Sustainable Storytelling with Team Solar Flora

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The role of the storyteller is to translate information into something that humans react to on an personal level. To develop narratives that engage us deeply to help us better understand the world.

For this summer academy project, the team Solar Flora search for an ongoing projects at Amsterdam Smart City platform and found the Rooftop Revolution then we decided to go for the topic Rooftop gardens. We contacted an enthusiast in Amsterdam and created the story.

Sustainable Storytelling Team SolarFlora 2017

Project phase


What is the goal of the project?

Create awareness through storytelling of the benefits of Rooftop gardens to improve peoples health in the urban area, to give opportunities how to reduce energy costs for the buildings and let the people save money as well. How to improve the biodiversity for bees in the urban area and greening the city.

What is the result of the project?

The aim was to create awareness about sustainability issues in the urban areas through storytelling. With the video we wanted to inspire people to take action and understand the connection between people, planet and profit.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

Team Solar Flora are five students in the Summer Academy 2017 at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. The team representing study areas as Game development, Environmental science and Teaching methods. Students from The Netherlands, Germany and Sweden.

What is the next step?

Spread the word, the opportunities is out there!

What can other cities learn from your project?

Work in progress within interdisciplinary international students.
If people find your topic interesting, they are much more likely to agree on being interviewed.


Beatrice Johansson's picture
Beatrice Johansson

Your project sounds very interesting as well. Unfortunately the only reference I have is the storytelling steps that I got from my teacher that was a summery of different sources. But If you want you can get in contact with her for personal advise and the doc, she lives in Amsterdam. You can found contacts info here:
Some of the reference for that summary comes from:

The basic of the process my team use was to search for an interesting project on this amsterdamsmartcity portal (this site) and then contact persons that was involved in it and search for people that they have been in contact with to found some one to interview. After that we made up a interview to get inspired of what kind of stories that was available. We created 3 different kind of stories about our topic "Rooftop gardens". Here we used basic Storytelling steps that you easy can google how to do. It is the same way as when you are filmmaker to do a movie. My team was beginner so we needed to reinforce the story very many times and also test the story on a couple of people to get feedback. Because you as a storyteller understand the story very well but you don´t know if the audience get it. After we decided how to structure the message of the story we did a second interview with the same person as before. There we could have specific questions in that focus that we choose. When we had enough data as video shots and photos we started to structured it and editing it to the final story as you can see in the youtube. We did not use so many editing effects because of the time limits and our previous editing knowledge. We did the "Learning by doing" process.

God luck with the Smart Cities Expedition! When are you gonna start? Are you gonna have any website to share your stories on?

Arthur Lankester's picture
Arthur Lankester

Hi Beatrice,
Thanks for your respons. I am interested in the process preparing, developing and delivery of storytelling. Do you have materials or references for me to understand how your team approach this project? This would very beneficial for the project I am doing.
I started a project called the 'Smart Cities Expedition'. Hereby I will visit 36 cities on 5 continents to collect and share inspiring stories about smart city initiative and their impact on citizens. I do this expedition on a old timer motorbike to connect cities and people.

Beatrice Johansson's picture
Beatrice Johansson

Thanks for your comment and that you took your time. The project purpose was to spread the word and create awareness about sustainable issues through storytelling, so I am open to share the content with you.
What kind of content are you interested in? For example my team focus on different elements when we did the design process for planning the story and combined with design thinking and teambuilding process. The topic itself about Rooftop gardens and the benefits of it tell theirs own story. And then we have the storytellers behind the video our team and the storyteller in the video the students and the activist Leora that we interviewed. And not to forget some mentors from our Universities that coached us when my team was stuck in the process. So many parts.

Arthur Lankester's picture
Arthur Lankester

This projects looks very interesting. Is it possible to share of the content with me?
Best Arthur