Pass It Down is building the world’s first community storytelling platform designed to bring local history and stories to life.
Three years ago, we started Pass It Down to help families collect and preserve their memories with an application that would put a biographer in everyone’s pocket. Today, we’re thrilled to share that our mission is expanding and to talk a little bit about why.
How is Pass It Down Expanding?
Pass It Down is building the world’s first community storytelling platform designed to bring local history and stories to life. Our homes and communities contain some of the most powerful stories in the world yet people know less about where they live than ever before. Simply put, history has not kept up with technology.
To solve this critical problem, Pass It Down is working with communities to create a new way for locals to explore the stories of their city while allowing anyone in the community to be able to record and share their local history stories.We are crowdsourcing history. Our solution is built on the versatile Pass It Down Storytelling Platform we’ve been tinkering away on for three years and we believe it’s going to change the world.
What’s the backstory?
When we set out to build the Pass It Down Platform, we wanted to create a powerful storytelling platform that: 1) would make it easy to record and upload family memories and stories, 2) would highlight those emotional moments with a beautiful UI/UX, and 3) would take the struggle of journaling away by prompting our users with questions from some of the world’s top biographers.
It wasn’t until the fall of 2016, that we began to realize that our platform was needed in communities around the world. In October of 2016, we partnered with the International Storytelling Center to run a digital storytelling campaign at the National Storytelling Festival to ask festivalgoers to share the stories of their first memory. During the Festival, the incredible Kiran Singh Sirah, the President of the International Storytelling Center, told me I was “looking at the world of storytelling through a magnifying lens” and that we should take a step back because “there are so many communities around the world in need of this platform.”
Now, if you’ve ever built a tech platform you will know how often someone has an “idea” of how your company could be expanded, tweaked, pivoted, you name it. And in general, the best rule of thumb is always to be cautious and skeptical because a lack of focus in a company will kill it. However, a week later the Chattanooga Public Library and their executive director, national librarian of the year Corinne Hill, called and asked if it would be possible to use the Pass It Down Platform to bring Chattanooga’s history and stories to life.
So what happened next?
The Pass It Down team decided to take the leap and to go from just helping families to helping an entire city of over 170,000 people. At the time, we didn’t realize what we were getting ourselves into but what we discovered is how powerful our local history is and how much those stories need to be collected, preserved and shared. Ultimately, we fell in love with our own local history (despite its troubled past) and our team was inspired to help other communities around the world take a new approach to bringing their history into the future.
Check out the Chattanooga Memory Project to see our first platform for a city and stay tuned. We have a lot of exciting news to share.
About Pass It Down: Pass It Down is an award-winning storytelling company that works with families, organizations, and communities around the world to bring their stories to life. Since launching in 2015, Pass It Down has been recognized repeatedly as an innovator and leader in the field of storytelling.