Interested in planning and creating your own program and event? These are the steps of the production process developed for Worldviews Network productions:
An important starting point for the Worldviews process is reflecting on existing resources and opportunities. Considering these statements will help you plan how to fulfill your site’s specific needs and goals.
To get started, find the statement for each section that sounds the most like your site. If that statement is in bold, your site is well-suited to begin the production process. If that statement is in italics, it may possible for your site, but they might require a greater amount of staff time, resources, and/or outside assistance. If that statement is in normal text, it will prove more challenging to use Worldviews Network program kits or create your own. Nevertheless, you may find the process and program kits valuable for adapting to your needs.
Teaching & Presenting
- Someone at my site is highly experienced at live presentation or storytelling.
- People at my site do live presentation, but it is not anyone’s specialty.
- My site only uses pre-recorded presentations.
Earth Science Content
- Someone at my site is an expert on science content related to our presentation topic.
- People at my site are somewhat familiar with the science content related to our presentation topic, but we still have some questions.
- My site does not interpret or have access to the science content related to our presentation topic.
- Someone at my site can package .kml and .kmz data files for use with Uniview software.
- Someone at my site can use Uniview software to give presentations, but we need help manipulating raw visual data.
- My site has not used Uniview software before.
- My site has a full planetarium space.
- My site has a portable dome.
- My site has a flat screen.
- Someone at my site is highly experienced at facilitating dialogue between parties.
- My site has hosted facilitated dialogues before, but does not do so regularly.
- No one at my site has ever facilitated dialogue before.
Identify a topic or theme that is relevant to the community. See the existing program kits for example productions. Each kit contains a storyboard and script, a Uniview installer, and relevant resources. These can be easily adapted for your own needs if they address topics relevant to your community.
Developing an understanding of context and interconnections is central to the Worldviews Network approach. Once a topic is selected, it is considered from multiple scales (cosmic, global, and local) and perspectives (ecological, social, cultural, economic, etc). The existing program kits demonstrate how this was done with the original partner sites.
After a story is identified and a basic outline begun, identify and integrate outside content advisors into the process of story development and refinement. What scientists or community groups are studying this issue? These advisors will help to identify people, places, or other sources that might be able to provide data, fact-checking, or insight on the story. Story selection is generally not limited to those sources or data already known, but emerge through a co-design process. At this stage, the content advisors find new sources, data, and information based on the selected topic. Helpful for content support, presentation, and data sources.
Advisors are generally not involved in the day-to-day development, but play one (or more) of three contribution roles, with varying level of involvement:
Shaping the Story
- Some advisors review storylines or storyboards offering suggestions for how they might approach/change a story.
Providing Story Information
- Some advisors provide fact-checking on aspects of a story, provided content background during story development, or provided information to fill in gaps in a storyline.
- Some advisors provide sources of the data needed to create the visualizations that illustrated the story. These individuals are often not involved in the story or interpreting the visualizations, but are able to provide or help locate the data that was essential to the approach.
Bring the visualizations and storytelling together to produce your show. Develop the content by identifying relevant datasets and/or existing visualizations. If you are working with new data, process it to display visualizations in the dome.
(Event planning toolkit coming soon)
The producers and the informal science center take the responsibility for planning the event. Keep in mind that the process and skill-sets required to produce these ambitious visual productions, stories, and public events are substantial and need support. Because the needs of developing a production (e.g. scripting, gathering data, creating visualizations etc.) and the capacities of staff can be highly variable, producers need to act in whatever capacity was necessary to ensure the event’s success. Professional development for ISI sites is often required. This generally encompasses:
- This includes everything from ensuring a portable dome got to the venue where it needed to be, to identifying and inviting audiences. What is the date/time? Who will be the invited audience? Who will be the presenter? Who will be the dialogue facilitator? Who’s in charge of promotion?
- Content advisors can be difficult to find and are sometimes unable to commit to involvement within the production’s timeframe. Producers sometimes need to step in to fill those gaps in the story development process, particularly when the ISI partners aren’t content experts.
- Translating data into the visualization platforms can be challenging, pushing the limits of what the software was designed to do. This can be beyond the capacity of the ISI, so producers often need to provide services in the creation, rendering, and general troubleshooting to get the visuals of the productions – each custom-made – ready for viewing.
Science Institution Staff Role
- Sometimes staff representatives are unable to fully engage in the coordinating and point-person role, which can require producers to take on more of those responsibilities.
The culmination of the process is the event and the community dialogue. Each event includes the dome presentation, lasting approximately 45 minutes, consisting of data visualizations with live narration following a script/storyline. The programs generally follow a progression of cosmic to global to local perspectives on social-ecological systems, although this can vary depending on the needs of the story. The presentation can involve single or multiple presenters, perhaps interacting with one another. After a presentation, Q&A can be held in the space or participants can move to an alternate space to continue the dialogue. Events vary depending on specific needs based on:
- Some events can be focused on specifically selected stakeholder groups in the community who might be able to focus on enacting change about the issue (while possibly also welcoming generally interested public).
- Other events can be primarily open to the public; though it’s a good idea to make sure that related science or community stakeholders receive invitations.
- Producers can co-present representatives from the science institutions, particularly when the staff don’t feel confident enough in the content to speak about it, even from the script/story.
- Post-presentation dialogue/discussion sessions can be conducted to encourage participants to continue exploring the themes presented in the programs.
- This requires a strong and comfortable facilitator, enough experts in attendance to go beyond basic question and answer discussions, and institutional comfort in all other aspects of production.
- The success of this dialogue component of the event often depends on the participants and logistics of the specific event. For help with the designing/facilitating the dialogue process, see the Worldviews Café guide.