Ashoka Storyteller in Residence
Wanted: Storytellers in Residence
Hosted by Ashoka and the Berlin School of Creative Leadership
People take time out and recruit themselves to accomplish extraordinary things. Around the world, 3,000 leading social entrepreneurs ("Ashoka Fellows") have taken this leap into the unknown, driven by a new idea that they know can solve a social problem at scale.
Now, writers, journalists, photographers and film makers have the same opportunity. Just like National Geographic has Explorers in Residence who are given a needs-based stipend, equipment, and a platform do what they passionate about, Ashoka has partnered with the Berlin School of Creative Leadership to offer journalists the opportunity to recruit themselves: to become storytellers for social change.
As an Ashoka Storyteller in Residence, you will be completely self-guided and be supported by a needs-based living stipend of typically €2,000/month. You will have the opportunity to get to know some of Germany's and the world's most exciting solutions to social problems, and the women and men behind them. While completely independent from Ashoka, you will be able to tap into the world's largest network of changemakers. You will have access to the Berlin School's platform of knowledge and creative leaders. The rest is up to you.
The selection is based on the creativity and quality of the idea and past work, as well as the candidates' ability to talk to or create a relevant audience and contribute to solution journalism. Applications speaking to these criteria can be handed in at any time to Felix Oldenburg or Jenny Hoff
Current Storyteller in Residence
Christian Klant: Photographs inspiring people and stories and has made it his mission to make best practises seen by the world. Before starting as a photographer he studied economics and worked as a consultant specialised in sustainability and corporate culture. Change within society and within the individual person has always been the leading theme of his interest. Focusing his portrait-photography on changemakers and transformational events, he is creating strong impulses for change himself. With his images he captures the emotional narrative of unique moments and thus tells the stories of change.
"Actualy I have been aware of Ashoka for quite a while already. The quality of the chosen fellows has always been very impressive to me. And with time I felt the deep urge to tell the stories of these people in my way, with my images – supporting them in bringing their impact to a broader public. This is why I will develop a new style of portraits for the fellows of 2012.
My time as StiR has just begun. I will certainly focus on creating a bigger reach in public for the present fellows. Further more I will use the time to develop and bring to life two other portrait-projects. More to come..."
Previous Storytellers in Residence
Jenny Hoff: Trained as a US news journalist at home in both TV studios and crisis spots, Jenny learned about Ashoka and co-launched the StiR idea to help her gain access to what she recognized as a treasure chest of stories about social change. During her time as a Storyteller in Residence, Jenny produced several pieces about social entrepreneurs for Deutsche Welle, helped lead a meeting of entrepreneurs with digital solutions to social problems in collaboration with Burda at DLD12, spoke at the Axel Springer academy, and travelled to Stockholm to help globally scaling social entrepreneurs think about creating audiences for their causes.
"I first decided to become a journalist after a trip to Puerto Rico, where I spent time volunteering at home for children who had terminal illnesses. The realization that I never really understood the needs of others in the world sobered me. The thought that I could help educate others and potentially make a change inspired me. After a decade of reporting for television, from one war zone in Afghanistan to another war zone in Congress, I never lost that driving force of wanting my reports to not only educate, but also be a force for positive change. When I encountered Ashoka, it felt like my worlds collided. As a journalist, I was always encountering problems that I hoped, through watching my reports, somebody would find an answer to. As a volunteer for Ashoka, I encountered the actual people who were coming up with the solutions. Believing that these two parts not only should, but must come together is why I helped Ashoka create the Storyteller in Residence Fellowship and was lucky enough to be the first StiR for the organization. By bringing journalists in contact with some of the most forward-thinking and progressive people in the world, we can tell news stories that not only inform, but also help propel society forward."
Paul Glader: Wall Street Journal journalist Paul Glader came to Berlin on a Bosch Foundation scholarship and used his time as a Storyteller in Residence to work with Ashoka Fellows in education, and write stories about citizen participation, violence prevention, and others. Paul continues his journey for social change as the entrepreneur behind wiredacademic.org, a leading platform for the online learning revolution.
"As a Bosch Fellow in Germany, I was interested to round out my year of professional learning by reporting on business, education and other areas where social change is happening. Working as a storyteller in residence was a great way to do this. I met several Ashoka Fellows inside and outside of Germany. Reporting on the projects they were working on gave me a fascinating window into Europe and I found stories that publications and readers both in Germany and the US found interesting. It was also invaluable to develop sourcing and knowledge for my web site and a book project on technology and education trends."