Successful Storytelling for NGOs: GEI and CEF host 4th ‘Storytelling is Serious Business Workshop’


Successful Storytelling for NGOs: GEI and CEF host 4th ‘Storytelling is Serious Business Workshop’

KUNMING Jan. 9-10 – GEI and the Woodrow Wilson China Environment Forum (CEF) co-lead our 4th “Storytelling is Serious Business” workshop from January 9-10 in Kunming, China. Over 25 project officers from various Chinese NGOs attended the workshop, which focused on enhancing NGO’s written, spoken and visual communication with communities, companies, governments and donors.

Dr. Jennifer Turner (WC CEF) and Dr. Peng (GEI)

GEI’s Dr. Peng Kui and CEF’s Dr. Jennifer Turner led the workshop, with several guest speakers providing their expertise.

  • Su Hao Yun, Communications Director of taught us how to make informative and beautiful infographics;
  • Elizabeth Newbury, Director and Program Associate for the Serious Games Initiative at Woodrow Wilson Center, instructed how to use ‘game’ methodology to make communicating about our work more hands-on and engaging;
  • Hannah Wilson, Lensational, showed how to convey moving stories through photography;
  • Zhao Meng, The Paper, shared his experience using interviews to find stories, multiple story angles; and
  • HUANG Bin, Silk Road Companion International Volunteer Alliance, told us about how NGOs can work with companies in Myanmar.

This workshop was supported by both the Ford Foundation and Asia Foundation, two foundations that have provided unwavering support for NGOs in China and abroad to be advocates and change-makers in sustainable development.

Elizabeth Newbury (WC)

Tell your story and Build Partnerships

Building off of our previous workshops, this fourth session aimed to help Chinese NGOs ‘get their foot in the [corporate] door’ by polishing skills to pitch their abilities and services to companies, and, ultimately, communicate why their work matters.

Zhao Meng (The Paper)

NGOs throughout the world play a variety of roles to support sustainable investment: some are corporate watchdogs, others support local communities in conversations with companies, others conduct research or facilitate discussions; further yet, NGOs help execute corporate responsibility projects and are hired as special consultants.

However, such collaborations between NGOs and companies is still in early stages in China. Based on GEI’s 14-year experience and 2015 “Chinese NGO Going Out” research project, we are keenly aware how Chinese NGOs support Chinese enterprises to conduct sustainable and environmentally-friendly business abroad. We believe that as the civil society sector has improved capacity – including communications skills –  and is increasingly engaged, China’s sustainable development can be fully realized.

We are expanding our ‘Storytelling is Serious Business Workshop’ into a package and look forward to finding opportunities to help YOUR school, class, company or organization tell your story. To learn more, please contact Kendall Bitonte

For more information about the Storytelling is Serious Business workshop, please click here.

To access some of the materials from the workshop, please click here.

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