The power of storytelling: 25 years of research at SEI

This week saw the celebration of the 25th anniversary of SEI, at an event called “Stories from a World of Change” featuring short stories from researchers around the world. Live-streaming and twitter commentary allowed me to follow the event from my desk. The event highlighted two things for me, the diversity of our work and the power of storytelling as a way of engaging people. All presenters were encouraged to tell a story about their work, rather than the more typical powerpoint presentation. This resulted in a lively and diverse series of stories (see https://storify.com/SEIclimate/stories-from-a-world-of-change-sei-s-25th-annivers? for a summary of the day).

Storytelling as a way of communicating about research is not something I’ve come across before, and I found myself listening more intently and getting more absorbed in the speakers than I might have otherwise. Stories also have the power to live longer in the memory than other forms of communication. Have you used storytelling in your work? I’d love to hear about your experiences. What stories were you telling? Were your audience engaged? Why not share your story below?!

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