Our Stories, Our Way! A Transmedia Zone & Toronto Public Library Storytelli...

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time



Toronto Public Library - Toronto Reference Library

789 Yonge Street

Toronto, ON M4W 2G8


View Map

Event description


1 Story. 9 Hours. 8 Unique Adaptations. 3 Prize Winners.

Are you a storyteller who is concerned about fair and balanced media representation? Would you like to learn how to apply cutting-edge design thinking methodologies to your storytelling process? Do you want to spend a day collaborating and learning with like-minded people on a fun, meaningful and exciting challenge? Do you like prizes and delicious food? If yes, join us!

Representation matters. Before the internet and its seemingly infinite array of choices, audiences were beholden to the content that was served up to them through mainstream media outlets. Many times, the stories that were told prioritized certain voices over others, misrepresented entire identities and experiences, or left out certain groups completely. Although progress has been made, many of these issues persist even now. Today, however, audiences, empowered by new technologies, have more control than ever before over what they choose to watch and how they choose to watch it. They demand authentic and reflective content told to them through the platforms and formats that are most meaningful to them. The modern day storyteller truly has every reason to rise to the challenge, but this is a complex proposition.

How can storytellers ensure that their audiences are represented accurately and fairly even when they might not be part of the community they are representing? And in an ever expanding sea of platforms and content types, what forms should stories take and on what platforms should they be delivered?

The Transmedia Zone, Ryerson’s media innovation incubator, in partnership with the Toronto Public Library, is holding a storytelling design challenge to find out! The goal of this challenge will be to leverage the power of design thinking and co-creation to better understand audiences, speak to them in a language they understand, reflect them in a fair and balanced way, and to reach them through platforms and formats most meaningful to them.

Led by artists that specialize in telling stories for a particular community, in small teams, participants will be tasked with adapting the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairytale, “The Ugly Duckling”, with that community in mind by prototyping a content product that is 1) representative of that specific, envisioned audience niche and 2) delivered in a format and via platforms most meaningful to that niche.

We have put together a dynamite line-up of passionate and well-known storytellers including our keynote, Sharon Lewis Writer/ Director, "Brown Girl Begins”), and our storytelling mentors including Samantha Wan ("Second Jen”, City TV), RJ Lackie (“Inhuman Condition"), Jeremy Larter ("Just Passing Through"), Kate McKenzie ("The Secret Marathon"), Russell Winkelaar (“My Gimpy Life"), Ann Elizabeth Carson ("We All Become Stories"), Emma Rooney ("My Normal"), and Jim Adams (Multidisciplinary Artist).

Audience communities to be explored include: the LGBTQ community; the elderly; the Indigenous community; second generation Canadians; the disability community; the rare disease community; the Maritime community and women.

A panel of expert judges will award prizes to the top three teams that display the most creativity, authenticity, innovation, and alignment between content and form.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and refreshments will be served throughout the day!

This is an excellent way to learn about design thinking for storytelling and to try out this powerful methodology first-hand.

Space is limited. Please only register if you plan on attending.

Event Agenda

8:00am Registration

8:30am Breakfast is served while activities begin

8:30am Welcome & Introduction to Topic

8:35am Story Reading

8:45am Keynote

9:00am Design Thinking 101

9:10am Random Audience Niche Assignment

9:15am Audience Research

11:15am Working Lunch & Persona Development

11:45am Empathy Mapping

12:05pm Journey Mapping

12:25pm Problem Definition

12:45pm Rapid Ideation

1:05pm Top Idea Selection

1:30pm Storyboarding & Prototyping

3:00pm Pitch!

4:15pm Judges’ Deliberations

4:45pm Prizes

5:00pm End of Day

Share with friends

Date and Time


Toronto Public Library - Toronto Reference Library

789 Yonge Street

Toronto, ON M4W 2G8


View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved