About this course

This is the first class in the Public Narrative courses series

During this online Public Narrative training session, participants will learn the Public Narrative framework, which is a leadership practice developed by Prof. Marshall Ganz at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. This framework is now being advanced by a growing network of practitioners worldwide. According to Prof. Ganz, "leadership is accepting responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose in the face of uncertainty." In this training, participants will learn how to develop the first of the three stories - Story of Self. The purpose of the Story of Self is to convey personal values and the "why" behind the willingness to take up leadership to do something about a particular issue.

What you will learn in this course

In this first class, you will learn the overall theory of Public Narrative and the definition of leadership particular to this framework. You will understand why, to mobilize others into action, we need to tell three stories – a story of Self, a story of Us, and a story of Now. After that, you will learn the three key elements that need to be crafted well to make an effective story. For this class, we will focus on the Story of Self. The purpose of the Story of Self is to understand why you care about a certain issue. Through your Story of Self, you will be able to share the core values that move you and the calling that guides your purpose

  • Communication

    Enhance your communication skills to be an effective leader

  • Story of Self

    Learn to speak authentically through telling a Story of Self that inspires others

  • Connection

    Reflect and answer the question “Why do I do what I do?"

  • Coaching

    Learn to listen and coach others on their stories


Sandy Dang


Sandy is a social entrepreneur, inspiring speaker, experienced executive, and leadership trainer. For thirteen years, Sandy was a Founder and former Executive Director of Asian American LEAD, a nonprofit that aimed to move refugee children out of poverty through education. In 2010, she served as a Presidential Appointee on the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF). Sandy has received numerous awards for her outstanding public leadership, including being named Washingtonian of the Year in 2001.

Nizar Farsakh


Nizar is a trainer on leadership, negotiations, and advocacy with extensive experience in the public and civil society sectors. He worked in the Middle East, North Africa, and the US. Nizar teaches negotiations at George Washington’s Elliot School of International Affairs and is involved in several non-violence initiatives in Palestine/Israel and the US.

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction and course logistics

    • Student Walk through - How to use the course player

    • Course Introduction

    • Course syllabus

    • How to finish the course 100% and get a certificate

    • How to select your Zoom training date

  • 2

    Introduction to Public Narrative

    • Harvard Prof. Marshall Ganz talks about “Public Narrative" - 16:15 minutes

    • 1.1. Introduction to Public Narrative

    • 1.2. Organizing Model, Definition, Story Structure, S.U.N

    • Quiz 1: Public Narrative Overview and Organizing Model, Definition, Story Structure, S.U.N

  • 3

    Required readings, videos, and quizzes before Zoom meeting

    • 1.0. Reading the participant guide

    • Quiz 2: Participant guide questions

    • 1.3.1. Debrief Obama DNC 2004 Speech

    • Quiz 3: Barack Obama’s 2004 DNC Speech

    • 1.3.2. Reagan Speech Debrief

    • 1.4. Bicycology and Division of Duty in This Class

    • 1.5. Coaching (OPTIONAL)

  • 4

    Required "Story of Self” practice before Zoom meeting

    • Draft a 2 minute “Story of Self” video

    • How to Record with Zoom

    • Video Release Form

    • Upload your story of Self video

  • 5

    Zoom coaching session

    • Zoom coaching session link

  • 6

    Other optional materials - Other useful public narrative examples

    • Gov. Chris Christie's R.N.C. Speech - Election 2012 | The New York Times

    • Joy Cushman teaches Introduction of Public Narrative - the art of telling your Story of Self

    • Valarie Kaur 2016, turning pain into hope

    • Story of Self from Prof. Thanh Nguyen

    • "Public Narrative Classes" Facebook group