After seven years of exciting work as a division of Well Told Story, our consulting team is entering a period of transformative growth. Since 2009, Well Told Story Consulting has been growing alongside Shujaaz and our other media, sharing the skills and lessons we’ve learned in strategy, media and communications to help our clients harness the power of good communications to create positive change.

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Last month our Head of Media, Julian Macharia, & Senior Technical Advisor, Everlyn Kemunto, were invited by the Hanns Seidel Foundation to attend a round-table discussion in Brussels on Youth Radicalization. The objective of the visit was to give the EU a more grounded understanding of the local realities around radicalization and violent extremism in Africa.

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My favourite kind of meeting is an ‘after action review’. It’s that meeting when you get the team back together again, once the dust has settled, and you talk about what happened, why it happened, and how it could have gone better.

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We often get asked by organizations if we will write them a communications strategy. We could, but we won’t. Because we believe that strategy is a process not a document.

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On a recent trip to New York, I was intrigued to find that notoriously rude New Yorkers are a lot more polite than their reputation suggests.

And they were particularly well-mannered on the subway, once one of the scariest metropolitan railways in the world. Could it be the 2015 subway campaign, encouraging people to behave better? And what lessons can we learn from it?

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If you’d have told me a few years ago that the future of social media was text-heavy 90 second videos, I’d have laughed you out of the room. But ‘auto-play’ video on Facebook and Twitter is changing the game, when it comes to digital content creation.

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Let’s face it, a lot of research just gathers dust on a shelf. An analysis of World Bank publications once showed that a third had never been downloaded, by anyone – ever! Most researchers I meet want to change the world, it’s just that very few of them know how. They sweat blood doing the heavy lifting of analysing massive datasets and wait for what feels like forever for the results of longitudinal panel surveys. The last thing they want is for their research to go unnoticed.

So here are 10 top tips for researchers who want to change the world:

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Everybody’s talking about ‘the little big thing’. We’re all working on big things: ending poverty, reducing maternal mortality, gender equality, financial inclusion, universal education, action on climate change… But sometimes we forget about the little thing, that makes the big thing happen.

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There’s a time and a place for everything. But the best time for policy briefs is not six o’clock in the evening at the end of an all day conference. And the best place for policy briefs is not at a cocktail party, and certainly not floating on the surface of a hotel swimming pool.

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I’ve just been at a conference attended by 450 people from all across the world. In the opening session, the facilitator asked for a ‘show of hands’: “Hands up: who has come from another country in Africa?” “Hands up: who has never been to this country before?” “Hands up: who is sitting next to someone they’ve never met before?”

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