Seminars and Workshops

As a senior fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, Frank heads two distinct initiatives. He is faculty director of the Strategic Storytelling seminar, presented in partnership with Columbia Business School Executive Education, and he is awards director of the School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab, where in 2016 he launched the Breakthroughs in Storytelling awards—the “Digital Dozen.” He also leads private seminars and workshops for corporate and institutional clients and consults on brand identity issues.

Strategic Storytelling at Columbia

Storytelling is how we explain and make sense of the world. But today, with media-savvy audiences tuning out ads while seeking ever-more-immersive entertainment experiences, the way we need to communicate is changing. Cognitive science research suggests that stories are typically more effective at changing people’s minds than rational argument. So we 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.
Strategic Storytelling

Academic Symposia and Master Classes

Invited participant, Role of Storytelling Workshop
Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum
July 15, 2022

Leader, Narrative Strategy Seminar
Zurich Centre for Creative Economies
Zurich University of the Arts
Apr. 22-23, 2022

Columbia

Speaker, “Empathy and Immersion”
Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation & Planning
New York, Feb. 1, 2019

Co-organizer and speaker,
Cooper Hewitt-Columbia DSL Storytelling Salon
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
New York, March 28, 2017

Scuola Holden

Leader, Strategic Storytelling Workshop
Scuola Holden
Turin, Nov. 2-4, 2016

Leader, Roundtable Discussion
Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Study Group
US Navy
Brooklyn, Sept. 11, 2014

mediaX

Speaker, “The Future of Content in a Publish-on-Demand World”
MediaX at Stanford University
Palo Alto, Ca., Feb. 4-5, 2014

Politecnico Milano

Speaker and panelist, “Notes for the Future”
Semi di Futuro–150 Anni
Politecnico di Milano
Milan, Dec. 4, 2013

Invited participant, Think & Do Workshop: Re-envisioning the Home TV Experience
The Edison Project
USC Annenberg Innovation Lab
Los Angeles, Nov. 20, 2013

Beaumarchais SACD Orange

Master Class in Transmedia
Bourse Orange–formats innovants
L’association Beaumarchais–SACD
Paris, Nov. 4-5, 2013

NYU

Master Class in Literary Reportage
Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
New York University, Oct. 2009

Private Workshops and Consulting

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.

Brand positioning and story creation for a client of BOND, the global brand and experience design agency.
Dec. 2021-Apr. 2022

Co-organizer and speaker, Digital Storytelling Training
AbbVie Global Medical Affairs
July 14-15 & 28-29, 2021

UN

Workshop leader, Communicating for Maximum Impact
UN Dept. of Economic & Social Affairs – Division for Public Institutions & Digital Government
UN Secretariat
New York, Dec. 9, 2019

Foresight Factory

Speaker, Customer Experience Entertainment Workshop (for a major corporate client)
Foresight Factory
Geneva, Jan. 22, 2019

Pure Insurance

Leader, Narrative Thinking Workshop
PURE Insurance
White Plains, N.Y., July 19, 2018

Brand positioning and story creation for Siili Solutions, the Helsinki-based technology platform
Nov. 2017-Jan. 2018

TBWA

Co-leader, Narrative Technology Workshop
TBWA\Chiat\Day
Los Angeles, Nov. 19, 2015

Workshop co-leader, Digital Brand Storytelling and Writing Breakthrough Concepts
L’Oréal USA
New York, Nov. 6 & 9, 2015

Co-leader, Brand Stories Workshop
Future of Storytelling Summit
Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Staten Island, N.Y., Oct. 7, 2015

“Embracing Analog:
Why Physical Is Hot”

Co-author of a survey and trend report on attitudes about digital v. physical for JWT Intelligence
Mar. 2013

Special issue of the fictional Millennium magazine for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
42 Entertainment
Fall 2011

Keynote speaker
Johnson & Johnson Content Strategy Immersion workshop
IPG/Ensemble
Los Angeles, Aug. 1, 2011

Introduction to “The Pool Lane 2: Short-form Online Video,” a report on experimentation in ad formats for web video
VivaKi
Jan. 2011

Speaker and mentor, Sounds Digital conference and workshop
X Media Lab
London, April 16-18, 2010

Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab

The Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University School of the Arts is a next-generation media lab harnessing the arts, humanities and emergent technologies to tackle some of the world’s impossible problems through collaboration, experimentation, exploration and creativity.
Columbia DSL designs stories for the 21st century, building on a diverse range of creative and research practices while never losing sight of the power of a good story. It is a place of speculation, creativity, and collaboration between students and faculty from across the University. New stories are told here in fresh and unexpected ways.   Learn More…

The Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards

The DSL’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 12 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 is given at the discretion of the awards committee. Winners are chosen by an interdisciplinary jury of Lab members and university faculty. The DSL’s goal in citing them is to further digital media’s potential to break free of rigid, industrial-age classifications and evolve in ways that analog media could not.
Breakthroughs in Storytelling