DST Conference 2020

DST Conference 2020 Update – 11/03/2020

It is with great disappointment that we write to inform you of the postponement the DST 2020 Conference due to take place between 30th March and 1st April. As a committee, we have sought guidance from World Health Organisation announcements, the UK government’s current and planned future position on the outbreak in the UK, and the rapidly changing travel restrictions to make our decision. Therefore, in light of the current global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and working in response to current travel bans and the desire to operate in the best interests of our delegates we have made the difficult decision to postpone this event to a date yet to be decided. 

While the University itself is following current UK guidance and operating in a ‘business as usual capacity’, the picture worldwide is continually changing and we are required to make decisions ahead of time with a very uncertain picture. It is due to this, and the desire to run a full and engaging programme of both traditional and non-traditional panel types, that the committee has chosen to postpone the conference rather than converting it in to a digital event. 

The committee will be meeting again before the end of the month to reassess the situation in relation to the new proposed date for the conference, and we will ensure that this new date is communicated to all delegates once decided. While we have unfortunately received a number of withdrawals from the conference in the last couple of weeks due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, however we would like to assure delegates that all accepted abstracts will still be able to feature in the conference once it is rescheduled.

Below we have included some information on what we anticipate to be pressing questions. If you have any questions that fall outside of this information, please do get in touch and we will respond as quickly as possible. 

What happens with my registration fee?

There are two choices regarding your registration. We will be operating a system of carrying over every registration received so far to the new conference date if we do not hear from you or if you would prefer this – if you are then not able to attend the new conference date we can refund the registration fee at that point. Alternatively, if you would prefer, we are able to offer full refund for registration fees now.

If you would like a refund, please contact saedstorytelling@lboro.ac.uk and we will be able to arrange this for you. Your patience in receiving this refund is appreciated during this extremely busy time.

What about my flight?

Many airlines are being lenient about COVID-19 related cancellations and rebooking; experiences vary by airline.  If your university/organisation has banned your travel please contact them directly with regards to how to proceed.  If we have booked your travel we will have cancelled this as part of the postponement process and you do not need to take any action. 

What about my accommodation?

If we have booked accommodation for you we will cancel this on your behalf and there will be no charge to you.

What happens now?

The Conference committee would like to keep working as planned on a book proposal that will include a selection of papers from our conference. To maintain momentum, it would be very helpful if you could complete the attached template to send us your contributions, which we can then work through.

We will also be back in touch in the coming weeks with an update on the rescheduled conference dates.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Antonia, Lyndsey, Sally and the rest of the conference committee.


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

9th International Digital Storytelling Conference 

Loughborough University, UK

The conference is part of a multi-institutional, multinational, two-year process and programme – organised in collaboration with 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 series of follow-on activities in the Washington, D.C. area and in Maryland, USA, in 2021.

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’.

The conference committee will submit a book proposal in 2020 of a selection of academic contributions from the conference.

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

Conference Committee Members: Darcy Alexandra (University of Bern, Switzerland), Jessica Berman (University of Maryland, Baltimore County UMBC, US), Bev Bickel (UMBC, US), Matthew Decker (Montgomery College, US), Lindsay DiCuirci (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), Tony Sumner (Patient Voices, UK), Pam Sykes (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Chris Thomson (Jisc, UK).

Conference website: dst2020.org

The main contact for the DST conference 2020 in Loughborough is Antonia Liguori.