Course Instructors: TBA
Time commitment: 12 weeks, 5 hours a week inclusive of one 90-minute live class Wednesdays (exact timing TBD) starting February 15th and one optional 30-minute office hour on Tuesdays
Required tools/software: Phone or desktop with access to good internet. Anchor app.
Fellowship expectations: Students are encouraged to interact and ask questions during sessions, take advantage of office hours, interact with Flame Bearers community via social media, share content and engage with Flame Bearers podcast.
Fellowship Description: Flame Bearers is the only global storytelling platform for female Olympians and Paralympians. Covering the human, understanding their why and unlocking what drives them is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Historically, female Olympians and Paralympians have faced media bias and coverage. They struggle with gender inequality made worse by media coverage and policies. At Flame Bearers, we tell their stories and amplify their voices. We also document evidence of their bravery, competence and successes.
Flame Bearers will facilitate a conversation to examine issues around the status of women of the Olympics through inclusion and diversity, respect for storytelling and recognition of achievements. We are pulling together creators and leaders in sports who are willing to uphold equitable standards, review biases, and together learn how we are building an ecosystem that honours their legacy. We have designed this fellowship curriculum to cover storytelling, digital media creation and communication.
This intense program will combine online assignments, weekly reflections, discussions and mentorship. As such, students will engage closely with classes and all assigned materials to maximize learning.
*Please note that this syllabus is a guideline for this course which will be revised based on student input regarding their interests and skill sets.
To achieve the outcomes outlined for this fellowship, students will:
- If made available, reference and review all assigned materials closely before class discussion;
- Actively participate in class discussions and post-class reflections; through social media engagements.
- Complete all weekly projects to build a portfolio of work; and
- Apply lessons learnt from the fellowship to solving real-world challenges through a formal Capstone Project
Fellowship Outcomes: To Define the Role Fellows Can Play in Creating a Sustainable Ecosystem For Female Olympians and Paralympians?
- Through participation in the Flame Bearers Fellowship, fellows will become familiar with knowledge and skills in storytelling and communication through digital media.
- Be able to create and tell compelling stories for digital platforms.
These skills will be beneficial in pursuing and maintaining leadership and influencing positions in sports. Arm them with critical skills to recognize bias in our communication of stories in sports and related industries.
By rigorously developing these skills amid a diverse cohort, fellows will understand the realities outside their world and build close bonds with peers and industry Flame Bearers in their chosen field. Through our lessons, questions, assignments and projects, fellows will develop competencies to help the shared goal of equity and justice in sports and society.
STORYTELLING FOR AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Storytelling is central to our experience as humans. To understand humanity, people, society and our history, we rely on stories. The history and what we know about the Olympics and Paralympics are preserved through stories. Our legends, myths, realities, facts and hopes can all be tied to stories.
In this section, we will:
- Through the lens of the Flame Bearers, learn how to tell the stories of Olympians and Paralympians.
- Learn how to preserve their reality while also making it engaging.
- How female Olympians and Paralympians participation in, exclusion from, mainstream storytelling affects their economic, political, and social life.
- The elements of storytelling and how to use them.
Methodology: Persuasion through emotion. The goal is to ensure at every point of storytelling, you can balance emotion, facts, and reality while creating a strong beginning and a solid end to achieve a result with a lasting impact.
Week One: Introduction to Storytelling
*Group Icebreaker: The cohort introduces themselves to each other officially.
- Understanding the definition of a story. Everybody has a story. We define ourselves through our stories, understand our goals and can see what is possible.
- Just the Facts: Using the 5 Ws and H
- Write a story of another classmate based solely on the information available to you from
the internet. Do not use data from class or reach out to them to answer any questions. Only data from the Internet.
Goal: Review biases we tend to fall towards when telling a story.
Week Two: Understanding the use of Tension and Time in Storytelling
- Capturing the feeling of an audience and trying to figure out what happens next in a story
- The existing framework through which stories of Olympians and Paralympians are told is flawed. Most reports are not person-first and do not cover their reality.
- What are the stereotypes?
In this class, we will look at how we can use tension and time to objectively tell better stories.
Assignments: Listen to any two episodes of your choice from the Flame Bearers Podcast and be ready to share with the class how tension and time were used and what you might want to add to the story.
Goal: Review the ability to capture an audience and understand how a story is built.
Week Three: The (I'm) Perfect World/ Central Question/ Rising Tension
- In this module, we would look at and answer important questions like:
- In telling Olympic stories, what should be our aim?
- Language in storytelling: Female Olympians and Paralympians: Is it Women's sports or Female sports?
In this section, we will ask and answer the question: When telling the stories of Olympians and Paralympians, how do you get yourself out of that head space and focus on who they are and what they are doing and not the disability?
Assignment: Pick a female Olympian/Paralympian from your country or region and tell why you believe their story should be preserved using an audio storytelling format.
Goal: Review our understanding and use of language/Enhance the knowledge of audio tools
Week Four: Climax and Resolution
Topics to be Covered:
- The importance of a climax and resolution in storytelling
- So much of what we have been taught comes from the stereotypes of men and women. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.
- We are taught to view the world through the lens of certain standards of beauty and perfection. Anything different is treated as less. How do we change that narrative?
Assignment: In this section, we learnt about elements of storytelling and opened our world to important Flame Bearers.
- We will ask and answer the question: When telling the stories of Olympians and Paralympians, how do you get yourself out of that head space and focus on who they are and what they are doing and not the disability?
- Format: 60 seconds video
What makes a great story using tension and time
Creating the (im)perfect world
MONTH TWO: COMMUNICATION
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Communication is how we exchange information, share knowledge, express a desire or learn something new. We can have the best stories and still fail to communicate those stories properly. Communication is used extensively in telling the stories of Olympians and Paralympians. That is how we know when an Olympic event will happen or when a new sport is added to the games or taken away. Communication is also used by Flame Bearers to announce a new season or episode of the Podcast and even share our Fellowship.
COMMUNICATION IS LISTENING: The goal of every good communication beat is first to know and understand your audience and then, to ensure that the audience is getting the information that they need.
Week five: Interviewing for communication
Topics to be covered:
- Using questions as a tool to understand and deliver a story
- Handling an interview
Assignments: Competencies include: research, data collection, analysis, and collaboration
- Work in pairs and choose three questions to ask each other. When presenting the assignment, the fellow will say why they picked those questions and if the answer they got is what they expected.
Format: Can be video, audio or text.
Goal: Review listening skills and clarity in communicating acquired data in a way that keeps an audience.
Instructors: TBA (Communications Expert)
Week six: Podcast: Effectively communicating a story through audio
Topic Covered: The traditional approach to media storytelling rarely favours female Olympians and Paralympians.
Reviewing the impact of Flame Bearers Podcast, we will see how modern-day audio storytelling can be effectively used to bridge the gap between athletes and the audience.
Assignment: Produce a storyboard for a podcast episode
*Storyboard ideas of fellows might be used for an official Flame Bearers episode or social media content with full credit given to them.
Goal: Using digital media to break bias and reach new audiences
Week seven: Effectively communicating through photography
Photographs tell a powerful story. Despite the feats of female Olympians and Paralympians, we do not see enough iconic photography of them and their achievements. We will review how photostories are essential in changing narratives.
Assignment: Find out the statistics of Female Olympians and Paralympians that cover major newspapers and magazine
Look for an image of a Female Olympian and Paralympian and tell us why that image is important or iconic.
Week eight: Ethics and Communication: Barriers to effective communication and how Influence and activism are changing perceived narratives into reality.
How female Olympians and Paralympians are using activism to combat miscommunication and push for equity and justice.
Assignment: Create a social media post, reel and vlog that communicates a reality you would love to change or see.
MONTH THREE: PERSONAL NARRATIVES AND CURATED MENTORSHIP
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Through storytelling and communication, we have seen how we can be a part of the change and redefine narratives. As a Flame Bearer Fellow, you will explore your story, communicate your goals and learn how to build a brand through your narrative and with guidance from a diverse panel of experts sharing their origin story.
Week nine: Introduction to personal narratives
As we prepare for the end of the fellowship, fellows will take turns in sharing their narrative, a capstone project they would love to explore and a hack or skill with other fellows.
Assignment: Review and decide on a capstone project
Week Ten: Mentorship Session with 'TBA'
Personal narrative: Defining your chosen career path.
Creating an equitable ecosystem for women and girls in sports.
Week eleven: Mentorship Session with 'TBA'
Personal narrative: Understanding the brand of women’s sports and how to treat it. Building your brand and finding your voice as an expert or leader in sports and society.
FOCUS: An opportunity for the fellows to share or teach something unique from the fellowship or to the outcome. Create their capstone project and ask questions. This part of the course will focus on mentorship and career clarity for the cohort.
A mini mentorship series of experts sharing their narratives to help the fellows understand their path, ask questions and gain better knowledge of their career trajectory.
OUTCOME: To bring experts and innovators in different areas of sports to teach and show the fellows that anything is possible through their narrative.
Methodology/Expectations: Flame Bearers methods to maximize learning for every Fellow is to provide multiple opportunities for students to learn from our designed curriculum, diverse pool of experts, hands-on personal projects and fellow cohort.
We intentionally curate each cohort to include people from different talents, backgrounds, and perspectives. Similar to success at the Olympics, you need a team rooting for you and working with you to get you to the podium.
ANNOUNCING ELIZABETH ON SOCIAL –