Storytelling & Community in the Time of the Pandemic – And Beyond

The pandemic has accelerated growth across the sectors of business and technology, this, we know. It’s lead to adoption of workplace practices and lead to a new way of doing things which would have been slower and had a lot of pushbacks in the past. This too isn’t news.

Work from home and hybrid is the future present.

I want my time at the University of Washington’s Communication Leadership Program to reflect this evolving world. One where the focus is on media, technology, and communities equally, because each of them informs the other. The world function in silos.

The tenets of storytelling and community are key to the act of Communication Leadership in an age of flux. To function at the nexus of technology, media and communication.

From the time of the first humans, millennia ago, when we sat around a fire and told stories of camaraderie and togetherness to ward off the dark, to today, where we are more connected than ever before, yet more alone, we need to remember our roots.

Our stories.

As Death says in Sir Terry Pratchett’s novel Hogfather, ‘Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.’

Stories are about people. About community. They help us make sense of the world around us. As technology changes at a breakneck speed, it is more important than ever before to craft narratives which drive us towards hopeful futures, to an AI plus Human world, and not to a world of SkyNet or iRobot.

Thus, my choice of tenets for Commlead 501 was clear.

It had to be storytelling and community, and it had to be about the pandemic and post-pandemic era.

I chose to focus on Mumbai’s football culture through the lens of a Super Division club based in the city of dreams.

But how do you work with an organization based in India when you are in Seattle? That was my challenge as well as my opportunity. After all, the pandemic has not only accelerated technological developments, but also deepened connections and communities. That was the solution. The Eureka! moment.

I created a website to tell their story and my communities in Mumbai shot and curated the content which would be displayed on it.

Networks and communities coming together from across the oceans to help craft a story and showcase Mumbai’s football culture – What could be a better reflection of the culture at work?

In my opinion, this was storytelling at its finest, and the truest reflection of community.

You can see my final project here:

www.mumbaiultras.com.