Ripple100 Stories, Movements

Mar 24

“Congratulations! Ripple100 has been designated a Connecticut Technology Council 2010 Company to Watch.” — Received via email from the CT Technology Council

We’re excited about launching a Story World for patients and doctors. All the healing permutations, all through storytelling:
Patients help themselves.
Patients help other patients.
Patients help doctors.
Doctors help patients.
Doctors help themselves.
Doctors help other doctors.
Here’s some science (and stories) about the power of stories to heal:
In this New York Times article, Dr. Pauline Chen, M.D. cites a provocative new study by The Annals of Internal Medicine in suggesting that When Patients Tell Stories, Health May Improve.

In health care, storytelling may have its greatest impact on patients  who distrust the medical system or who have difficulty understanding or  acting on health information because they may find personal narratives  easier to digest. Stories may also help those patients who struggle with  more “silent” chronic diseases, like diabetes or high blood pressure. In these cases, stories can help patients  realize the importance of addressing a disease that has few obvious or  immediate symptoms.

There’s a separate thread that’s already triggered more than 60 comments - we’re learning so much from these crowd contributors.

Rachel Naomi Remen, MD is a goddess of this area–for patients and  healers alike. She has found not only that storytelling by patients is  restorative, but storytelling by health care professionals mitigates  burnout and helps find more meaning in the work we do.
She started an elective course called “The Healer’s Art” at UCSF  medical school that has now spread to more than 64 schools–half the  country’s medical schools–as a means of helping medical students  re-connect with the emotions and ideals that brought them to medical  school in the first place.

In a Boston Globe article, Dr. Annie Brewster, an urgent care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, said she has become a better doctor by listening to patient stories.

"I’ve realized that the illness process is just so much more than the physical process. It affects us all emotionally, spiritually, and in all our relationships,’’ said Brewster, who has launched a storytelling project in which she records stories of patients and their families and posts them online on WBUR’s CommonHealth blog.

In a hospital study funded by the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, 150 patients with uncontrolled blood pressure who watched personal stories ended up with blood pressure about 11 points lower than the 150 control group members, who watched generic health-related DVDs.

"Part of the storytelling theory is the philosophy of homophily, which is that people identify with people who look like them, act like them and come from a similar culture, so we felt that was really important," he said. "The spread of the people in the videos was such that most people in our patient population would be likely to identify with one or two of the people in there, so they’d be more likely to watch the video."

We’re excited about launching a Story World for patients and doctors. All the healing permutations, all through storytelling:

Here’s some science (and stories) about the power of stories to heal:

In this New York Times article, Dr. Pauline Chen, M.D. cites a provocative new study by The Annals of Internal Medicine in suggesting that When Patients Tell Stories, Health May Improve.

In health care, storytelling may have its greatest impact on patients who distrust the medical system or who have difficulty understanding or acting on health information because they may find personal narratives easier to digest. Stories may also help those patients who struggle with more “silent” chronic diseases, like diabetes or high blood pressure. In these cases, stories can help patients realize the importance of addressing a disease that has few obvious or immediate symptoms.

There’s a separate thread that’s already triggered more than 60 comments - we’re learning so much from these crowd contributors.

Rachel Naomi Remen, MD is a goddess of this area–for patients and healers alike. She has found not only that storytelling by patients is restorative, but storytelling by health care professionals mitigates burnout and helps find more meaning in the work we do.

She started an elective course called “The Healer’s Art” at UCSF medical school that has now spread to more than 64 schools–half the country’s medical schools–as a means of helping medical students re-connect with the emotions and ideals that brought them to medical school in the first place.

In a Boston Globe article, Dr. Annie Brewster, an urgent care doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, said she has become a better doctor by listening to patient stories.

"I’ve realized that the illness process is just so much more than the physical process. It affects us all emotionally, spiritually, and in all our relationships,’’ said Brewster, who has launched a storytelling project in which she records stories of patients and their families and posts them online on WBUR’s CommonHealth blog.

In a hospital study funded by the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation, 150 patients with uncontrolled blood pressure who watched personal stories ended up with blood pressure about 11 points lower than the 150 control group members, who watched generic health-related DVDs.

"Part of the storytelling theory is the philosophy of homophily, which is that people identify with people who look like them, act like them and come from a similar culture, so we felt that was really important," he said. "The spread of the people in the videos was such that most people in our patient population would be likely to identify with one or two of the people in there, so they’d be more likely to watch the video."

Mar 23

“Assuming that all ARG players have large blocks of time to dedicate to your game is a dangerous assumption that limits your audience.” —

Alternate Reality Games, rather than requiring an alternate life with lots of free time, should fit into daily life. Sine qua non if ARGs are ever to make it from our Storytelling lab to our Story World.

Here’s more from Michael Anderson’s call to arms to ARG developers.

Every ARG should have actionable and entertaining elements that can be enjoyed with relatively little knowledge of the game’s intricacies. And the best ARGs tend to provide these opportunities at regular intervals. In Must Love Robots, players were given the opportunity to save (or destroy) robot-kind by mixing up a suicide soda at Subway by pressing 8335 (or 5338) and posting the video on YouTube. In Chain Factor, players could uncover error message puzzles and control the fate of the world by playing the highly addictive flash game, Drop7. And in Repo Men, players were provided a steady stream of photographs and videos to parse for clues that might lead to capturing the four runners. All of these opportunities involved negligible time commitments on the part of players, with the potential for substantial rewards with regards to advancing the plot.

Sneak peek: Vanished ARG with MIT and Smithsonian, c/o ARGNet

Vanished is science-fiction themed alternate reality game launching on April 4th, created and run by MIT’s Education Arcade and the Smithsonian Institution. Vanished invites kids and teens 11-14 to participate in the role of scientific  detectives, although older participants can also follow along with  special “watcher” accounts. Players will uncover clues, form and test  scientific hypotheses, collaborate with their peers, engage online with  scientists, and learn about a broad range of scientific fields. Over the  course of eight weeks, they will encounter multiple scientific  mysteries that require real scientific methods to solve.
Each of the eight weeks of Vanished comprises a chapter with  its own activities, scientific content, and another layer of a larger  mystery. Online, players will engage with scientists from the  Smithsonian via video conferences, play games that will help to  illustrate concepts, and unlock clues and hidden messages. Offline,  players need to explore their own neighborhoods for scientific data.  Journal entries from in-game characters will lead players to visit  Smithsonian-affiliated museums for exhibits to gather clues and learn  more about each scientific field.

Sneak peek: Vanished ARG with MIT and Smithsonian, c/o ARGNet

Vanished is science-fiction themed alternate reality game launching on April 4th, created and run by MIT’s Education Arcade and the Smithsonian Institution. Vanished invites kids and teens 11-14 to participate in the role of scientific detectives, although older participants can also follow along with special “watcher” accounts. Players will uncover clues, form and test scientific hypotheses, collaborate with their peers, engage online with scientists, and learn about a broad range of scientific fields. Over the course of eight weeks, they will encounter multiple scientific mysteries that require real scientific methods to solve.

Each of the eight weeks of Vanished comprises a chapter with its own activities, scientific content, and another layer of a larger mystery. Online, players will engage with scientists from the Smithsonian via video conferences, play games that will help to illustrate concepts, and unlock clues and hidden messages. Offline, players need to explore their own neighborhoods for scientific data. Journal entries from in-game characters will lead players to visit Smithsonian-affiliated museums for exhibits to gather clues and learn more about each scientific field.

ARGs & Story Worlds

Not a gamer? Don’t let the G in ARG fool you. Alternate Reality Games aren’t just about play. They’re about bringing narrative to life by making stories - their discovery, shaping and telling - part of everyday life. Now in the R&D pipeline at our Storytelling lab.

We’ll let wikipedia take it from here:

An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants’ ideas or actions.

The form is defined by intense player involvement with a story that takes place in real-time and evolves according to participants’ responses, and characters that are actively controlled by the game’s designers, as opposed to being controlled by artificial intelligence as in a computer or console video game. Players interact directly with characters in the game, solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and often work together with a community to analyze the story and coordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs generally use multimedia, such as telephones, email and mail but rely on the Internet as the central binding medium.

Mar 04

Story World 2.0 - For Good!
Been 4 months since we concluded our storytelling campaign for John Mertens’ US Senate run. Our political campaign fed a diverse spectrum of R&D pods, right alongside Story World betas in nonprofit, the arts, government, civic and grassroots, and of course, business. Call them Story World 1.0.
Hunkered down in our newly opened Storytelling lab in Manila, we’re weeks away from unveiling Ripple100 Story World 2.0. Dubbed Story Worlds for Good, 2.0 is a software and services platform that engages leading organizations in a global campaign, deployed country-by-country, to advance a singular narrative: Business as a Force for Good.
I’m bursting about Q1 2011 - Ripple100 Asia has been nothing short of a searing breakthrough. Look forward to being back in the US, Story World 2.0 in tow.
-Andre Yap, Founder + CEO

Story World 2.0 - For Good!

Been 4 months since we concluded our storytelling campaign for John Mertens’ US Senate run. Our political campaign fed a diverse spectrum of R&D pods, right alongside Story World betas in nonprofit, the arts, government, civic and grassroots, and of course, business. Call them Story World 1.0.

Hunkered down in our newly opened Storytelling lab in Manila, we’re weeks away from unveiling Ripple100 Story World 2.0. Dubbed Story Worlds for Good, 2.0 is a software and services platform that engages leading organizations in a global campaign, deployed country-by-country, to advance a singular narrative: Business as a Force for Good.

I’m bursting about Q1 2011 - Ripple100 Asia has been nothing short of a searing breakthrough. Look forward to being back in the US, Story World 2.0 in tow.

-Andre Yap, Founder + CEO

Feb 19

“The soul of a business is its contribution to society, of culture its contribution to purpose, of brand its contribution to meaning. Why fake, script, sloganize, message, or market any of it when you can capture the narrative as it unfolds - real stories, real people, real outcomes. Storytelling can change the world, enable communities of action, movements where organizations and stakeholders mobilize to make the world a better place. This is the future not just of business, culture, and brand - but of our human race. Movementing, not marketing.” — Ripple100 Storytelling Lab, Manila Feb 2011

Jan 27

WHY WE’RE GOING ASIA

Straight from The Economist Magazine’s Economist Intelligence Unit, here’s 1/2 of why we’re bringing Ripple100’s Storytelling App | Agency to Asia. You’ll see the other half of our strategy as we roll out Ripple100 Manila through Q1 2011.

While emerging Asian nations such as China, India and Indonesia have recorded impressive growth in recent years, they have not built impressive brands. And yet, as the region’s companies grow ever more ambitious and push out onto the world stage, the need for strong brands will grow significantly. Just as important, the shifting business landscape within Asia itself will also demand the use of stronger brands.

Against this backdrop Brand and Deliver, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, examines the current state of branding in emerging Asia. It looks at how companies are tackling the next — critical — stage of their evolution by harnessing the power of brands. And it assesses the lessons that can be learnt from pioneering firms in Japan and South Korea that have already succeeded in building global brands.

You can download the 37-page PDF here. Or scan key takeaways excerpted below:

Asian Brands And Story Worlds

Excerpted from Economist Intelligence Unit’s Brand & Deliver: Emerging Asia’s New Corporate Imperative.

Fourteen lines of advice for brand-builders in emerging Asia. Or, in a word: Storytelling. How many of these lend themselves to Story Worlds? I’d say 14 of 14.

  1. Manage from the top. Branding is not something to be delegated to junior teams. Leading brands both reflect and influence everything that a company does.
  2. Manage over the long term. While traditional businesses in Asia have often operated with a trading mentality, exploiting short-term opportunities, brand-building requires a longer-term commitment to a narrower set of opportunities or customers.
  3. Understand how your business delivers value. Traditionally, many Asian firms have competed on price, aiming to win business by being the cheapest. Having a brand requires different thinking, with firms shifting from competing on price to competing on value. Companies must think more deeply about issues such as style, design, safety, service levels and reliability.
  4. Don’t forget your staff. Brand-building is about more than external customers. For a brand to come alive, internal staff must know what the brand stands for.
  5. Act on quality. When emerging nations embark on the path to brand-building, quality is often low. To become a well-respected brand, companies need a constant, tireless effort to raise standards. The Japanese car and electronics industries did it in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. Then it was the turn of the South Koreans in the 1990s and 2000s. Brands from China, India and other nations must do the same.
  6. Focus on innovation. World-leading brands are based on innovation. Companies will never create winning brands by copying the intellectual property of others.
  7. Create an emotional connection. In a world where it is ever harder for companies to stay ahead of their competitors on a consistent basis, brands must build an emotional connection to customers. All the best brands do this. When rival sports shoes are all of equal quality, the difference comes from how customers perceive themselves when they wear a particular shoe.
  8. Be brutally consistent. If a brand’s character is constantly shifting, if its look and feel are always changing, if its service levels vary, then customers become alienated. They feel the brand’s promise has been broken.
  9. Manage the country-of-origin effect. Companies must decide how to balance the positive attributes of their home country with negative perceptions. While certain cultural characteristics can enhance a brand, other perceptions about quality may be less positive. Over time, the positive aspects of emerging Asia are likely to rise and the negative perceptions are likely to decline.
  10. Use domestic markets to build strong brands. It is possible to build an international brand without first conquering a domestic market, but it’s far easier to go global from a strong domestic base.
  11. Pick new markets carefully. Companies from emerging Asia have big ambitions, but it doesn’t always make sense to push a brand into wealthy Western markets first. Emerging markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe are less crowded, offer rapid growth and are likely to be less prone to country-of-origin prejudices.
  12. Allow 30% of the brand to vary according to different tastes. While brands must be consistent, they also need to be brought to life locally. A good rule of thumb is that 70% of a brand must be consistent across the world, but 30% should vary to reflect different tastes in different markets.
  13. Consider all the customer touch points. Brands deliver tremendous value, but they can also be damaged if mismanaged. For example, product recalls or breakdowns can damage a brand, but only if mishandled. Conversely, a finely tuned repair service can enhance a brand’s perception among customers.
  14. Monitor brand strength continuously. It’s often argued that businesses can’t manage what they don’t measure. Companies should set up systems that enable them to measure the strength, loyalty and position of their brands relative to the market.

Nov 19

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Day 4 of 5, Stories 33-38 of 46 (and counting), for our latest Story World -

Our first 3 days of serial stories gave the stage to the narrative’s leading characters: students, parents, teachers. Day 4 segues the narrative into the rest of the community, the supporting cast without whom a happy ending is impossible.

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