Recap of GEI Storytelling Workshop at Duke Kunshan University


Recap of GEI Storytelling Workshop at Duke Kunshan University

Right now, in conference rooms around the world, environmental solutions are being drowned out by monotone power point presentations. Meanwhile, the climate changes, the global temperature warms, and more CO2 is pumped into the air… The planet needs better environmental communications as soon as possible.

From March 9-10 GEI External Relations traveled to Kunshan in Jiangsu Province to help the newest generation of environmentalists get their message heard.

GEI’s Kendall Bitonte works with a group to prepare their presentation. Photo: GEI 2018

GEI’s Kendall Bitonte and Maddie Rawding led this special 2-day Storytelling Workshop for Duke Kunshan University’s Master of Environmental Policy program, at the invitation of Dr. Kathinka Furst. Ying Fu and Denise Hruby also gave guest speeches about storytelling through photography and writing environmental news, respectively, and Stone Yu helped us prepare material about storytelling through video.

Sixth Tone Senior Editor, Denise Hruby, explains how to effectively incorporate multi-media throughout a story.

Photo: GEI 2018

Ying Fu emphasized ‘Why’ photos can be helpful in storytelling. Credit: Seth Powers

A group of 30 students, professors, NGO workers and entrepreneurs attended our workshop.

Photo: GEI 2018

At the end of the two-days, the participants gave presentations that advocated how Duke Kunshan University could take more actions on an environmental topic of their choosing.

DKU’s Dr. Kathinka Furst helps a group with their presentation. Photo: GEI 2018

Incorporating at least two multi-media and building upon lessons learned over the past two days, the presentation topics ranged from bike paths to ivory trade, the participants not only showed off the participant’s expertise but also made compelling cases for their topics.

Giving and receiving feedback is a crucial part of storytelling. Photo: GEI 2018

One group managed to interview DKU kitchen staff and research the university’s food sourcing supply chain. They found out that a typical lunch had quite a large carbon footprint. Using photos and their own infographics, the group explained how the environmental impact of campus food could be reduced. They also prepared simple recommendations for how the DKU green group can do more to support sustainable food sourcing.

 Photo: GEI 2018

Thank you! We’re so grateful to DKU for hosting GEI last weekend and are incredibly impressed with the participants of the workshop. Together we will work on improving environmental storytelling – the world is counting on us!

The storytelling participants at DKU Campus. Photo: GEI 2018

To inquire about having GEI host a storytelling workshop at your school or place of work, please get in touch with Kendall Bitonte, GEI External Relations Coordinator,

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