The Nation of Artists collaborates with thought leaders to create aspirational, society-changing content, technology and campaigns. We celebrate the creativity of everyone we work with – not only from our talented Oscar & Sundance-caliber writers and directors, and our editors and photographers, but also from our engineers and scientists, clients and supporters.

We believe in solving the real issues of our day, one story at a time and we believe that it’s only via collaboration that true progress can be amplified for maximal effect. “No-one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”

The Nation of Artists empowers our people and partners to commit to social good. Quite simply, we believe that Ideas + Empathy = Impact


Elliot Kotek is the founder & CEO of The Nation of Artists and Beyond Cinema, co-founded Not Impossible, is on the board of HealthEffect and often speaks on the subjects of innovation and collaboration. With degrees in Science and Law, Elliot was a practicing attorney before attending The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in New York (and earning NYU/Tisch’s Craft Award). He also completed UCLA‘s professional screenwriting program. Most recently, Elliot attended Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University as their KIN Innovation Fellow for 2016. Australia’s Monash University awarded Elliot its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Faculty of Science.

Known for big-picture puzzle piecing in pursuit of social impact,  Elliot’s interest lies in thoughtfully adapting technologies from across industries so that content can have sustainable impact beyond the life of the stories themselves.

Elliot’s recent work includes producing Not Impossible’s “Project Daniel” – which established the world’s first 3D-printing prosthetics facility, printing limbs for the children of war-torn Sudan; “Don’s Voice” – producing software for a man with ALS to utilize software and ocular recognition tools to independently tell his wife he loves her; “140” – the world’s first user-generated feature film, which utilized social media to simultaneously engage 14o filmmakers from 23 countries and 5 continents; “PEEK” – using the PEEK phone app to diagnose and cure a woman’s blindness; “The Brainwriter” for graffiti artist TemptOne, and other social innovations.

Awards for his projects include back-to-back SxSW innovation awards in 2015 & 2016; multiple Cannes Lions (including the 2014 Titanium Lion), 3 One Show awards, 3 Maggie awards, 5 Telly awards, 2 AICP awards for cause marketing, 2 Clio Awards, selection in TEDMED’s Hive, listing on the NT100, archiving at MoMA and numerous other honors. The work has amassed more than 1.5 billion media impressions.

As a benefit of the success of these collaborations, Elliot has had the opportunity to share his approach to innovation, crowdsourcing and maximizing meaningfulness to audiences at the United Nations, SxSW, the US Chamber of Commerce, the US Institute for Peace, Discovery Education, Maker Faire, NxNE and with other business & social entrepreneurs and corporate citizens.





Beyond Cinema magazine is an established voice for 300+ members of the Association of Film Commissioners around the globe. By opening up the conversation between commissioners, actors, producers, photographers and filmmakers, Beyond Cinema takes readers to a true understanding of where to produce their content, and why.

The print publication is available on select Los Angeles newsstands, and is an officially distributed publication of the American Film Market, Sundance Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM), Hong Kong’s Filmart, SxSW, Festival de Cannes, Los Angeles Film Festival, PGA Conference, Toronto International Film Festival and more!






In a world where people are preaching the 3 P’s of People, Planet, Profit, Elliot prefers to go one further with his 4 P Strategy: When you find something you’re Passionate about, it will define your Purpose. When you share your purpose, you’ll find your People. And when you have your people, anything is Possible.


QUEEN MIMI (now streaming on NETFLIX!)

Marie “Mimi” Haist defied her adulterous husband and moved onto the streets in her 50s, living in parking lots and doorways until finding her “home” one stormy night between rows of washers in a Californian laundromat. Encouraged to stay by a more than generous laundry owner, Mimi’s ‘the past is the past’ philosophy endeared her to regular fluff and fold clients and, after more than 20 years, Mimi has made some unlikely friends, ranging from local loves to Hollywood A-listers Zach Galifianakis and Renee Zellweger.

When you feel like a queen, even a laundromat can be a palace.



The first-ever user-generated feature film using social media. “140” is an experimental documentary produced by Frank Kelly and Elliot Kotek. Inspired by twitter, the film addresses the limitations and constraints of communicating via social media, was helmed by Kelly and was ‘directed’ simultaneously by 140 filmmakers in 23 countries on 5 continents.

The visual poem capturing a single moment of time on planet Earth is available on Seed & Spark

“The movie that beat Ridley Scott and Kevin Macdonald to their ‘historic’ user-generated doc” – Movieline


On Nelson Mandela’s birthday, photographer Scott McDermott captured Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Susan Sarandon, Forest Whitaker, Morgan Freeman and others raising hands to pledge to improve their planet. The film ponders the life experiences behind this diverse set of digits – war, peace, violence, freedom, fame, disease – each represented in the lines made in the hands we raise.

A tribute to a man who stood against apartheid, and changed the world.

“An ingenious riddle experience—one hand, palm forward, stands forth as voice-over narration enumerates its poetic confessions. Then the identity of the hand-owner is revealed: iconic figures ranging from Clint Eastwood to Nelson Mandela.”-MFF

View it on Vimeo



Elliot has been honored to speak at these events over the last two years:


  • US Chamber of Commerce (Washington, DC)
  • Nexus USA Youth Summit @ The White House and the US Institute for Peace (Washington, DC)
  • KIN Global (Miami, FL)
  • TEDxYouth Austin (Austin, TX)
  • Nexus Australia Youth Summit @ The Art Gallery of NSW (Sydney, Australia)
  • Global Marathon
  • SxSW Interactive “Science Fair to Science Fact” (Austin, TX)
  • Dell & WeWork “Social Good & Business” (Austin, TX)
  • BPay Australia “Crowdsourcing & Collaboration” (Sydney, Australia)
  • UCLA Anderson School of Business (Los Angeles, CA)


  • Siemens Competition Innovation Summit (Washington, D.C.)
  • Pioneer Summit (Silicon Valley, CA)
  • US Chamber of Commerce Foundation (Washington, D.C.)
  • SxSW Interactive (Austin, TX)
  • Social Innovation Summit (Washington, D.C.)
  • US Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizenship Conference (Washington, D.C.)
  • Nexus Global Youth Summit at the United Nations (NYC, NY)
  • Doha G.O.A.L.S. Forum (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Maker Faire Bay Area (San Mateo, CA)
  • Sports & Entertainment Philanthropy Summit – Los Angeles, CA
  • UCLA Social Innovation Week – Los Angeles, CA
  • The UP Experience – Houston, TX
  • Etsy – Brooklyn, New York, NY
  • Creative Coalition – New York, NY
  • Medical Innovation Labs – Austin, TX
  • UCLA Anderson School of Business – Los Angeles, CA
  • Inside 3D-printing Conference & Expo – San Jose, CA



Innovation at the World Food Program – Yes, Please

Innovation at the World Food Program – Yes, Please

I’ve been tormented (internally) by the abundance of food and the portion size of servings in the U.S. for some time. And, of course, the global juxtaposition that people still go hungry. As a result, I’ve got my own thoughts for technology solutions to help feed the hungry without judgment of their predicament, and I’m constantly on…

Monash University – Looking Forward to Great Challenges

Monash University – Looking Forward to Great Challenges

Last year, I was absolutely humbled to be awarded the Distinguished Alumni title for my alma mater: https://www.monash.edu/alumni/news/awards/distinguished-alumni/2015/elliot-kotek With an upcoming trip back to Australia on the cards, I’m looking forward to joining the co-hort of students of Monash University Faculty of Science’s “Global Challenges” program for a chat about leadership. My own views on the subject…

A Conversation with “Father of 3D-Printing” Joseph Beaman

A Conversation with “Father of 3D-Printing” Joseph Beaman

In early 2015, I had the huge, and unexpected honor of sharing a stage with one of the “fathers” of 3D-printing, Professor Joseph Beaman, head of the School of Engineering at the University of Texas. It was an hour of conversation I’ll not soon forget – Joe talking about how the New York Times ran…

The Ideation Collective (Podcast)

The Ideation Collective (Podcast)

Jess Larsen and his team of great minds at The Ideation Collective were kind enough to include me in their “Innovation and Leadership” series of podcasts – the original post is HERE. But here’s the blurb and the podcast for your listening pleasure(?). Elliot Kotek is the CEO and founder of The Nation of Artists,…

The Importance of Storytelling & Collaboration (Podcast)

The Importance of Storytelling & Collaboration (Podcast)

Thanks to Enso for including me in their “Value Added” podcast – here’s the blurb and the embed if you find yourself with time for a listen: “Elliot Kotek has produced films like 140 and Queen Mimi, he is the co-founder of Not Impossible Labs, editor-and-chief of Beyond Cinema magazine, along with playing a part…

Elliot’s 5 Tips on Innovation

Elliot’s 5 Tips on Innovation

A couple of years ago, the kind and super-smart folk at ACM SIGGRAPH asked for some tips on innovation. I took a quick read of the piece (originally published HERE), and thought it might be nice to share the details: 1. The only obstruction to our innovation, is our will to innovate. The physical tools…

Elliot Interviews Innovative Teen Matthew O’Connell at Intel’s Science Fair

Elliot Interviews Innovative Teen Matthew O’Connell at Intel’s Science Fair

View Project
Elliot Interviews Teen Heart-Savers at Intel’s Science Fair

Elliot Interviews Teen Heart-Savers at Intel’s Science Fair

View Project
A Conversation: Elliot Kotek & The “Father of 3D-Printing” Dr. Joseph Beaman

A Conversation: Elliot Kotek & The “Father of 3D-Printing” Dr. Joseph Beaman

View Project
The One Show – Gold Pencil (Interactive) 2014 – Project Daniel

The One Show – Gold Pencil (Interactive) 2014 – Project Daniel

View Project
USA Today Interview

USA Today Interview

View Project
Elliot Interviews Teen Tech Pioneer Matthew Campagna

Elliot Interviews Teen Tech Pioneer Matthew Campagna

View Project

Less Ego, More Effect

Our Collaborative Community is Our Greatest Strength

Whether it’s content or healthcare, The Nation of Artists believes in the power of leveraging your crowd to achieve greatest impact. Darwin said “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” With the knowledge disseminated by technology, and connectivity like never before, our capacity for effective collaboration is at its greatest point in history.


Founding Member
The Purpose Collaborative, founded by the ‘mother of cause marketing’ Carol Cone, guides businesses and brands along their journey to ignite purpose at their core – their aspirational reason for being beyond profits. The Nation of Artists is proud to be a founding member alongside some amazing entities and individuals.



A media company producing powerful stories from the frontiers of a changing world. The Nation of Artists’ Elliot Kotek is proud to be collaborating with the incredible creators at Freethink Media as a producer and executive producer of nine incredible docs-series that will roll out into their public lives beginning August 2016.




Board Member & Chief Storyteller
Founded by cardiologist Ronnie Hershman, MD, HealthEffect is an Internet 3.0 technology ecosystem where health-industry influencers collaborate with innovators to provide the right expertise at the right time and accelerate the conversion of novel medical technologies into tangible, commercially viable products. The goal is to disrupt the silos and gatekeepers of innovation from preventing real devices, treatments and therapies from getting to people in need.

Innovation + Effective Expertise = Life, Improved



Beyond Cinema's Lovely Trade Partner
Originally, the AFCI was formed by a small group of film commissioners who wanted to share information and learn from one another’s experiences. Since then, the AFCI has expanded into a worldwide network of more than 300 commissions from 45 countries. All are devoted to the business of facilitating on-location film and television production activity which generates billions of dollars annually.



To speak with Elliot about coming to chat at your event or with your team, please contact:

  In the United States:
Joseph Pineda
Phone +1 415.741.5763
  In Australia:
David Maher
Celebrity Speakers Bureau History House, 133 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Phone (if in Australia only) 1300 557 580

Curious about how to work with The Nation of Artists or would like our thoughts around a project? Want to collaborate? Writing an article and think we might offer a cool perspective? Reach out here and we’ll buzz you back!