A story-based, qualitative method for retrospectively assembling crucial events in a collective process.
Wülser G 2020. Storywall. td-net toolbox profile (10). Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences: td-net toolbox for co-producing knowledge. www.transdisciplinarity.ch/toolbox. doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3717396
|What is the storywall method?|
The storywall method allows different actors to retrospectively look at how they have perceived a joint process, e.g. a process of co-producing knowledge. It uses storytelling to collect the individual perspectives and to create a joint understanding of the past.
The starting point is a simple timeline (horizontal axis) on an empty poster. The assembled group of participants agrees on and marks major process phases or crucial events of their joint story and finds a way to exchange on what has been important, for whom and why.
|Why should it be applied?||The storywall method allows contrasting different perspectives and increases mutual understanding. It makes use of the fact that different members of a group may – at least partly – experience a process in different ways and stress different elements as having been important.|
When should it be applied?
|Storywalls are normally made ex post, i.e. at the end of group processes.|
How does it work?
1) As a starting point, a simple timeline indicating the start and the end dates of the joint process or story is provided.
How are thought-styles bridged?
|The approach to bridging thought-styles is to explain to each other how one perceived and experienced a joint process. This allows for greater mutual understanding.|
|What’s the outcome/outcome?||The outcome of a storywall exercise is a poster of the story featuring its most important elements out of the perspective of the group and its members.|
Who participates in what role?
An actor group can come together and make a storywall on its own. Depending on the complexity of the process or the group atmosphere, a facilitator, moderator or coach may be helpful.
What do I need to prepare?
A table, a few flipcharts, other big sheets of paper or whiteboards and markers (different colours) are required.
When not to use the method?
When knowledge co-production does not refer to a process experience.
A very hands-on, brief description is provided in:
Smit A 2005. The facilitator's toolkit. Centre for Business in Society, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, pp 45.