NARRATIVE  is a pervasive technology that human beings have evolved over millennia for entertainment, learning and the preservation and shaping of culture. By promoting cognitive activities such as suspension of disbelief and story involvement, narrative can potentially reinforce learning objectives and ingrain subject matter. (Harp and Mayer, 1998) Also one of the significant advantages is that narrative-centered learning provides a meaningful structure integrating pedagogical objectives into a unifying, coherent form that serves as a powerful motivating force for learning. (Rowe 2007).


In four ways PolarLeader develops Narrative Presence which is defined as "The subjective experience of being in one place or environment, even when one is physically situated in another." (Witner and Singer, 1998).  There are at least eight contributors to narrative presence: spacial presence, involvement, realness, immersion, quality, drama, interface awareness, exploration and lack of predictability. (Schubert et al., 1999)


In PolarLeader we generate Narrative Presence through four approaches.

  1. Through a compelling, well acted and true story that provides two contrasting leaders that at the same moment in time, with the same weather and across very similar landscapes,  experienced profoundly different outcomes. This creates a compelling mystery and a problem for the participants to solve

  2. Theming that creates greater immersion in a story and the willing suspension of disbelief. It has been noted that because of humans long history with story that we willingly offer our suspension of disbelief and the role of the storyteller is not to betray that trust.

  3. With relevant links to contemporary issues within the organization, participants give the story the benefit of the doubt as they can imagine that seeing their situation from a parallel story could help them better understand their own workplace dilemmas. 

  4. Our facilitator-led programs are supported by our Narrative Learning Platform - Townhall Builder this is a purpose-built platform for audience participation that also allows for non-linear and real-time changes to the storyline. This deepens the immersive experience.

These four factors put PolarLeader in a class of its own when it comes to memorable, compelling, relevant and engaging organizational learning.




Harp, S. F., and Mayer, R. E. 1998. How seductive details do their damage: a theory of cognitive interest in science learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90, 414–434.

Witmer, B. G. and M. J. Singer. 1998. Measuring presence in virtual environments: A presence questionnaire. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 7(3), 225-240

Jonathan P. Rowe, Scott W. McQuiggan, James C. Lester 2007. Narrative Presence in Intelligent Learning Environments, Department of Computer Science North Carolina State University

Schubert, T., Friedmann, F., and Regenbrecht, H. 1999. Embodied presence in virtual environments. In Ray Paton & Irene Neilson (Eds.), Visual Representations and Interpretations. London: Springer. 269-278



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