Storytelling has always been central to human experience — it’s how we explain and make sense of the world. But today, with media-savvy audiences tuning out advertising messages while seeking ever-more-immersive entertainment experiences, the way businesses and professionals need to communicate is changing. Research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology suggests that stories are typically more effective at changing people’s minds than rational argument. This means that people — leaders in particular — need to view the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told. Columbia’s Strategic Storytelling seminar builds on these insights to show how story is used by leading brands, entertainment industry professionals, B2B providers, and nonprofits—and what each of these can learn from the other.
In addition to his Columbia seminar, Frank leads private workshops tailored to the needs of select corporate and institutional clients. He also consults with agencies and their clients on brand identity issues: brand purpose, brand promise, brand narrative and brand voice. To see how this might work for you, please contact Frank directly.
The Digital Storytelling Lab’s annual Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards celebrate the past year’s most innovative approaches to narrative.
Launched in 2016 to spur creativity and further the Lab’s educational mission, the awards honor twelve signal achievements—the “Digital Dozen.” Out of these, the Breakthrough Award goes to the project in any field that best exemplifies the spirit of inventiveness at work today, while the Special Jury Prize, consisting of a workshop at the Lab, is given at the discretion of the awards committee. In citing these accomplishments, the Digital Storytelling Lab hopes to encourage creativity and innovation while furthering digital media’s potential to break free of rigid, industrial-age classifications and evolve in ways that analog media could not.
Winners are chosen by an interdisciplinary jury of Lab members and university faculty and announced at Lincoln Center’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center each spring. All twelve projects are archived every year in the Lab’s online gallery.
2021: An innovative form of entertainment that immerses audiences in strange and curious worlds in their own home, bringing new meaning to the familiar spaces we inhabit.
2020: Using off-the-shelf technology, Sahil Chinoy of the New York Times reported a story on facial recognition that dramatically highlighted its threat to individual freedom.
2019: Through AI and machine learning, artist Refik Anadol and his team programmed the LA Phil’s Walt Disney Concert Hall to recall the past and dream about its future.