Last week, IDEAS in Scotland hosted an online training workshop – ‘Novel Ideas: Storytelling Frameworks for Educators in Sustainability & Citizenship’.

“Storytelling can be persuasive – the power of a story lies not in whether or not it is true, but in the belief that underpins in.”

35 participants came together online on 13th and 14th May to take part in the creative and interactive training. The group consisted of teachers, trainers and other NGO representatives from across Scotland and other countries including Germany, Bulgaria and Slovenia. Participants represented a variety of organisations and roles within the education and sustainability sectors, all looking to enhance their skills at storytelling for use in their own practice.

Facilitated by Bobby McCormack from Irish NGO, Development Perspectives, the training looked at the power of storytelling as a tool for amplifying activist voices and creating change. Using popular culture as touchstones and drawing on current political examples, participants reflected on what makes a story sing and how sharpening and changing their stories could allow their messaging to carry more power and reach farther. By exploring values and frames, participants gained a new set of tools to help them become better storytellers for global citizenship education.

Participants came away with an understanding that education’s power in influencing the narrative should not be underestimated, especially when approached collectively. Creating alternative stories by accentuating the values they wish to see reflected in the world is an effective way for educators and organisations to create real change in society. Within the current context of Covid-19 and the prospects of a green recovery, becoming effective storytellers to educate and advocate for a more just and sustainable world is more vital than ever before.

Thank you to Bobby McCormack for making the training so engaging, and to everyone who took part for their reflections and creative input over the course of the two days.

Check out this video from the training to get an insight into what storytelling means for us in GCE.

Group photo from training


Want to learn more about how we can influence our future through storytelling? Tune into a radio programme as part of the World Village Festival in Helsinki this Sunday 24th May to hear how stories can get us thinking about our role as active citizens in the global world. Find out more here.


More Storytelling inspiration:

'Winning the story wars - The Hero's Journey', Jonah Sachs 

'A message from the future', Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez