How Progressives Get Narrative Wrong, and How to Get It Right
Session Type(s): Training
Starts: Thursday, Jun. 7 10:30 AM
Ends: Thursday, Jun. 7 11:45 AM
Progressives talk a lot about narrative and storytelling these days. So why are we so bad at it? We’re not just bad at it – we’re often reinforcing right-wing ideas about our most important issues without even knowing it. We have to be smarter about research and strategy. But first, we need to know what a real narrative looks like. This interactive workshop led by progressive strategy consultant Ryan Senser, along with the help of cognitive linguist and communications expert Anat Shenker-Osorio, will help you practice effective storytelling. We’ll use great stories to help us, from Harriet Tubman to Superman, and offer compelling examples of narrative, visual storytelling and words that actually move people. You’ll walk away with simple and smart tools, and learn how to avoid dead-end talking points and pointless infographics. We’ll also tackle one narrative challenge from the audience and work together to transform it.
As a Transmedia Producer for Starlight Runner Entertainment, Ms. Burns has worked on such blockbuster properties as Pirates of the Caribbean, Fairies, and Tron Legacy for Disney, James Cameron’s Avatar for Fox, Halo for Microsoft, The Happiness Factory for The Coca-Cola Company, and Transformers for Hasbro. She has also had the opportunity to work with Sony, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Scholastic, Nelvana, and Wieden+Kennedy. She is a member of the Tribeca New Media Fund’s advisory board and is a member of the Producers Guild of America.
An independent consultant, Ryan partners with those seeking to lead their organizations to the next level of insight, strategy and impact. Ryan helps transform outcomes in several areas: strategic planning, organizational change, brand building, research and innovation, narrative strategy and visual storytelling. Among his clients are: Caring Across Generations, The New Bottom Line, 32BJ/SEIU, Rebuild the Dream, ColorOfChange, Presente, Arabella Advisors, 2Revolutions, Common Ground, and Planned Parenthood Federation.
Not long ago, Ryan was a Senior Strategist at SYPartners (an innovation/transformation firm), where his client was IBM, and a VP for Brand Planning at Edelman Digital, where his clients included Starbucks, Charles Schwab, PepsiCo, Microsoft and American Heart Association. At Edelman, Ryan also worked at the cutting edge of motivational research – analyzing millions of online conversations for behavioral trends and emerging cultural memes. Ryan was a Coro Fellow in New York, and majored in hermeneutics at Amherst College.
Anat Shenker-Osorio is a communications expert, researcher and political pundit whose one-of-a-kind work is challenging the way dozens of organizations and political figures talk about the most pressing issues of our time. She’s the author of the acclaimed book “Don’t Buy It: The Trouble with Talking Nonsense About the Economy.”
As a strategic communications consultant, she has conducted multiple studies on how people reason about clean energy, sex education, economic justice, immigrants and women’s rights. Past and present clients that have relied on her research to diagnose what’s not working in their messaging and to provide fresh new approaches include: the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundation, America’s Voice, Opportunity Agenda, Ms Foundation, We Belong Together, the Roosevelt Institute, Congressional Progressive Caucus, Caring Across Generations and CoreAlign, to name a few.