By : Cynthia La Grou
The IMERSIV Storylab aims to create a synergistic possibility space exploring whole systems thinking as applied to the future of design, content creation and collaborative problem solving with the intent of exploring and generating new forms of collective learning, creativity and adaptive storytelling.

Ideally, Storylab would work collaboratively, producing educational resources and events while incubating and/or showcasing innovative media projects that address transformational change. We aim to compile a suite of Storytelling Toolkits with the objective of exploring scalable communication architectures which facilitates networked learning environments and community engagement.

Storylab invites experienced story practitioners and media innovators working at the edge of social change, into an exploratory conversation. This conversation allows us to share a range of activities, best practices, challenges, research and resources from a variety of perspectives. We aim to sketch out what we see emerging through network science, systems leadership and networked and distributed storytelling all of which contributes to the thematic weaving of stories into semantic collections. These collections or large scale story systems embody data, analysis, metrics, and archetypal language all of which can also be utilized for pattern recognition, sense-making, game mechanics, episodic web content, and various forms of transmedia.

The group can act as an advisory for groups and organizations by crowd sourcing resources and producing impact reports, training materials, books, and webinars. The group has access to creative communities involving a spectrum of arts, theatrical, journalism, film documentary, works of fiction, social media, transmedia, immersive media, and more. Every story campaign is unique in terms of its content, reach and desired outcomes - there are no set rules - it is simply a matter of art and design thinking, knowing what is possible is part of the journey - having a well-stocked toolkit and selecting the right tools and processes while having fun and enjoying the process.

The space invites theorists, media communication practitioners from diverse disciplines such as the entertainment industry, journalism, storytelling, myth and cosmology, design thinking, systemic transformation, collaboration design, game architecture, immersive media technology and production, to synthesize emerging trends for educational and practical purposes.

Organizations and communities are realizing to be effective, they must connect with larger networks across various disciplines and boundaries, to actualize their highest potential. This requires a new form of collective leadership knowledge and capacity - with leaders thinking of their organizations as nodes within a broad constellation that revolves around shared missions themes and values. This approach offers new sets of opportunities and challenges for visionary leadership. Storytelling is the engine driving large systems and movements. These systems and movements generate thematic story tapestries that include necessary entry points for a spectrum of change - everything from human connection, healing, education, consensus, to unearthing and imagining new opportunities that activate change on local and global levels.

Emphasizing Empathic Storytelling

Why do we need stories of compassion and empathy? We have arrived on the doorstep of the 21st century in great global disarray. Our civic narrative is reactionary. It is saturated with anxiety, fear, blame, mistrust and confusion. Our dealings with one another reflect this undercurrent. Group dialogues on key issues that affect our collective future are marked by tension, doubt and competition. Our media amplifies every detail - as planetary life systems endure toxic physical and spiritual overloads, immense interlocking challenges and imminent collapse.
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