StoryEngine is the Mozilla Foundation’s deep listening, learning, and impact narrative methodology. While celebrating and amplifying the work of the individuals and organizations that make up the Mozilla network, StoryEngine powers a feedback loop, systematically gathering experiences and insights to inform strategy and design decisions.
StoryEngine furnishes examples, illuminates change pathways, and highlights successes and challenges. Most importantly, the act of listening builds relationships, skills, and generates opportunities to make connections.
We begin with in-depth interviews, conversations which are then co-edited in collaboration with each participant and published openly under a CC-BY license. Individual stories have been used by both network members and Mozilla staff — as profiles, woven into blog posts, or dropped into slide decks. Taken together, the corpus of stories forms a dataset that can be analyzed with qualitative and computational methods.
The result: A rich set of narratives and evidence about the people and organizations touched by Mozilla’s work. And a practical set of practices, tools, and skills that can support, connect, and integrate into disparate programs and initiatives.
Our network is full of data. Colleagues and community members discover and use impact narratives daily — in communications and social media, to write grant proposals and produce case studies, and for metrics, evaluation, and theory-building.
Our challenge is: how do we capture and analyze these stories and qualitative data in a more systematic and rigorous way?
Designing a network StoryEngine
In May 2016 we did a 3-day sprint. Here’s what we shipped:
- A prototype web site. With a “file a story tip” intake process. [not using that anymore]
- A draft business plan / workflow
- A successful test around turning network survey data into story leads
- Some early pattern-matching / ways to code and tag evidence narratives
- Documentation of our key learnings and next steps
What would you focus on next?
This website was set up to test the StoryEngine concept. We consider this as version 0.1 — what would you prioritize or focus on for version 0.2? Let us know!