Your connection to the world is calling.
Come learn with us.
Hidden Compass, The Podcast
Season 1, “In Pursuit of Phantoms” is out now!
Join Hidden Compass co-founders, Sivani Babu and Sabine K. Bergmann, as they narrate stories from the magazine — and then go behind the scenes in interviews with storytellers to see what inspired them to venture to the frontiers of courage and curiosity.Listen Now
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Come learn and explore with us in 2021 and beyond!
There’s a thrill to conducting interviews at sea in a tropical storm, photographing landscapes at -50F, or planting our hiking poles on a country’s eastern seashore — when our hike began on the western one.
We’ve found a similar thrill when we connect with audiences. As co-founders, we’ve guest-lectured at universities, presented at conferences, and appeared on podcasts and radio shows around the world.
Anne Lowrey, Travel Writer | Big Sur Coast Workshop
As a professional writer, I’m always looking to learn from others in my field and to step up my craft. Combining that with the exploration of a medium I’m less comfortable with — photography — on their weekend workshop in Carmel was sensational. With the help of the instructors, I became completely immersed in the magic of creating instead of feeling overwhelmed by the technical limitations I had set for myself.
Julie Pesano, English Professor | Paris, France Workshop
Above and beyond! I loved the balance and pacing of lecture to field work. Wonderful workshop, Hidden Compass! You blew it out of the park!
David Toombs, Travel Photographer | Paris, France Workshop
The hand-off of train and Metro passes [at the midpoint of the workshop] was like handing car keys to an excited teenager. I felt free to roam and craft my own experience with the workshop activities as a base. Well done!
Trupti Devdas Nayak, Travel Writer | Big Sur Coast Workshop
If, like me, you are looking to take your writing and photography to the next level, Hidden Compass’s workshops and seminars are for you! An important part of the priceless experience is getting to know Sivani and Sabine, whose warmth and energy make the workshops come alive.
From guest-lectures, to presentations, to podcast and radio appearances, we offer our speaking services anywhere in the world.
The Power of Cinematic Narrative:
Connecting with Your Audience Through Story
There exists a potent tool of connection — one that lights up our brains on fMRIs and synchronizes our heartbeats. This is the power of story. It’s a power we know well: Together, we have written, edited and published more than 1.5 million words. We specialize in cinematic narratives, which weave together detail-rich scenes to immerse, inform, and inspire. Join us and see how you can harness this power for the audiences you’re reaching out to.
What Comes After the Golden Age:
Decline, or Opportunity?
Our industry was struggling. Our mentors spoke of a better time, when budgets were big and dreams were bigger. This was how the magazine publishing world felt when we first started — but it’s not how it feels for us now. Turmoil can feel like the end of an industry, but often, it also means there’s opportunity. Join us and learn how to seize it.
A Wide Network
Hidden Compass’s co-founders love to communicate their wealth of expertise — not just in publishing and journalism, but in law, environmental sciences, and community development. The common thread of storytelling connects a multitude of disciplines and a wide network of audiences.
Past academic events include: Lecturing on storytelling for social justice at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and guiding PhD-candidate “Science Envoys” at UC-Berkeley to find story arcs within their scientific research.
Past conference and professional events include: Presenting at three of Book Passage’s annual Travel Writers’ and Photographers’ Conferences, hosting a Hidden Compass reading event during San Francisco’s annual LitQuake literary festival, and speaking on dark sky photography at the LitWings Event Series.
Past radio and podcast appearances include: Speaking on journalism, photography, and editing on The Former Lawyer Podcast, Matthew Félix on Air, and the reCOMPOSE Photography Podcast with Andy Williams and Marc Muench.
With experiences such as hosting a live-broadcast, Spanish-language radio program in the Dominican Republic, Hidden Compass’s co-founders embrace speaking engagements in English and Spanish!
Workshops & Classes
“Hidden Compass workshops will charge your batteries and jump-start your writing and photography projects.”
Tim Cahill, Author and Founding Editor of Outside Magazine
Chart Your Course With Us
Our workshop faculty are world-renowned storytelling professionals and adventurers. They’ve photographed for National Geographic, written best-selling books for Lonely Planet, and edited for National Geographic Traveler. They’ve shown celestial navigation sailing savvy — even while nursing a broken neck from an accident in the Bermuda Triangle. Alright, that last one might have been one of our co-founders . . .
Point is, we’ve been fortunate to work with some pretty astounding folks. We’ve led writing and photography workshops around the world, using nothing but our wiles. Not too shabby for a young magazine.
And we can’t wait to work with you!
We Live for This
Hidden Compass works with some of the world’s best journalists, writers, poets, painters, and photographers. They also happen to be some of the best teachers.
We want to work with you.
Collectively, we’ve written, edited, and published more than 1.5 million words. We’ve consulted with and managed editorial content for travel companies valued at more than $500 million.