The DST Conference Committee is pleased to confirm that we will be hosting an online 24-hour Digital Storytelling ‘marathon’ on the 21st and 22nd of June 2021. The event will take place online and will span the whole 24 hours, following the sun across different time zones.

The online conference will be a free event and we hope that we will be able to have some great creative conversations and environments for discussion.

We’ll be back to our ‘traditional’ face-to-face format in 2022 in UK and 2023 in US.

Download the final programme (updated on 20/06/2021)

Download the Conference Booklet

Access all the video recordings and additional conference material on the Smithsonian Learning Lab.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the DST Conference Committee (Saedstorytelling@lboro.ac.uk).

The theme for our 3-year plan of online and face-to-face events is:

Story Work for a Just Future
Exploring Diverse Experiences and Methods within an International Community of Practice 

The conference is part of a multi-institutional, multinational, three-year process and programme – organised by Loughborough University (UK), StoryCenter (US) UMBC – University of Maryland Baltimore County (US), SCLDA – Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access (US), Montgomery College (US), Patient Voices (UK) – that includes a face-to-face event in Loughborough in 2022 and a series of follow-on activities in the Washington, D.C. area and in Maryland, USA, in 2023.

DST2020: What stories tell us

Storytelling has been defined as ‘the artform of social interaction’ (Wilson, 1998), not only for its inner dynamics, but also for its power to unlock grass-roots knowledge, explore dilemmas, develop community resilience, engender change.

Stories can generate empathy and trust in the audience and at the same time demonstrate their usefulness because they have the power to give meaning to human behaviors and to trigger emotions (Bourbonnais and Michaud, 2018). ‘This happens because stories are perceived as vectors of truth. They also challenge the meaning of truth itself and suggest a deeper reflection on how various perspectives embedded in personal narratives about contested themes and events can generate multiple truths’ (Liguori, 2020).

Yet we acknowledge the existence of multiple truths when we recognise, as the Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie observes, ‘the danger of a single story’ (2009). As she describes, ‘because our lives and our cultures are composed of a series of overlapping stories, if we hear only a single story about another person, culture, or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding’. In a time of worrying ‘critical misunderstandings’ worldwide, we want to explore with you the value of Applied Storytelling as a tool to co-develop ‘A Just Future’.

Conference Chairs: Antonia Liguori and Michael Wilson (Loughborough University, UK)

Conference Committee Members: Lyndsey Bakewell (DeMontfort University, UK), Jessica Berman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County UMBC, US), Bev Bickel (UMBC, US), Matthew Decker (Montgomery College, US), Patrick Desloge (Hong Kong University), Lindsay Di Cuirci (UMBC, US), Sara Ducey (Montgomery College, US), Daniela Gachago (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa), Jamie Gillan (Montgomery College, US), Pip Hardy (Patient Voices, UK), Grete Jamissen (OsloMet, Norway), Charlotte Keniston (UMBC, US), Joe Lambert (StoryCenter, US), Michalis Meimaris (University of Athens, Greece), Daniel Onyango (HopeRaisers, Kenya), Philippa Rappoport (SCLDA – Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, US), Bill Shewbridge (UMBC, US), Burcu Simsek (Hacettepe University, Turkey), Tony Sumner (Patient Voices, UK), Pam Sykes (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Chris Thomson (Jisc, UK).

Conference website: dst2021.org

The main contact for the DST online marathon in June 2021 and the face-to-face conference in 2022 in Loughborough is Antonia Liguori.

If speakers and audience members need specific support to make their participation easier, please, contact us!