A digital story that documents a process


Mandate Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC | Concept Charlotte Nager, SDC | Text edit & translation Aurélie de Lalande | Videos & photos Hynek Bureš | Web presentation SDC | Language versions English, French | Year 2015-2016


Capturing the knowledge of employees is key for the development of an organization. But how to awaken the curiosity of others to take the time and absorb the documented knowledge? - Through an intriguing presentation of your material, such as this DIGITAL STORY.


Digital story telling to spread knowledge

The SDC division for learning and networking used Pageflow to present its documentation of a capitalization of experience process. The division experiments regularly with new media for organizational development and communication.

The possibilities how to communicate new insights are expanding. Still, you need to find the right story medium that creates the desired impact on your audience. In this case, the division wants to inspire further capitalization of experiences processes within the organization. Thus, opting for a digital story makes completely sense. The story combines text, photos, info-graphics, audio and video recordings into a interactive narrative.

The digital story telling platforms such as Pageflow or Klynt offer immersive story telling experiences. Only a few years ago, such kind of platforms had to be hard coded from scratch.


The right kind of video

dubbed perceptions contributed the visual material for the story. This meant assisting the final capitalization workshop in Kenya and interview the workshop organizers, moderators, and participants. There was little space for creative interviews as these moments needed to be fitted into the workshop program. Nevertheless, I feel we found the right format for the story to be told.

The digital story comprises 16 videos. The videos are divided into two main groups:

  • Feedback from participants about their role in the capitalization process
  • Instructions on how to organize an effective capitalization of experience process

Different visual formats are used for each group. In the videos from the first group we see the interviewee talk directly to Charlotte Nager, the "journalist" documenting the process. Charlotte is from the L&N division and the author of this documentation. The interviewee talking to another person rather than directly into the camera has two effects that are important for our story. First, the participants feel more at ease talking in front of the camera. Second, the participants trust Charlotte with their experience. If they would have to sell their experience, it would make more sense for them to look straight into the camera.

In the second group of videos, Erns Bolliger, the process moderator, explains the process and moderation choices made at each step. His videos are to instruct the viewer. Thus it is appropriate for him to talk directly into the camera.

Finally, we see Ernst always beneath a tree, in reference to the wise old man sitting in the shadow of a tree. As often in film making, this idea came about rather by accident. The whole workshop was out on a field trip when we had the first opportunity to film Ernst. The only place to hide from the sun was below a tree. I then picked up the idea for the rest of the videos.


With the right kind of ending

Yes, in all videos we see people talking. There is no other action. So how to make such videos fit into a digital story on the web? Through the right kind of ending! Each video ends with a long shot of the environment that surrounded the workshop. This shot is about 20 seconds long. The shot gives the viewer the time to digest the information communicated through the video. But more importantly, the shot draws the viewer back to the physical place of the workshop and into the world of the story.

If you would like to know more about documenting the capitalization process, visit the L&N division blog post on the topic.