Hi, I'm Doug. I design stories.
I want to use storytelling to promote new technologies and ideas, instil a closeness to nature, and address the mounting issues of our complicated world.
Isn't that just another word for marketing?
No. Think of it as creative concept development. It's different to marketing. Connected, but different.
Marketing is about taking a finished product and packaging it in a way that makes people want it. Storytelling is about taking an idea and manifesting it in a way that conveys a narrative, and a clear, meaningful set of values, and ultimately makes an impact.
Okay. I'm still confused. What exactly do you do?
Alright alright, I'll try again. Ideally, I enter at the beginning of a project. Let's say it's a group of neuroscientists that have come up with the blueprint for a radical new educational system. It's their baby and it could do a lot of good things and it's hard to understand so I help them build their narrative and develop the concept.
We dive into the heart of the matter to understand how it could affect the world. I bring a clean perspective and ask some pointed questions and we craft a story and develop an execution strategy. Think of the story not only as a narrative but also a central set of values that thoughtfully direct the strategy.
It looks like a presentation to their bosses, an academic research paper, an explanation for their children, a grant application, a press release, a TED talk, a pilot program, a startup. It finds a life beyond the scientific community. It makes a lasting impact.
Is it only for academic research?
Definitely not. It could be a blockchain-based startup that lets individuals commercialise their own genetic data. Or a performance artist who uses dance to critique parts of the financial system. Or a dog-sharing app.
It could be anything, really.
But what's your background?
I studied structural engineering and commerce for five-and-a-half years. While I was doing that I worked in engineering design firms, a business development consultancy and the professional services industry.
It took me half of those years to realise that a life of numbers and calculations is not for me. So I concentrated on words and photos and design, and quickly realised that I missed those numbers and engineered solutions.
Now I sit somewhere in between. I focus my creative sensibility on technical ideas.