Ben Kaplan and Eric Ratinoff of Act3 will present “Story First. Tools Last.” at the Digital Storytelling Summit, hosted by the Reynolds Journalism Institute on the University of Missouri campus, on Monday, March 5, 2012.
The session will emphasize a key tenet of Act3’s philosophy: that as powerful as they may be, the tools we use must serve the story, not the other way around.
With the Missouri School of Journalism preparing to launch a digital storytelling program, “Act3 was a natural for the Digital Storytelling Summit, because the firm embodies many of the values we want to build into the program at Mizzou: creativity, cross-disciplinarity, innovation and the willingness to embrace a wide variety of story forms,” explained Charles Davis, associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism and Summit coordinator. “I was struck by the fact that Act3 uses narrative structure in a variety of multimedia formats, to tackle the job at hand, and of course they are right here in Missouri, making them an ideal partner for us.”
Davis said, “I see the Summit as a formative event in the life of digital storytelling on this campus, both as a way to show us what's being done but also as a way to tap the best brains out there so we build this program with a great deal of corporate buy-in and counsel. We want to train the digital athletes of tomorrow, and what better way to begin than by building connections to the best and brightest of the practitioners?”
Kaplan expressed Act3’s enthusiasm for participating in the Summit. “We’re honored to be invited to present, and really, just excited to be a part of the program. We’ve been advocates for the power of storytelling for more than a decade now, so it’s great to finally see an event like this. I’m looking forward to seeing all the other presentations, and connecting with other people who are passionate about storytelling.”
“Although the landscape keeps changing, and the tools keep changing, story is still important,” added Ratinoff. “It’s great to see storytelling getting its due in an academic setting, especially at such an esteemed place like the Missouri School of Journalism. Understanding the power of story, understanding how story works and how to tell stories … those skills will always be valuable, no matter how the tools or the technology change.”
Act3’s presentation, along with all sessions from the summit, will be streamed live at http://www.rjionline.org/live.
UPDATE: The presentation can be viewed online here.
Act3 is a strategic and applied storytelling firm. We apply the principles and tools of storytelling to help organizations solve their most challenging problems.
Since its founding in 2001, Act3 has drawn on an extensive background in documentary filmmaking, investigative journalism, experience design, and organizational development to help clients identify, clarify, and reframe their core story, and translate that story into effective business strategies.
About the Reynolds Journalism Institute
The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute works with citizens, journalists, and researchers to strengthen democracy through better journalism. RJI seeks out the most exciting new ideas, tests them with real-world experiments, uses social science research to assess their effectiveness and delivers solutions that citizens and journalists can put to use in their own communities. Learn more about the Reynolds Journalism Institute here.