Category: GEMA, GEMA Alumni Spotlight

Title:GEMA Alumni Spotlight – William Nix (C’70), Creative Projects Group and Co-Executive Director, The SIE Society

William Nix (C ’70) is the CEO of Creative Projects Group and a Producer with extensive experience in the entertainment, media, sports, and intellectual property fields. He is a founding member and Co-Executive Director of the SIE Society, a global Social Impact Entertainment alliance connecting professionals in entertainment, non-profits, and business to harness storytelling in all media for greater social good and measurable impact. GEMA spoke with Mr. Nix to learn more about the SIE Society.

How did you come to found the SIE Society?

As described further below, my background is one that is a blend of educational endeavors involving intellectual property, entertainment, media, and sports. Most of my current work is as a Producer/Executive Producer of film, television, theatre, and other media productions focused on multinational, multicultural, and other stories that fit within the Social Impact Entertainment (SIE) lens.

A group of us created the Producers Guild of America’s (PGA) SIE Task Force and produced a number of live and online educational events. After working together closely over several years, we determined that we would have more operational flexibility and the ability to add media pillars that weren’t part of the PGA’s membership, so we launched the SIE Society early on during the Pandemic lock-down and have built the organization to nearly 1,000 Members since that time. We continue to expand not only our U.S. activities, but also our membership and events internationally, including active engagement as proud members of the UN Global and SDG Media Compacts, furthering their seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. As an example of this, I was able to moderate a panel entitled Storytelling and the SDGs as part of the SDG Media Zone during the September 2023 UN General Assembly.

What does the SIE Society do and what is its mission? 

We are the leading global alliance in Social Impact Entertainment. Our Mission is to educate, connect, and empower professionals in Entertainment, non-profits, and business to harness storytelling in all media for greater social good and measurable impact.

A key focus for 2024 is to build on the success of our initial Conference: www.conference.siesociety.org and to continue to expand our engagement and membership in the gaming, theatre, immersive, music, and spoken-word artistic communities as well as with comedians and other “voices” of social impact entertainment. We are also leaning into how to “measure and assess” the Impact of social impact entertainment in these various media platforms, and the “Impact Campaigns” that support documented “outcomes” that drive change and the financial underwriting that is so necessary for creators to continue their SIE work.

In addition to the virtual engagements described below, we also curate, moderate, and participate in SIE-oriented panels, in the U.S. and internationally, in places such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Austin Film Festival celebrating Writers, and I will be a Delegate to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England in April. All of these provide an opportunity to share information and resources, as well as creating ties with the network we are creating for the SIE community.

Can you tell us how your background as a Senior Executive, Producer and Financial Advisor led you to launch the SIE Society?

My journey has been an eclectic and sequential one. From the point of higher education forward, it has been founded on a strong interest in the Arts and History. This expanded into Media as a Storytelling vehicle for expressing and advocating for social and environmental advancements.

This has involved functioning in a traditional legal capacity as a lawyer in non-profit/for-profit corporate organizations, including the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the NBA, as well as in an educational teaching capacity in settings ranging from the secondary school to the university level.

Having practiced law in a variety of settings (corporate, industry organizations, law firms, etc.), a little over a decade ago, my focused shifted to producing content that would both entertain and inform. Most of my interests in this vein are multicultural and multinational in content, and they range from feature films (dramatic, animation, documentary) to theatre and other media platforms.

Currently, my focus is a personal and professional blend of all of the above, as a Producer of various forms of media productionsthrough my company, Creative Projects Group: www.creativeprojectsgroup.com  an adjunct Professor at Pepperdine’s Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution: https://law.pepperdine.edu/straus/, an active member of various philanthropic Advisory Boards, as well as Partner in LOHAS: www.lohas.org, a firm that specializes in supporting the financing of social and environmental impact productions using innovative tools such as Donor Advised Funds (DAFs), Family Offices, and Fiscal Sponsorship Programs (FSP’s).

The SIE Society is where these seemingly divergent paths converge, as it provides a home for a broad spectrum of media and content-creators from around the world. It was designed to provide an “open-table” to build bridges between a wide variety of for-profit, non-profit, academic, and corporate organizations—a place where all can find “common ground.”

What kinds of events does the SIE Society typically hold?

Our premiere event is an annual conference in Los Angeles: https://conference.siesociety.org/ that is open to both the Hollywood and non-Hollywood communities, but we also have periodic in-person and online informational and networking events, as well: https://siesociety.org/events/

What kind of alumni should apply for membership and why?

Whether you’re an experienced Impact Storyteller or new to the industry, you’ll receive invaluable resources to help you create your next project, and to find opportunities to collaborate with others, as well. It is free to join, and there are no Dues or Fees for Membership.

Some of the Benefits that SIE Society Members receive: https://siesociety.org/sie-society-membership/

Where can readers go to learn more about the SIE Society?

The main source of information about the SIE Society is our website: https://siesociety.org/ and also at in-person events, such as our Annual Conference.

Members have full access to the benefits outlined above.