In particular bigger organisations in the field of development cooperation already know plenty about storytelling, campaigning and advocacy. But looking forward to 2017, you just can’t master these tools and agenda settings well enough: next year is a federal election year, and Germany will hold the G20 presidency. That’s why the betterplace storytelling lab is fine-tuning the messages of various German development aid NGOs in an 18-month program full of workshops and learning settings.

Together with the NGOs, we are developing not just ideas and innovative approaches to storytelling, campaign work and advocacy strategies, we are also putting them into practice. The program is structured around the issues and contexts that are relevant to the participants. In this way, we hope to provide NGOs with the ideal preparation for this politically crucial year, 2017 (federal elections, Germany’s G20 presidency). Through new initiatives in storytelling and with unusual campaign formats, we will increase the public reach and distribution of the NGO’s issues, and through appropriate advocacy and strategies, get them onto the policy agenda in an effective manner.


What is so special about this program?

With the storytelling lab, the betterplace lab is taking a new approach: it is not just about straight training programs, but much more about creating an inspiring learning setting in which the participating NGOs can exchange ideas and learn with and from one another. In doing so, we are experimenting with new formats and letting our ideas march to a different beat. Because of this, we also expect daring openness and a desire to experiment from the participants.

In terms of content, we stand firmly behind our three indivisible tenets: storytelling, campaigning and advocacy. We strategically combine these themes over the course of the 18-month program, so that the participants can get their messages across into the political arena in more targeted and effective ways. To practise this, we run exclusive TEDx Salons, where the NGOs learn to accurately convey their stories on the stage – with real politicians in the audience. Besides this, we develop genuine products, be it in the form of a storytelling website, a campaigning video or maybe even an exhibition. Or even a theatre piece!

We’re looking forward to our time together with the NGOs and are excited to see some creative output that really packs a punch!