The Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum (CEF) and the Beijing-based Global Environmental Institute (GEI) have partnered to create this Storytelling is Serious Business initiative. Together we are creating workshops that are helping Chinese civil society organizations and policy professionals improve their communications capacity. The use of storytelling—through evocative writing, photo-heavy PowerPoint presentations, infographics, photos, short films and maps—is a way for these grassroots and policy professionals to compellingly convey the challenges and impacts of their work and help them successfully launch and sustain campaigns. 

CEF director Jennifer Turner created the curriculum and led the first four hands-on workshops, where participants learn from expert storytellers, including journalists, photographers and filmmakers, and gain the necessary tools to better reach existing and new audiences. CEF and GEI have created an online bilingual toolkit that offers curriculum materials, presentations and tip sheets to supplement their trainings. Equipped with dynamic storytelling, our workshop participants can better demonstrate the impact of their innovative work related to China’s environment, and strengthen China’s civil society community.

Beginning in the fall, with continued support by the Ford Foundation, CEF and GEI will begin a Train-the-Trainers course to enable Chinese storytellers to lead and expand future workshops.

For more information on this Storytelling initiative, please contact:

Jennifer Turner (吳嵐), Director, Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum,

Kendall Bitonte (白明明), External Relations Coordinator, Global Environmental Institute,