Stories Connect

41 million Europeans feel permanently lonely, according to a 2018 EU study. With HiStory, an international team is working on a solution that focusses on personal stories to make new connections and avoid loneliness from scratch.


In Europe (and elsewhere) social isolation is a societal problem that affects older people disproportionately. The HiStory project uses storytelling around a digital app to connect people with their social environment and to preserve knowledge and hence cultural heritage.


Studio Dankl’s approach

Based on successful formats such as the Wien Museum’s storytelling circles and interviews with participants, moderators, and curators, knowledge about the important dynamics of storytelling was generated. Format and service on an analogue and digital level were developed in iterative co-creation workshops.

„HiStory enables people to connect through storytelling. In the process, it was always amazing to observe how much stories about personal experiences and moments touch people and how openly, respectfully and benevolently complete strangers interact with each other.“

Stephanie Schwarz (Scientist, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)

The website https://hi-story.eu provides information on the content and timeline of the international HiStory project.


HiStory is a digital and analogue service including a set of cards that is currently being tested in the second field trial in Austria, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.

„In a series of co-creation workshops, the storytelling process for the storytelling rounds, including all materials, was tested step by step to ensure that the requirements and needs of potential storytellers and facilitators alike were taken into account.“

Stephanie Schwarz (Scientist, AIT Austrian Institute of Technology)

Services: Design research, service design innovation, user tests and field research, dissemination. This project is funded by Active and Assisted Living (AAL). National funding through the FFG program. Consortium: NOUS Digital (AT), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts | iHomeLab (CH), AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (AT), Studio Dankl (AT), National Foundation for the Elderly (NL), Vicino (CH), IJsfontein (NL) und Municipality of Zutphen (NL)

Together with future storytellers and listeners, an app and a storytelling format are created that connect people and counteract social isolation.

Back to top

Co-Creation Impuls


Be inspired to think transformation in a participatory way.

  • Keynote
  • 20-45 minutes
  • Q&A
  • possible in the organisation or online

The keynote communicates the added value of co-creation as a sustainable, strategic innovation tool for the public and private sector. Co-creation principles, cases and design process inspire decision makers and employees to think about transformation from a participatory perspective.

Focus content:
— Outlining the transformation of the design discipline from product design to strategic innovation tool
— Insight into co-creation principles, impact and design process
— Concrete, inspiring cases.

Target group: Employees, decision-makers and team, conference participants

Number of participants:

Co-Creation Kickoff


Learn to apply co-creation and start with a sound roadmap.

  • Workshop
  • 4 hours
  • in the organisation or at Impact Hub Vienna

The workshop is aimed at organisations that want to learn about co-creation and involve their team in decision-making processes on strategic innovations. With a focus on applied co-creation principles and methods, the workshop provides a deeper understanding of existing expertise, relevant stakeholders and first process/system/product/service prototypes as a roadmap for co-creation in your own organisation.

Focus content:
— Basic principles of co-creation
— Definition of relevant challenges from the participants' perspective
— Interactive prototyping for efficient validation of assumptions
— Start of a co-creation roadmap

Preparation for participants:
— Anecdote about challenge and success pattern
— Product, device or a production material from your field of work

Target group:
Decision-makers plus team from the public and private sector

Number of participants:
9-12 persons

Co-Creation Now


Start into the future with a Co-Creation process tailor-made for you.

  • Process design and support
  • Depending on the project, approx. 4 to 18 months

Co-creation is contextual and situational, so no two design processes are exactly alike. From a pool of proven methods and creative processes, we put together a customised and project-dependent process. This is divided into a preparation phase in which the goal, desire or opportunity is identified, an implementation phase that covers idea generation, prototyping and implementation up to evaluation, and a post-project phase in which adaptations are made and projects are further supported.

Focus content:
— Based on a free initial consultation, offer for a tailor-made project divided into preparation phase
— implementation phase
— post-project phase

Target group:
Organisations from the public and private sector

Number of participants:
To be determined jointly for co-creation activities.

Co-Creation Ideas Ping-Pong Over Lunch


If you have lunch with artist Timotheus Tomicek and designer Kathrina Dankl, you will be served new perspectives.

  • Sparring/Exchange
  • 60 minutes
  • Q&A
  • Three centrally located venues in Vienna to choose from.

The artist, filmmaker, and photographer Timotheus Tomicek and the designer Kathrina Dankl share a long-standing tradition of occasional lunch dates. An unstructured exchange of ideas often opens up new perspectives on one’s own work. We invite project partners, customers, and other interested parties to have lunch with us. Everything else – including new perspectives – arises situationally during the conversations.

Focus content:
— Eating together
— Guest shares current topic, challenge, project idea
— Questions, reactions, perspectives, input, ideas from Timotheus and Kathrina

Target group:
Decision-makers from public and private organisations

Number of participants: 1