On Friday 15th February, IPR License was fortunate enough to have two colleagues attend the very first Confluence, an event about the future of storytelling and technology from Byte the Book in partnership with Academy London, Google’s dedicated learning space in Victoria.

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Hosted by Justine Solomons, founder of Byte the Book, and Michael Kowalski, founder of mixed reality start-up Storienteer, attendees were treated to an afternoon of writers, technologists and businesses coming together to “look at how technology is changing the way we make and consume stories, while creating fresh opportunities to reach new audiences”.

Held at the lovely Academy London, the sold out event was a brilliant showcase of talks from creative practitioners, innovative business and immersive technology strategies, and advice on how to apply these new principles to content creation and audience engagement.

Have a look below at some of our favourite takeaway points from Brittany Poulin, Head of Audience Development, and Maya Whatton, Junior Marketing and Account Manager.



Maya’s Top Takeaways:


Digital literature in the age of social media
Aki Schilz spoke about how the modest #LossLit project, initiated by her and Kit Caless, sparked a literary movement on Twitter by inviting users to post their own content responding to the theme of “Loss”. The creative call-to-action was picked up by some big names and has spiralled into digital avalanche celebrating and exploring a form of poetry and prose that is often, perhaps a little ironically, neglected.

Join in on the #LossLit write club on the first Wed of every month, 9-11pm GMT. For more info visit losslit.com

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Guy Gadney


Chatbots in storytelling
We’ve all had a chin-wag with Siri, or perhaps requested a favourite song from Alexa, but charisma.ai’s Guy Gadney introduced a new kind of AI persona on Friday. Bots capable of meaningful conversations, sentient memory and responsive emotions featured in Gadney’s digital demonstration. Described as “a very intimate form of storytelling”, the characters emerging from charisma.ai’s tech engage with the human participant on a remarkably (and perhaps a little disturbingly) similar human level.



Make Our Book: A new kind of author, a new kind of publisher
Through an interactive Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style presentation she had coded herself, Emma Barnes (founder of indie publisher Snowbooks, publishing workflow platform Consonance) spoke about her, ‘Make Our Book’ project, a new publishing initiative providing schools with beautifully printed publications of students’ work. A much needed answer to the usual displays of children’s writing as “monochrome works of disappointment” as Barnes described them, tentatively pinned up on classroom walls for a fleeting moment before being taken down or discarded. Make Our Book provides schools and pupils with an enduring legacy of work whilst allowing children achieve published author status.


Brittany’s Top Takeaways:

Applying Hollywood shapes to digital journeys
Hari Patience-Davies reviews how the tried and tested storytelling emotional curve from Hollywood movies can be applied to strategies from brands and products, and how to use this simple curve to maximise user enjoyment.

Key Takeaway: Finding a pattern that will fit this storytelling curve is not always immediately obvious during a digital journey, but big brands are now employing people with storytelling experience to make a smooth user journey.

Irreality: the coming age of miracles
An in-depth look at the current state of mixed reality (technology that blends fiction and reality), how people are exploring the possibilities even before the technology is ready, and what opportunities might be possible for storytelling in this new medium, from Michael Kowalski (founder of mixed reality start-up Storienteer).

Key Takeaway: In a world of upcoming technology and new ways to tell stories, mixed reality and AR is not just a technology, it is a whole new medium and will someday be a medium for us like water is a medium for fish.

Audience engagement and the power of immersive storytelling
Award-nominated writer and producer Adipat Virdi shows how audience engagement with content has changed over time, alongside key examples of projects that have defined Immersive Storytelling and why these developments have been so important for the field, and rounding off with a showcase of two projects with stories using technology to promote social change in the world.

Key Takeaway: These new developments are taking us away from the old model focusing on content towards a new model with a focus on engaging with that content. We are no longer dealing with content consumers, and instead are working with content disruptors as our main engaging audience.


Join the conversation about rights and licenses by following IPR License on Twitter @iprlicense, keep up with @BytetheBook and follow @storienteer.