von Andrea Geipel

In den letzten Wochen habe ich viel Zeit online verbracht, mich mit neuen und alten digitalen Angeboten auseinandergesetzt und mich mit Kolleginnen und Kollegen über Fragen zu digitalen Kulturangeboten ausgetauscht. All diese Eindrücke sind in unseren ersten Online Kurs zum Thema Digital Storytelling eingeflossen. Eigentlich sollte dieser mit dem Fokus auf multidsiziplinäre Zusammenarbeit im Rahmen der 1e9 Konferenz stattfinden. Jetzt haben Abhay Adhikari und ich ihn kurzerhand an aktuelle Fragestellungen angepasst und digital aufbereitet. Im Zentrum steht für uns die ständige Reflektion dessen was wir tun, welche digitalen Angebote wir aktuell entwickeln, aber auch wie diese nachhaltig gedacht werden können, wie wir arbeiten wollen und wie wir uns als Kultureinrichtungen an aktuellen Diskussionen beteiligen. Dieser erste Kurs gliedert sich in fünf Teile und findet in Englisch statt. Wir freuen uns auf einen spannenden Austausch!

In the last couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time online, looking at new and old digital offers and discussing digital services at cultural institutions with colleagues. All these impressions have been incorporated into the first online course on digital storytelling. It was actually supposed to take place within the framework of the 1e9 conference with a focus on multidisciplinary cooperation. Now Abhay Adhikari and I have adapted it to current issues and digitally processed it. For us, the central point is the constant reflection on what we are doing, what digital offers we are currently developing, but also how these can be thought of as sustainable, how we want to work and how we as cultural institutions participate in current discussions. This first course is divided into five parts and is held in English. We are looking forward to an exciting exchange!

We have been humbled and surprised by the demand of this course. All places were booked within the first eight hours and we have a waiting list for each episode. For now, we will keep the waiting list open as there are always some last minute cancellations. Alternatively, we are looking at other options of how we will offer the learning material or run additional seasons. These announcements will be shared on this blog or if you are on the waiting list, we will send you an email.


Meaning Making Season 1


Digital storytelling during the pandemic cannot be business as usual. This programme will help you develop practical ideas for your online cultural offering on how to educate, entertain and inform communities in an age of misinformation. Over and above that, it will also encourage you to rethink your strategy on how you can connect with new audiences moving forward. We have structured the course as five interactive episodes. You will learn new concepts and reflect on your own practice. The group discussions will help you craft simple storytelling experiments.

An opportunity to learn from multidisciplinary experts:

Led by Andrea Geipel and Abhay Adhikari, each episode will feature international experts who will explore digital storytelling from the perspective of accessibility, neuroscience, podcasting, science reporting and theatre. 

As a group, we have reported on outbreaks for New York Public Radio,  tackled misinformation spreading through Whatsapp groups in India, developed interactive theatrical performances in the UK, created VR projects in Germany and helped museums across the world develop accessible solutions. 

How does this programme work?

Each week we will hold a 2-hour virtual session. Starting from May 27, these sessions will run from 3-5pm CET on Wednesdays for 5 weeks. Each episode includes a short talk and case studies led by an expert. The main part of the session is dedicated to a group discussion to help you design a storytelling experiment with feedback from your peers. It’s going to be a relaxed and laid back environment. We are all easy going people with a sense of humor! 

We invite participants from cultural institutions, public broadcasters and media startups. Click here to register. You can sign-up for a single episode or all five. Please note we can only accommodate 15 people per episode. Places are offered on a first come first served basis. We will also create a waiting list in case we are oversubscribed.  

May 27, Episode 1: Reframing

We begin the programme with a focus on our existing digital offer of cultural activities and events. Is it relevant when the rest of the world is distracted? We will discuss framing and context setting to re-imagine the story. Our guest speaker Padma Priya from media startup Suno India will explain how, as a small team, they developed new formats to engage a broader community during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Podcast Episode 1:

Download the Comic for Episode 1 here: Comic Episode 1

June 3, Episode 2: Well-being 

Next, we ask what role can we play to help our communities during a period of anxiety. Is it just telling happy stories, or can we do something more? We will learn how to strike a balance between information and inspiration. We will also explore a mindful approach on how to work internally to conceive projects at a time of crisis. Our guest speaker Amanda Aronczyk from National Public Radio (NPR), will discuss her work reporting on stories such as the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in New York.

Podcast Episode 2:

Download the Comic for Episode 2 here: Comic Episode 2

June 10, Episode 3: Accessibility 

Yes, almost everybody is online. But how can your story engage people with different sensory capacities and different socio-economic backgrounds? In this episode we explore the choices you make about the nuts and bolts of storytelling - from digital platforms to your use of language. And how do we make sure this is not a one off effort. Our guest speaker accessibility expert Alastair Somerville from the UK will share examples of his work with museums across the world.

Podcast Episode 3:

Download the Comic for Episode 3 here: Comic Episode 3

June 17, Episode 4: Engagement 

What if your audience were in the story from the very beginning? In this episode we explore the nature of digital interaction. Should it be real-time engagement using game based models or a narrative that people can consume anytime on their own terms? How do we step into our audiences’ world? Our guest speaker Zoë Seaton, Artistic Director of Big Telly will talk about the interactive online production of The Tempest. 

Podcast Episode 4:

Download the Comic for Episode 4 here: Comic Episode 4

June 24, Episode 5: Success

As a result of taking part in this programme, we hope you will run your own small storytelling experiments. In this final episode, we will learn how to share the results of your work and convince colleagues to continue the project. You will learn how to work with different types of data that gives you the freedom to evaluate the project in new ways. Our guest speaker is neuroscientist Natalie Nelissen.

Podcast Episode 5:

Download the Comic for Episode 5 here: Comic Episode 5

Who can take part?

This session is open to anyone who is interested in digital storytelling. We invite professionals working in museums, public broadcasters as well as creative and media startups. This includes people working in the fields of digital, innovation, education, production development, policy and communications.  

What equipment do I need to attend the virtual sprints?

We will be using Zoom. You need a decent broadband connection and headphones. You may be back in your office when these sessions begin, so if you work in an open plan office, it might be worth booking a meeting room.

How much time do I need to spend?

Starting from May 27, we will hold a 2 hour virtual session every week. After the session we will encourage you to run your experiment and will offer some support. But this is not mandatory. 

What skills do I need?

Bring your curiosity and be open to trying something new. If you already have a project, that’s great as you can apply your ideas right away. It will be helpful if you are familiar with social media platforms and digital storytelling tools.We’ll send you joining instructions a week before the sessions begin. The online sessions will be relaxed and informal. They will be held in English.

How do I take part?

Click here to register your free place

Abhay will get in touch with you to confirm your place. We will use your email address to send you updates about the episodes as well as questionnaires that will help you track your progress if you are running experiments. Your information will be anonymised and only used for internal evaluation.

This programme is produced by Jenni Müller. Artist Azam Masoumzadeh will attend these sessions to create an illustrated summary of each masterclass. Ralph Würschinger will produce a 5-part podcast featuring a discussion amongst the project leads and experts after each session.


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