From Thursday 22 October, the Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB (disLAB) at the University of Westminster hosted a Hack Week, bringing together multiple agencies to help students solve real life issues as the next generation of storytellers.

Hack Week encouraged participants to think like engineers and create stories of impact, moving storytelling forward. Some of the organisations and renowned figures involved were Google, IBM, young MIT Entrepreneur winner Islam Alaybeyoglu, and Steve Wheatley and Lee Robertson from the Guild of Entrepreneurs, who recently joined disLAB as a visiting lecturer.

The event questioned participants’ ability to recognise, engage and execute stories of impact. Students had to work in teams under a supervised programme and were provided with a spectrum of methods for being creative and tools to evaluate their own ideas.

Engaging within behavioural sciences and technology, Hack Week aimed to contribute in reinventing storytelling, raising awareness of the importance of digital skills in the current journalism and digital media climate, and how all of those variants affect whether a story is told and how.

Steve Wheatley and Lee Robertson, both from the Guild of Entrepreneurs, pitched their business and mentored the groups throughout the week. Lee commented: “I am really looking forward to helping disLAB as a whole of the Guild of Entrepreneurs in shaping their innovative course.”

Students were also supported by the disLAB team, including Dr David Dunkley Gyimah, expert in cinema journalism, Dr Sandra Gaudenzi, expert in interactive documentary, and Dr Massimiliano Fusari, expert on image-based storytelling.

Talking about the event, Dr Dunkley Gyimah said: “This approach and the support our students receive is all in the aim of producing a world-class programme and attracting the best minds to experience and solve problems via storytelling.”

Find out more about the Digital and Interactive Storytelling LAB MA.

Cover picture: Lee Robertson with disLAB students

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