Creating authentic impact narratives

Alli O'Connell
Alli O'Connell April 5, 2022 2 min read

Creating authentic impact narratives

Applying brand and storytelling expertise for impact

Marketing and communications teams across the Autodesk Foundation’s 40+ portfolio organizations have an insatiable appetite for storytelling about their unique innovations. Their stories leave individuals, donors, investors, and innovators inspired—glowing with the opportunity of creating a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable world.  

At the Autodesk Foundation, our Marketing & Communications team collaborates with the portfolio to amplify the stories behind their innovations, building awareness with new audiences. Last year we collaborated with leading marketers at Autodesk to deliver a virtual brand and storytelling course that surfaced impact narratives across the portfolio.  

Brand and storytelling workshop 

Keith Chamberlain, Associate Creative Director and Darren Brooker, Brand Strategist, were eager to share their expertise in visual identity, branding, and storytelling with the Autodesk Foundation portfolio. Over the course of five months Keith, Darren, and a team of 10 pro bono marketing advisors delivered a dynamic course in branding and storytelling to nine individuals to refine their storytelling skills and advance their organizations’ impact narratives.  

Six portfolio organizations, Splash, ISAIC, Build Health International, Build Change, Sangam, and Kheyti took a deep dive into storytelling fundamentals before workshopping narrative ideas with their cohort.  Between classes, participants immersed themselves in a series of customized instructional videos and met with advisors to discuss concepts and begin applying them in their unique context. 

Far-reaching narratives  

After five months the cohort shared their final narratives, which have since materialized into compelling stories in annual reports, workshops, pitch decks, videos, speeches, and blogs. Topics ranged from gender equity and climate change to workforce development to access to oxygen and the role of biomedical engineers during COVID-19. 

“This experience changed the way I approach storytelling because it demonstrated the value in strategically and methodically mapping out a story as a first step. While this is something I knew, this workshop was a good reminder that when you start by thinking about the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ and plan out the ways in which you will convey them, the process of writing the story itself is a lot easier.”

Olivia Duggan, Communications Manager at Build Health International

Through this Brand and Storytelling Workshop Autodesk pro bono advisors established a common language and a framework for future work with portfolio organizations. In our next workshop, we will explore similar brand and storytelling concepts, but expand the role of the advisor to create long-term marketing support for organizations looking for a 1:1 mentorship relationship over an extended period of time. 

For portfolio organizations interested in a deep dive into storytelling, email your partner success manager to let them know you’re interested in the workshop. 

Read more stories about scaling impact across the Autodesk Foundation portfolio here

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