Early Career Professionals Workshop: The Art of Storytelling for Influencing Policy

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  • 2020•12•07     Kuala Lumpur


    Mr Premesh Chandran opens with a discussion on tools for telling meaningful stories, as part of the Early Career Professionals workshop on 18 November 2020.

    “Stories are emotionally compelling. Somehow they make us feel, they touch us in our heart.”

    ~ Prof. Doe Mayer, “Why are stories so important: why isn’t data good enough to change minds and attitudes?

    The second session of the Early Career Professionals workshop series was held on 18 November 2020, jointly-organised by United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) and Lancaster University. The workshop sought to provide insights into the power of storytelling for influencing policy.

    There were two speakers in the workshop. Mr Premesh Chandran (cofounder and CEO of Malaysiakini, also a member of the UNU-IIGH Advisory Board) opened the workshop by sharing his experience working in the media industry over the past two decades. Mr Premesh stressed the importance of understanding your audience, for instance knowing what their interests and goals are, for crafting a compelling story. He also introduced a number of tools and platforms useful for visualizations to help convert complex data into meaningful stories.

    “…stressed the importance of understanding your audience, for instance knowing what their interests and goals are, for crafting a compelling story.”

    The second speaker, Prof Doe Mayer  (Mary Pickford Chair, School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California) introduced the definition of a story and the importance of storytelling. She used the Global Fund ‘Here I Am’ Campaign as an excellent example of using storytelling to influence policy. Her insightful talk is now available here.

    Two participatory breakout sessions accompanied the presentations. In these, attendees were able to identify the key components of a story, understand the steps in creating a story, and practice storytelling in a group.

    recording of the panel sessions and a workshop report for this second session of the Early-Career Professionals workshop are now available.

    You can also follow us on social media (TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram) for updates on the next workshop in this series, and other UNU-IIGH events.