Reboot Stories harnesses storytelling, technology and design science to form an innovation engine for cross-generational learning and social good. Co-founded by Lance Weiler, Janine Saunders and Atley Loughridge in 2012, Reboot Stories has partnered with the UN, the World Economic Forum, Columbia University, and others to design and run global cross-generational learning platforms. In 2012, Reboot Stories was awarded the prestigious Tribeca New Media Fund award. Mashable recently named Reboot Stories “one of the top five social good / educational startups to watch.”
Reboot Stories is a global collective of storytellers, game designers, coders, data scientists, activists, educators and researchers. We produce prototypes that strive to ignite the imaginations of many while turning ideas into action.
"Make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.”
- Buckminster Fuller
Lance Weiler is a storyteller, entrepreneur and thought leader. An alumni of the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, he is recognized as a pioneer because of the way he mixes storytelling and technology. WIRED magazine named him “one of 25 people helping to re-invent entertainment and change the face of Hollywood.” Always interested in experimenting with new ways to tell stories and engage audiences, Lance has designed experiences that have reached millions of people via theaters, mobile devices and online. In recognition of these storytelling innovations, BUSINESSWEEK named Lance “One of the 18 Who Changed Hollywood.” Lance sits on two World Economic Forum steering committees; one focused on the Future of Content Creation and the other examines the role of Digital Media in Shaping Culture and Governance. Most recently, GOOD magazine named Lance one of their GOOD 100, a gathering of people inspiring and moving the world forward in 2013. Lance teaches at Columbia University on the art, craft and business of storytelling in the 21st Century and is currently working on a trilogy of participatory storytelling projects that centers on digital literacy and cross-generational learning.
Janine Saunders is a creative producer, company co-founder and world traveler currently living between North Carolina and Southern Russia. In 2009 she started working with Lance Weiler producing various projects including the web-series RADAR and the award winning transmedia project, Pandemic 1.0. In 2012 Lance, Janine and Atley co-founded Reboot Stories after developing and launching the successful educational project, Robot Heart Stories. Over the past 7 years she has freelanced and consulted for films, websites, and interactive projects including the NFB Interactive, OgilvyEntertainment, Harry Belafonte, PBS Frontline, MTV, and Douglas Rushkoff. She is currently focused on the product launch of Lyka’s Adventure, and recently led the online development of Wish for the Future.
Atley Loughridge is a co-founder, writer and experience designer for Connected Sparks and Reboot Stories, two start-ups harnessing story and tech for social change. Mashable recently named Reboot Stories “One of 5 Social Good Startups You Should Know Right Now.” She is authoring the series of Penguin books for Lyka’s Adventure, a recipient of Tribeca’s New Media Fund. She is a writer and assistant creative director for BODY MIND CHANGE, the immersive companion to TIFF’s 2013 David Cronenberg: Evolution Exhibition with CFC. She creative directed My Sky is Falling, an immersive sci-fi based on experiences in foster care, which utilized body sensor data and premiered at the UN/IFP’s Envision 2013 and diy days NYC. WIRED Magazine recently described My Sky is Falling and Lyka’s Adventure as “new models of producing independent transmedia storytelling projects with a strong focus on leveraging the platforms for social good.” Atley wrote/directed feature film The Cold Winter. Previously, Atley worked at OgilvyEntertainment writing branded content for BP, DuPont and IBM as well as on bringing Buckminster Fuller’s World Game into the 21st Century. Prior, she left TischAsia to start Cell Phone Film Program for girls in Manila. She originated the role of Medea in the US theatrical tour of Argonautica for Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman.
Magalis is a Storyteller and Change Agent. Her work spans a variety of fields that include: the film, television and music industries; education; NGO’s; and youth development. Over the last few years she has dedicated her work to projects centered on Story Design for Social Impact and applies a human centered design approach – storytelling “with” instead of “for” – that engages the audience in the storytelling process. Projects include: developing a youth-driven new media design studio that trained youth in the art and craft of digital storytelling; youth-driven public health awareness campaigns, food justice initiatives and systems change in early childhood education. She has consulted on film and literary projects; and with school districts on the integration of digital media arts programs across a STEM curriculum. As the diy days Global Impact Designer Magalis is dedicated to building bridges across cultures; opening up more creative opportunities to youth; and co-creating spaces that scale up social good in our world.
Ele Jansen combines her PhD in Media Anthropology with her R&D at Reboot Stories, focusing on collaborative design. Her research is funded by the Australian government. In 2012 she initiated LEARN DO SHARE, an ethnographic effort to harness pitfalls and successes of open strategies, incubated with Reboot Stories. Ele speaks internationally, designs and facilitates open collaborations, advised Europe’s largest gaming-media conference FMX, presented at Vivid Sydney 2013, and published for Germany’s renowned Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and the German Journalist School. Before moving to Sydney in 2009, Ele lead Communications at the IICG in Leipzig, a social enterprise funded by 50+ brands to innovate East Germany’s economy. The IICG's strategy is now taught as a case study at Harvard. Ele co-developed a national Innovation Award, focusing on interaction design. The native German traversed press, corporate, and creative industries, coding for Germany’s first internet TV experiment, working as a snowboard instructor, a music magazine, and the State Bank of Saxony since 1996.
Jorgen van der Sloot develops creative thinking strategies. He is a Fellow of FreedomLab Future Studies and lead developer of its ThinkLab methodology. In a ThinkLab, a team is challenged to deal with a wicked problem from a future perspective in order to construct a shared worldview, vision and strategy. As a host and enabler of such strategic and creative conversations, Jorgen helps a group of people to take an outside-in perspective. He designs a collaborative space and a collective mindset that generates new thinking and creates solutions for the future. Jorgen has collaborated with many internationally operating organizations in the fields of media and consumer brands, finance and investment, insurance and pensions, education and charity. He has hosted sessions for groups ranging in size from 3 people to 400 people and from boardroom to classroom. He lectures at various business schools in the Netherlands on media innovation, design, entrepreneurship, and technology.
Jasmine Idun Lyman is a transformer, bricoleur and living bridge, operating at the intersection of culture, art and technology. She is the founder of Story Architects, a lab focused on playcentric communication architectures, film, games, ICT, design, transmedia, curation, consulting and teaching. The company was recently short-listed by the Digital Agenda for Europe, as a high-impact initiative with regard to the domain of fostering ICT entrepreneurship.
She also founded Collaboratory, a next generation makerspace located in the Gothenburg Studios Film and Games Village. Her first company was the fashion and performance brand Idun Design. Known for creating innovative wearable art, costumes, and directing/choreography of fashion, circus and dance performances, Idun Design's work reached a diversity of audiences spanning the Swedish Royal family and the underground music scene. With a diverse academic background in film, crossmedia, archaeology (M.A.), fine arts, design, neuro- and cognitive sciences, architecture and curatorial practice (M.A.) her direction of research has been moving towards transdisciplinary co-creation, innovation and communication based on knowledge about the importance of game and storytelling narratives from the very beginning of human history. As an art house film director and artist under the name Idun, she has made award winning shorts, art videos, neuroscientific audio works and mixed media exhibitions. Her work has been staged as LARPs, within clubs, on TV, in museums and in urban spaces like Times Square in New York and remote locations like Sealand and a biological station in Kilpisjarvi. Idun often works through collaborations based on serendipitous encounters during psychogeographical explorations in our invaded space. Recent works have been collaborations with top performers all over the world; freerunners, skaters, dancers and artists like Kira O’Reilly, a piece published by Marina Abramovic in Harpers Bazaar, and singers like Ida Long. Jasmine works with diy days and also started up the book series LEARN DO SHARE with Ele Jansen and collaborated on the first stage of the Lyka Adventure project.
Our global Learn Do Share (formerly known as diy days) events are a place where inspiration turns into action. Consisting of a series of talks, workshops, prototyping sessions, and a hands-on Experience Hall, Our events transcend “lean-back” conference models. Participants learn, do, and share. Cross-disciplinary innovation draws an eclectic mix of storytellers, hackers, game developers, educators, students, scientists, architects, musicians, and designers from around the globe.
Learn Do Share is one of a kind in that it is free and open to all, launching projects that the community can participate in year round.
Learn Do Share Labs are a living think-and-do event that uses storytelling, game mechanics and future scenario design to unleash the imagination of many. It is a think tank meets social hackathon that tackles a wicked problem over the course of three days. A local NGO is often selected as a partner and the Learn Do Share Lab works to provide mindshare, people power and open design to help the NGO tackle a wicked problem they are facing.
Learn Do Share Labs run in different cities, each focusing on a category (health, education, economy, government, sustainability, culture, urbanization humanity). The lab is a partnership between FreedomLab Future Studies and Reboot Stories. The results are shared under a Creative Commons license and archived on www.learndoshare.net to be shared, remixed and expanded.
Learn Do Share Labs are designed to tackle a local problem with your help. We invite 40 to 60 participants from mixed sectors, who will prototype a micro agent for change following Buckminster Fuller’s premise: “How can we make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone?”
FreedomLab, the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Parsons the New School of Design, Columbia University & UCLA
Learn Do Share BOOKS is a resource and r&d collection of open collaboration, design fiction and speculative innovation. Scientists, storytellers, designers, hackers, producers, fans, architects, and engineers help create a series of case studies and templates, each of which explains and reflects on collaborative experiments and social prototyping. The results of our open collaboration are rather unusual look-do-and-think-books that explore our methods and lessons learned. The aim is to trigger social innovation by sharing assets for everyone to tap. Learn Do Share BOOKS are closely intertwined with our events - initiated by Ele Jansen as part of her ethnographic research methodology for her PhD at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
Lyka’s Adventure is an experiential education project that centers on Lyka, a robot scientist from outer space who is trying to help her ailing home planet Amee. Students fuel Lyka’s adventure by exploring sustainability, art and technology. The ecosystem of this storyworld comprises:
• A series of books in partnership with Penguin
• A plush toy
• A mobile app
• An immersive website
• A live tour
Lyka travels the world hosting school workshops in which students become the teachers, designing ways for their fellow students to enrich Laika’s storyworld. In an ongoing R&D partnership with The Village of Arts and Humanities, student creations have included:
• Making Lyka’s alien home planet terrain out of clay
• Fashion designing spacesuits for kids and Lyka
• Writing native welcome songs for Lyka
• Hacking Lyka to make her light up with LED, solar panels and Arduinos
• Making stop action videos about sustainable solutions
• Creating new characters for Lyka’s storyworld
Once Lyka has completed her journey around the world, she’ll take all of the children’s creations into a real NASA rocket and shoot up into space. The hope is that when the children look up into the night sky, they’ll be reminded of how far their imaginations can carry them.
Wish for the Future mixes participatory storytelling and design science to envision a better world. Participants make a wish for the future. Wishes are granted through a creative act such as writing a story, making a piece of art, sharing a song, or creating a video. Then granted wishes are prototyped using 3D printers and software hacks in an effort to create a tangible artifact. Afterward, wishes, creative expressions, and prototypes will be placed in multiple time capsules and buried for 100 years.
Inspired by the Voyager Golden Records that were sent into space in 1977 and the work of Buckminster Fuller, Wish for the Future is an effort to ignite the imagination of many through experiential learning, creative expression, and collaboration.
Wish for the Future is released under a creative commons license and is intended to be shared, remixed and expanded. We're currently developing the project as a board game / mobile app that will interface with the project's site.
My Sky Is Falling (MSiF) is an immersive experience that harnesses technology and story to create empathy for the challenges faced by foster youth aging out of the system. Guided by immersive performances and sensor technologies, participants uncover a dystopian sci-fi tale. The ending reveals MSiF’s roots in real experiences of foster care when participants have an open dialogue with the foster youth behind the production.
This Reboot Stories purposeful storytelling open design was developed with Columbia University, foster care NGO Orange Duffle Bag Initiative, and Lydia Joyner, a writer/director who grew up in foster care.
In partnership data research center The Harmony Institute and Affectiva, a biosensor company out of MIT’s New Media Lab, we continue to innovate new ways to collect data and measure the social impact of MSiF’s immersive experience. MSiF and this data are the basis of our whitepaper, which will help inform industry shifts towards depth of engagement, empathy, action-oriented investment, purposeful storytelling, digital literacy, and social change.
This data also informs iterations of MSiF, which will be released as a creative commons framework for foster youth to produce with foster care groups like the Brevard Family Partnership and ASPIRAnet to use in training sessions for potential foster parents and social workers. The intention is to help participants understand on an emotional level what it is like to be a foster child.
Are you interested in storytelling, play, design, and social good? Reboot Stories is part of a global community of thinkers & doers. If you like to collaborate with us we'd love to hear from you.