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A Big Win for ISC

Published by The International Storytelling Center on May 10, 2019


We’re proud to announce that ISC has been named the winner of the Peacebuilding Big Idea Challenge, an international competition administered by the Purdue Peace Project.

The competition, which attracted applicants from all over the world, invited proposals for novel approaches to peacebuilding. ISC’s winning proposal outlined a plan to develop a state-of-the-art videogame that gamifies storytelling—a unique project in ISC’s institutional history, as well as in the world of videogames.

The award was announced on Purdue University’s campus on May 10, at a live (and livestreamed) event attended by ISC President Kiran Singh Sirah.

Our proposal was selected for its interdisciplinary approach, our unique point of view, and the potential for big global impact. The $10,000 prize will cover the costs for the initial proof of concept. A 2020 pilot will run a prototype in the communities of East Tennessee and the City of Melton, Australia.

Tentatively titled “Europa,” the videogame project is an example of how ISC is on the front lines of exploring new contexts for the traditional art of storytelling. Leveraging the billions of players who love videogames, we hope to harness a new audience to be a powerful force for social change.

ISC’s multitalented collaborators on the project include English literature scholar Sid Blevins, independent consultant and digital storytelling specialist Heather Gerhart, communications professor Ariel Gratch, childhood education professor Alissa Lange, ISC President Kiran Singh Sirah, ISC media fellow Jared Smith, East Tennessee State University instructor William Tollefson, and sociology-anthropology professor Rory Turner. Our partner for the proof of concept pilot in Australia is Rotary Peace Fellow and Coordinator for Community Capacity at Melton City Council Jessica Trijsburg. The Purdue Peace Project, a violence-prevention initiative at Purdue University, co-sponsors the Peacebuilding Big Idea Challenge with the Alliance for Peacebuilding.

We at ISC are thrilled to explore new ways to build and connect communities using the power of a story well told. Watch this space for more details.

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