Bridging Science with Policy Through Storytelling: A Workshop

This is 90-minute, train-the-trainer workshop on the craft of storytelling for building resilience and adaptation. The aim of this workshop is to help bridge the gap between community planning and policy through storytelling and communication techniques.

Storytelling allows people to share information that builds a connection. In the world of climate change science, resilience planning, and policy, it can be challenging to create a connection that allows different sides to walk in each other’s shoes. Stories are built on cause and effect, much like the policy-making process. By drawing people in through storytelling you are helping reduce the psychological distance that is often associated with proactive resilience planning and adaptation work. The use of storytelling helps practitioners take an abstract subject and adds a human element to it and emotion which strengthens understanding and builds connections to the material and the concepts.

We will provide attendees with a simple technique for storytelling that can be used with community stakeholders to help enhance understanding of the resilience and planning process. The goal is to help communities apply these skills in a way that increases public engagement and policy support for resilience and adaptation planning, an often divisive issue. Adaptive solutions for communities must not only apply a deep understanding of governance but also employ inclusive and accessible approaches to governance at both the local and regional levels. This storytelling approach combines policy, planning, and communication theory to create a novel resilience planning method that empowers communities in building resilience from the ground up. 

The workshop will break down the storytelling process in an easy-to-use and share format. We will provide evidence of how this process can be applied across a variety of contexts and examples of how it has been used to build community engagement, enhance the resilience planning process, and broader impacts. Most importantly the workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to practice the techniques in small groups so they may apply this format within their own communities. 

This will be an interactive workshop run by Cornell University, and more information will be available online soon.


Photo by John-Mark Smith on Unsplash

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