Collaborations, creativity and communities are your champions for Applied Storytelling.

This is a segue from a post: Scale is your friend, how to create impact and drive difference, big time. The post here provides credibility, I hope, about how scaled visions are achieved, and the use of Applied Storytelling.

I consider myself fortunate that my work has attracted wide acclaim from several international figures and bodies, though this has by no means an easy, smooth acquisition.

Reviews include: the BBC Director of Digital Development, James Montgomery; Pulitzer’s Prize winner Jan Schaffer; Jon Snow from Channel 4 News, NewsXchange; the government (DCMS), ITN, Jon Staton former head of TV at Saatchi and Saatchi, and UK leading entrepreneurs like Lee Robertson. There’s more from audiences at the end of this post.

This summer typified this ethos of scale, creativity, diversity, collaborations, and communities. I worked with Google as one of their international reviewers for their Innovation fund; Clwstwr a media platform in Wales on diversity and inclusion with leading UK media and diversity practitioners; and completed work with the British Library as one of their advisors and writers for their major exhibition: Breaking News — 500 Years of News.

From left to right: David, Marcus Ryder MBE and Pat Younge. Photos courtesy of Clwstwr. Report here

APPLIED STORYTELLING

Ideas and theories drive what we do, informing practices and behaviour and vice versa like an ouroboros. Yet they atrophy as societies and cultures mature or change; hence a theory or practice that might work in one era e.g. 1990s applied to media and storytelling forms, may not necessarily do so in another e.g. 2020s.

We’re experiencing that at the moment with disinformation, politicians using statecraft against journalists and attacks on decency and equality. Ongoing dynamic changes in society spark transformative changes on the ground that new inclusive theories have trouble reflecting swiftly enough.

Applied Storytelling thus takes a dynamic and interrogative approach to media and storytelling using varied inter-disciplinary approaches in design and systems thinking, creative technologies and diversity and representation.

Applied Storytelling like Applied Chemistry takes a cognitive experimental approach to address complex problems through diverse collaborations; stories like Climate change in which I presented a keynote to environmentalists in Pakistan last month.

I worked directly in news and journalism for 15 years across Channel 4 News, ABC News, BBC (WS, Newsnight, Reportage GLR), Channel One from presenting, producing to filmmaking. A major example of Applied Storytelling happened in the UK in the 90s with deep disruption to news storytelling.

A social experiment in which I was a part of and shapes today what we do, created a new paradigm in news, and a lesson in diversity and representation and as you’ll hear from this 2 min clip.

Thirty people, chosen from 2000 would be tasked to see if they could do the job of five people. Thy would ditch attributes in news making that as a young vibrant collective didn’t make sense to them.

What would make them successful was working as a collective. What many of us learned was that orthodoxies resisted innovation often through fear of the future and obsolescence, being exposed, and also to maintain a business model.

Change occurred by an impact that acted as lodestars, followed, not exclusively by a gradual repetitive process of innovation. Broadly speaking, there are a number of ways to effect the former through scale.

From those days, I’ve been labelled one of the UK’s leading videojournalists from gradually experimenting with the form and continuing to develop the craft with stakeholders. These include the Press Association training 100s of regional journalists across Britain and global brands like the FT, Chicago Tribune, and World Association of Newspapers. I’ve trained 10s of 100s of people around the world in Russia, Egypt, China and the Syrian border, to name a few places.

I’d later combine this experiential knowledge with new theory to define a PhD (a 100,000 word thesis with more than a hundred films) examining different models of storytelling, news and videojournalism and how stories worked on audiences.

The breakthrough in videojournalism towards creating impact lay in a new aesthetic that audiences referred to as “cinema” . The author’s intent and expert reviews were also considered. The use of the word, “Cinema” expressed an immersive quality in the way sound, pictures and narrative worked cogently together. Take this promo I created in Chicago on a training assignment.

This revelation extended from solo videojournalists to a few innovative network reporters like the BBC’s Clive Myrie displaying this aesthetic. I’ve carried out extensive research amongst groups, from MA to leading experts around the world like Russia and the findings are unequivocal.

This is one aspect of Applied Storytelling — journalists creating immersive films that have huge impact; adaptable storytellers undertaking a wide range of different forms from news, docs, to promos using a wide range of technologies.

APPLIED STORYTELLING II

Then there’s another aspect of Applied Storytelling that frames the storyteller-as-an-engineer — an entrepreneur and policy maker that builds platforms and artefacts to address a problem identified by audiences.

Applied Chemistry and maths plays and integral part again, as does artistic practice and creativity in what experts like Professor Tetlock call Foxes Vs Hedgehogs. Foxes know a lot things, Hedgehogs know one thing very well.

In 2005 working within a community, targeting scale and diversity I built one of the first streaming video magazines in the UK which would go onto win the US’ coveted Knight Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism beating CNN, the BBC etc. The judges would say it foreshadowed the future in the way it combined a deep aesthetic in photojournalism, video content and design.

About that time I keynoted to a room of 2000 people in Norway talking about the future of storytelling, was featured in New York’s Time Square and profiled by Apple global inc about the future — which included AI, the Internet called the Outernet.

Over the years I’ve built programmes and courses in entrepreneurialism, and super forecasting, and taught a wide number of Masters students and professionals prototyping apps and physically encoding encoding sites.

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Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah

Creative Technologist & Associate Professor. International Award Winner Cinema journalist. Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled Top Writer,