You know that event you kept meaning to go to, then realise it’s 4 years later and you’ve still not been? That was me with Columbia’s Digital Storytelling Lab - until this week.

Their event on Immersive Storytelling at NYC’s Lincoln Center was a delight - and in more ways than I expected.

Here are four bits I particularly loved about the way they delivered it:

- Smart curation: You could tell they'd thought about the panel group - interesting, open and creative folk with diverse experience across art, film, theatre, education, advertising, web3, and design

- Participatory: Right upfront the hosts made a point of bringing the audience into the session as fellow travelers vs. passive observers

- Real talk: There were candid answers on topics that really matter - and that most are afraid to discuss (e.g. ‘how do you *actually* fund your creative work?’)

- Hands-on: Alongside the panel there was a showcase from Columbia students, plus a collaborative workshop session to apply ideas from the first half of the session

An hour before the event I was sat at home talking myself out of it, thinking I’d be ‘more productive’ sitting at my desk. Instead, being in that new environment led to me cramming five index cards full of ideas, references, and a couple of mini breakthroughs. Not bad for a Monday in the middle of March.

Shout out to Michael MonelloToni Thai Sterrett, John Kudos, Barrie AdlebergAndrew Hoepfner, and Evan Neiden, plus Shar Simpson and Lance Weiler for bringing it all together.

P.S. Stuff like this is also a good reminder of what makes cities like NYC magical…

Monday night storytelling

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