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Ep. 124 Storytelling + Community Building in a Digital Age


We live almost in two worlds now: the real one that we move around in physically, and the one online. The internet can be an amazing and helpful thing, but it can also be incredibly problematic. How do we navigate that balance and make sure that how we show up in the real world is not overly influenced by the engineered spaces we encounter online? It’s a meaty topic, and we have an extra-long episode to talk about it!


About Chris:

My name is Chris Burgess.I am a writer, editor, musician, teacher, songwriter, audio producer and a storyteller. I am also a former Navy Radioman holding a BA in Political Science, an MA in Medieval Studies, and an MA and PhD in English Literature with a focus on narrative emotion and rhetoric. I developed a deep appreciation for the relationship between leadership, storytelling, emotion and the art of persuasion through my academic studies. My tenure as the Campus Chief Steward for the graduate student union COGS/UE Local 896 at the University of Iowa provided real-world experience for these leadership skills. Upon completing my PhD in 2015, I explored the art of persuasion in the digital age, serving as an adjunct professor of English for six years. As a professor, I developed and taught a curriculum emphasizing persuasion, storytelling, critical thinking and digital and information literacy.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The sense of groundedness that exists in the Midwest and how we could replicate that elsewhere

  • Why authenticity is the most important part of storytelling

  • What digital literacy looks like in an age where the algorithm is designed to divide us

  • The antidote to division and bridge language vs. chasm language

  • What a Doom Loop is and how to react to people who are stuck in one

Links + Resources Mentioned:


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