Winning CONCEPT Focuses on the Power of Personal Storytelling
A Carey Business School team was one of nine winners in the 2018 JHU Idea Lab challenge.
Instructional Teaching Specialist April Foiles wrote the proposal titled “Bridging Divides through Personal Storytelling.” Carey Assistant Professor Alexandra Klaren is joining Foiles to bring this project to fruition.
They will use their awarded funds to develop a storytelling workshop, work with the national nonprofit StoryCorps to record interviews, and work with the Baltimore-based Stoop Storytelling to bring a storytelling performance to the Senator Theatre in October 2018.
As Foiles wrote in her proposal to Idea Lab, “When we share and really listen to each other’s stories, we remember how vast a universe each person is – we are each so much more than our ideologies, political opinions, and even our cultures… Personal stories truly can bridge divides.”
Foiles specializes in the science of learning, curriculum design, performance improvement, comedy improv, and bringing people together to creatively collaborate. She taught improv and storytelling at Everyman Theatre. Klaren specializes in the study of media, culture, communication ethics, and human emotion, with concentrations in cultural studies and human values.
Launched in 2015, the Idea Lab is the university’s hub for crowdsourcing initiatives. The theme for this year’s challenge was “Ideas Bridging Divides.” Students, faculty, and staff of the university submitted a total of 32 concepts. Once they were posted to the Idea Lab website, more than 2,200 members of the JHU community submitted 4,700 votes online. The nine winners will receive grants to further develop their ideas.
Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said, “The Idea Lab winners this year demonstrated that there are boundless opportunities to bridge divides: with art, through teaching, by helping those in need, and by uniting different voices and giving them a chance to be heard. The funded projects will add to the thoughtful, rigorous, and open dialogue that is at the heart of our academic mission.”