Posted December 16th 2014 at 2:50 pm by
in The Story Behind a Question: Using Storytelling to Further Community Engagement

January 2015 Workshop: The Story Behind a Question

OpenStreetsQuestionCampaign_Source_IISC Go Boston 2030 collects questions at Open Streets event in Roxbury. Photo Credit: Interaction Institute for Social Change.

During the evenings of the first 2 weeks of January 2015, MIT CoLab will offer a workshop focused on exploring the intersection of storytelling, urban planning and community engagement. The workshop, titled—The Story Behind a Question: Using Storytelling to Further Community Engagement— is open to both students and non-students.

This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to produce a multimedia story related to a new (and first of its kind) City of Boston effort focused on envisioning the city’s long-term transportation future. As part of the visioning process, known as GoBoston2030, the Interaction Institute for Social Change is launching a citywide question campaign, a process designed to gather the voice of everyone in the city. The Campaign is focused on inviting everyone in the city to contribute his or her question(s) about transportation in Boston.

Workshop participants will engage in question collection and work, ideally with someone who has contributed a question to the Campaign, to construct an authentic and compelling multimedia story. The purpose of this story is to make visible the knowledge, concerns, hopes, and aspirations behind the question that has been offered to the transportation visioning process. Through this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about storytelling, media production and the Question Campaign as a method for community engagement.

The final multimedia stories produced by workshop participants will be shared here on CoLab Radio and by the Interaction Institute for Social Change, with the goal of spreading the word about the campaign, encouraging broader participation, and fostering empathy around the realities and possibilities captured by the questions contributed to the campaign.

The workshop will run from January 5th to January 8th and January 12th to January 15th from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. The workshop is open both to students at MIT and other Universities and interested non-students. You can see an abridged syllabus here, and if you are interested in participating in the workshop, please sign up here. The workshop will be facilitated by Nse Umoh Esema ( and Lawrence Barriner II ( Feel free to e-mail us with any questions.

We’ll be documenting the workshop experience and our collective learning in a number of ways, here on CoLab Radio and via public and collaborative notes on this etherpad.

One response to “January 2015 Workshop: The Story Behind a Question”

  1. Abu Sena says:

    Love your stories! Keep them coming! Thank you