nancy worked at and ran the Tribeca Film Festival for 11 years—from its inception through 2012. Prior to Tribeca, she created and ran the SXSW Film Festival for eight years.
Gabe Lifton-Zoline grew up in Telluride, successfully ran Obama’s campaign in Colorado, worked as a documentary filmmaker and then helped run the media company RYOT.org. All of those skills come together at Original Thinkers where Gabe is focusing on strategic partnerships and long-term direction.
Sam spends a lot of his time on the road, exploring new cultures and peoples. Most notably, he has traversed China, from the big cities to the western and southwestern rural minority peoples, and come away with an intimate understanding of the ancient power, as well as unique insights into bridging deep cultural divides. He's always excited to talk about connecting the dots, even if it means you connecting the fact that he looks oddly like Emmet from the lego movie. He's not embarrassed about it.
Hayley has a background in Programming, Production, and Operations at Sundance, Telluride, Mill Valley and Mountainfilm Film Festivals. A California born, tree-hugging, cinephile who has a love for getting outside in the mountains, Hayley is most interested in original thinking surrounding the climate change crisis and how we can have a more sustainable future.
Geneva Shaunette is an event producer, cannabis industry consultant, and a member of Telluride Town Council. In her 9 years of living in Telluride she has gained extensive experience working in bars, restaurants, outdoor education, and the cannabis industry. She is passionate about civic engagement, new ideas, community partying, and keeping Telluride weird. She loves her wife Laura, New Orleans brass music, tapas, salty cocktails, and witty political t-shirts.
Laura Shaunette is a community programming and storytelling enthusiast. She and her wife Geneva founded The Downlow, a local storytelling event, in 2014 with Telluride Theatre, which is currently being developed into a podcast. In 2018 they also developed Back Pocket Creative, a custom event company. She aspires to cultivate spaces where people feel comfortable being themselves, and encouraged to collaborate and further understand one another. Her other passions include cooking, camping, and dancing to funky horns and handclaps.
Good Looking Stuff
Stephen Rockwood is a graphic designer based in Santa Barbara, CA. He specializes in brand identity, art direction and illustration.
Creative by any medium necessary she designs websites, brands, and environments. Ideas originator, creative, dot-connector, and learning enthusiast. Her mission is to design within sustainable frameworks using her craft as a tool to meet the needs of the present without compromising the possibilities of future generations. She joined the Original Thinkers team to build an easy to digest platform so that these big ideas can be granted awareness and action towards positive change.