January Innovation Forum: How to Tell Your BRAC Story…

We wanted to start the first Innovation Forum of year 2017 on a grand note. We wanted to talk about something that touches everyone at the organisation, in both their personal and professional life. And hence we picked to talk about ‘Stories’.


For decades now BRAC has been changing lives silently. We never really bothered telling people how great we were. We still don’t want to. But in order to inspire others to join hands in the mission that BRAC has, we need to give others reasons that make sense and make them feel good about themselves. And no tool can be better than storytelling.


Even within BRAC, programmes don’t always know how to best reflect their work. We are always consumed by these targets we need to achieve on a daily basis, we often forget what is an everyday ‘obvious’ for BRAC can actually be a landmark of achievement for another practitioner or individual.


Your audience might not always be the donors, they can be colleagues now and in future (Who will need to understand why they should be proud of what they are doing), your supervisor, or just some talented university students who want to do meaningful work but just don’t know the best examples that exist around.


We had the story telling legends: Sarah-Jane Saltmarsh, Senior Manager, BRAC Communications and Anjali Sarker, Team Leader, i-Projects, BRAC Social Innovation Lab present as the speakers with us at the forum.


Here’s a glimpse of the discussion that happened:


  • BRAC did everything silently because it made sense then. BRAC meant business. Now we have reached a point where talking is also part of doing.


  • Data and statistics are boring. No one remembers them. Make them interesting as you state them “ BRAC has served a population that is double the size of the United Kingdom (Plus Hungary)”. Do check out this awesome write up: Have you heard of BRAC?


  • If you don’t tell your story, someone else will tell it for you. There are dangers with that. Here’s another powerful story from Nigeria! Bookmark it if you can’t watch it now.


  • Corporate houses never talk about the products, they give you the feeling of using it, do you feel classy? do you feel responsible? do you look sensible?


  • Details are good, but unnecessary details can kill the message.


  • Before you start telling a story, think “What is the one thing that you want your audience to walk out with? that one top-line message? And do everything else keeping that in mind.”


  • Focus on the ‘feel’ it gives to the audience, is it fun? Is it positive? Is it dark? Sarcastic? Is that feeling relevant to your message?



These powerful videos were shown during the discussion, and the lovely audience agreed to extend the time of the forum to watch these. We ended the forum on time, said bye to everyone, told them to get the snacks, and then brought them back for these videos!


Example of one single message: Western Sydney University Video.

Follow the frog by Rainforest Alliance.

Meril Beauty Splash Soap.

A letter to Molly.

If you want to host an Innovation Forum with us, let us know by emailing to innovation@brac.net or simply calling at ext. 3768.

Masrura Oishi is an over-thinker and procaffeinator. In her free time, she pretends to be a philosopher and does some development work for BRAC Social Innovation Lab. She invests her insulin pumped energy into reading, writing, traveling and living!

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