, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 101–111 | Cite as

Community Digital Storytelling for Collective Intelligence: towards a Storytelling Cycle of Trust

  • Sarah Copeland
  • Aldo de Moor
Original Article


Digital storytelling has become a popular method for curating community, organisational, and individual narratives. Since its beginnings over 20 years ago, projects have sprung up across the globe, where authentic voice is found in the narration of lived experiences. Contributing to a Collective Intelligence for the Common Good, the authors of this paper ask how shared stories can bring impetus to community groups to help identify what they seek to change, and how digital storytelling can be effectively implemented in community partnership projects to enable authentic voices to be carried to other stakeholders in society. The Community Digital Storytelling (CDST) method is introduced as a means for addressing community-of-place issues. There are five stages to this method: preparation, story telling, story digitisation, digital story sense-making, and digital story sharing. Additionally, a Storytelling Cycle of Trust framework is proposed. We identify four trust dimensions as being imperative foundations in implementing community digital media interventions for the common good: legitimacy, authenticity, synergy, and commons. This framework is concerned with increasing the impact that everyday stories can have on society; it is an engine driving prolonged storytelling. From this perspective, we consider the ability to scale up the scope and benefit of stories in civic contexts. To illustrate this framework, we use experiences from the CDST workshop in northern Britain and compare this with a social innovation project in the southern Netherlands.


Digital Storytelling Communities Sense-making Trust Collective Intelligence Social Innovation Activism 



The authors wish to thank Mark Vitullo, Marieke Schoots, Midpoint Brabant, the social innovation case contacts, and the students involved for their willingness and efforts to help create and share the stories. In addition, we thank all participants, co-facilitators and funders for their commitment and contributions to the CDST project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Educational DevelopmentUniversity of BradfordBradfordUK
  2. 2.CommunitySenseTilburgThe Netherlands

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