‘Validating and connecting young people’s experiences of working and studying abroad through digital storytelling’.
StoryA, an EU funded project from 2015-2016, fostered international cooperation in the field of youth work and storytelling. It gathered together organizations from USA, Brazil, South Africa, Italy, UK, Portugal, Belgium, Austria and Sweden, and through a series of initiatives – international meetings, seminars and conferences, local workshops and cultural activities – aimed to enhance the use of digital storytelling to guide young people to self-evaluate and re-imagine their experiences abroad.
The project aspired to improve the quality and recognition of youth work and non-formal learning by encouraging young people to turn their life and working experiences gained abroad into learning opportunities, encouraging their own recognition of the skills and key competences acquired. Living or working abroad, for a short or long period, are unconscious informal learning moments that can be turned into more useful experiences if reflection and sharing of those experiences are encouraged. The project has contributed to the strengthening role of youth in society and speed up the process of active participation in the EU and beyond.
Click through to the StoryA Youtube channel to see all the digital stories made through the project.
StoryA project aims and objects
• Exchanging and sharing skills, knowledge and experience related to youth work across the partnership and building the capacity of the organisations involved
• Developing a pedagogical legacy through the development of course materials that can be shared across the partnership and distributed beyond
• Exploring the ability of digital storytelling as a means of recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning reaching policy goals through the provision of soft and hard skills for young people
• Investigating the comparative impact of digital storytelling workshops in different countries
• Increasing confidence and self-esteem in youngsters by raising awareness of the importance of key competences.
• To have raised awareness of youth of the importance of turning their life and working experiences in learning opportunities
• To increase at European and international level the importance of recognizing non-formal and informal learning, underlining the social, economic and cultural benefits for all community for the recognition of the rights of individuals to have their learning recognized
• To enhance visibility to the new EU policies, strategies and funding opportunities for youth
• To promote equality of opportunity for individuals to achieve recognition for their skills and competences, regardless of where these were acquired, so helping to establish a level playing field in education/training and the labour market
• To promote co-operation and a exchange of good practices involving different stakeholders.
Centre for Digital Storytelling, USA (CDS)
CDS is an international nonprofit training, project development, and research organization that assists youth and adults around the world in using digital media tools to craft and record meaningful stories from their lives and share these stories in ways that enable learning, build community, and inspire justice. Our primary focus is on building partnerships with community, educational, and business institutions to develop large-scale, customized digital storytelling initiatives in health, social services, education, historic and cultural preservation, community development, human rights, environmental justice, and other sectors.
At the core of our work is a commitment to narrative, an enduring respect for the power of individual voices and a deep set of values and principles that recognize how sharing and bearing witness to stories can lead to learning, action, and positive change.
Over the last fifteen years, our work has spanned the United States and Canada and spread around the world. Our clients and funders include grassroots groups and organizations across the globe.
Melting Pro, Italy
Melting Pro was founded in 2011 in Rome (IT) with the aim of making culture truly accessible to people from all walks of life. To reach this goal we develop, apply and encourage an innovative approach to cultural management and training connected to a series of themes and practices and to develop new competency models for cultural managers.
Over the years Melting Pro has developed extensive experience in European project management and intercultural project levels. Through its projects, Melting Pro meets the needs of change in the cultural and creative sector and promotes the development of strategic skills for its professionals. Entrepreneurship, inter-cultural project design, facilitation strategies, digital storytelling, audience development, valorisation of cultural heritage are some of the main areas of interest.
MeP has pioneered the use of digital storytelling in the cultural sector in Italy as a means for cultural organisations to reach and diversify their audience and make an impact on society.
We take up the challenge in a system which is constantly changing by continuously updating our own methodology and challenging this varying landscape regularly to maintain an essential competitive advantage.
MeP is member of ENCATC (European Network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education), Culture Action Europe, and Audiences Europe Network.
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology
The Cape Peninsula University of Technology was established on 1 January 2005, as a result part of a national merger process that transformed the higher education landscape in South Africa. Today, this institution is the only University of Technology in the Western Cape and the largest university in the region. CPUT consists of six Faculties across five campuses. Our student population is +33000 from over 72 countries around the world. We offer qualifications from National Certificate, National Diploma, Bachelors, Masters to Doctorate level. CPUT is the highest ranked University of Technology in SADC.
Digital storytelling has been introduced at CPUT from 2010, starting in the Faculty of Education but quickly spreading out to all the other Faculties as well. For a selection of research and writings done on the topic of digital storytelling at CPUT please visit our digital storytelling resource page.
Digital Story Vienna, Austria
Digital story vienna was founded in 2010 by Erwin Schmitzberger after participating in an EU-Grundtvig project („Narrated Biography–Story Management for Adult Education” with Steve Bellis from Yale College Wrexham, Wales) and has 6 members.
Over the last years we adapted the method of digital storytelling for Austria and offered workshops to groups, associations and institutions as well as individuals. We cooperated with various NGOs, departments of the City of Vienna, the University of Vienna, the college of higher education of Vienna an adult education centres.
We have realized different youth projects with young migrants (Volkshochschule Wien and JUBIZ Wien). Our work with migrants was also regarded in the field of language improvement (CARITAS, ISOP). Another important part of our work is digital literacy and community storytelling (Festival der Bezirke 2014) as well as health care (we collaborate with organizations for drug prevention and health care centers).
About 250 digital stories have been made so far.
Our mission is to make digital storytelling better known in the german speaking countries (e.g. by initiating retrospectives of UK- and US-digital storytelling at a short-film-festival in Vienna), to promote the democratization of the media and to enforce the human factor in the digital revolution.
Digital story vienna is just a small organization… but some of our stories are quite big!
Media Shots, Portugal
Media Shots (formal name Medshots, CRL) is a Portuguese cooperative with expertise in digital storytelling and social media in both the social and corporate contexts. Media Shots is working in other educational partnerships, notably COMENIUS and LEONARDO DA VINCI, as facilitators of digital storytelling workshops that in some cases involve locative media. Their main foci are education and social causes. Media Shots is responsible for the production of a E-Learning Course about Digital Storytelling, already used by teachers from Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Switzerland and Norway and has also been responsible for delivering digital storytelling workshops, at both standard and ‘train the trainer’ levels. Media Shots works with other partners in Portugal, notably entrepreneurs and teachers’ associations, in the promotion of digital storytelling and social media through workshops and platform development. Media Shots Productions has a broad international network of organizations within the community and education sectors, who are experimenting with and using digital storytelling to effect social change, upskill disadvantaged people and contribute to the emerging global network of online digital stories. In Portugal, Media Shots sees one of its goals as to use projects to strengthen the Portuguese national position as providers of low-cost solutions in social media and digital storytelling training, and digital platform development in education and enterprise incubation.
Museum of the Person, Brazil
Every human being, be they anonymous or famous, has the right to preserve their story. This is the idea behind the Museum of the Person: a virtual museum with the mission to promote the democratization of social memory by valuing the life stories of everyone in society. Founded in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1991, the Museum of the Person developed an alternative method for collecting and systematizing life stories. Having developed around 220 projects regarding institutional memory, education, culture and community development, the institution currently has a collection of 16,000 recorded life stories and 72,000 digitalized photos and documents. Today, the Museum of the Person is a Civil Society Organization of Public Interest with an international network of life stories, as well as sister museums in Portugal, the U.S. and Canada. The methodology, called Social Memory Technology, was developed by the Museum of the Person over its 22 years of activity and defines three vital stages in the construction of a historical narrative for an individual or a group: constructing, organizing and socializing stories. This methodology allows any person, group or institution to take responsibility for the construction and socialization of their memory. The foundation is the history of each individual and ultimately socializing it with another group or community. This method, as well as allowing the group and individuals to be the authors of their own story, allows for dialogue and interaction.
Perspectives is an non-profit organization active in the education and training of adults. The people targeted by the association are mainly precarious unemployed people, with a low educational level. The main activities are basic professional skills training for job seekers in the field of new media (radio, light and sound, digital media and IT) and professional orientation. Alongside these activities, Perspectives develops popular education activities, in order to educate for citizenship through the digital storytelling tool (autobiographical stories using computer tools). In this context, Perspectives participates in European projects related to continuing education by autobiographies.
Another important part of our action is the fight against digital divide. We carry on training to improve basic digital skills for social and professional inclusion.
Perspectives is also active in the in-service training of workers in social economy, through projects about ICT tools and practices, and about alternative mobility solutions.
Stockholm School of the Arts/Kulturskolan Stockholm (SSA), Sweden
Stockholm School of the Arts/Kulturskolan Stockholm (SSA), one of Europes greatest school of art for young people, is a municipality activity within the Culture administration in the City of Stockholm. SSA provides young people in the age 6-22 a wide range of cultural activities both as a leisure activity as well as cultural classes within the compulsory schools, in the fields of non formal learning.
Currently SSA reaches 15100 students and the number of staff is 350. The staff consists of managers, administrators, teachers and assistants. SSA offer subjects courses in drama/theatre, music, dance, circus, photographing, fine arts and digital storytelling (DST).
Currently there are five area of units around the city with the organization’s own properties holding theatre stages, rehearsal rooms for music and dance halls etc. Every year SSA produces approximately 1000 music concerts, theatre and dance performances and exhibitions all around the city. The aim is to provide young people a cultural experience and ability to express themselves through art, regardless of their living circumstances.
SSA also provides adult education, in-service training for teachers and work experiences for teacher students. Since 2002 Stockholm School of Arts collaborates and cooperates in different EU-projects within the field of Youth, Education and the INTERREG programmes.
SSA is the Eurodesk contact point located in Stockholm, providing young people in Europe support in work-, study- and work experiences situations.
The University of Brighton, United Kingdom
The University of Brighton (UoB) is located on the south coast of England approximately sixty miles from London and is home to some 21,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. Digital Storytelling initiatives take place at the university through funded projects and undergraduate teaching. From 2013–2015, UoB was the lead partner in Silver Stories, a research partnership of nine organisations from six countries that explored the use of digital storytelling as a means to train health and social care professionals working with older people and gathered stories from different community groups across the participating countries. The 2015–16 ‘Moving Stories’ project, is a community-university partnership funded project developing the use of digital storytelling as a means to facilitate empathy and understanding between education professionals and local secondary school migrant children.
The university works closely with DigiTales, a research company hosted by Goldsmiths College, University of London, that has been leading cutting edge digital storytelling projects since 2005. This includes work with a range of different community organisations and groups underrepresented in the media, including young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, Black and Minority Ethnic groups, older people and users and survivors of mental health services