StoryEngine is an open narrative-based methodology for design research, developmental evaluation, and grant reporting. Drawing on deep listening and participatory approaches, StoryEngine systematically collects and analyzes successes, challenges, practices, perceptions, and more — while generating assets that participants can use to promote and amplify their work. StoryEngine was specifically designed to accelerate learning and innovation, power organizational feedback loops, and provide insights to guide strategy and design decisions. Most importantly, this approach recognizes that an interview is an experience — a touchpoint with an organization — and therefore an opportunity to build relationships and 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 serve as assets that can be used by both the organization and the participants. 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 an organization’s work. And a practical set of practices, tools, and skills that can support, connect, and integrate into disparate programs and initiatives.