Narrative Change Academy

Narrative Change Academy

Polarising, racist, and Islamophobic attitudes and discourses pose a major challenge to social cohesion in many European societies. From now on, the Young Islam Conference will counteract these throughout Europe with the Narrative Change Academy. The academy’s focus is specifically on the topic of Islam in Europe and how to shape a post-migrant society. For the time being, twelve young people from different backgrounds and experiences between the ages of 18-27 from France, the United Kingdom, and Germany can participate in the academy.

The Call for Applications has ended.

Imagine you change the future by changing the narrative

About the Narrative Change Academy

As academy participants, young Europeans acquire skills in strategic communication – particularly digital campaigning – to advocate for our vision of an open, post-migrant, and anti-racist society. The first academy year starts in May 2023 and will run until February 2024. Working with experts, participants will use the Narrative Change Approach to develop a digital campaign consisting of value-oriented, post-migrant, inclusive narratives about Muslims. In addition, the program will also prepare the participants, through targeted mentorship and a workshop series, to present their findings at a final event in Brussels with European stakeholders.

The trained Narrative Change Ambassadors are the start of a European post-migrant alumni network that will grow year by year, contributing in the long term to enabling a broader presence of value-based, post-migrant, inclusive narratives across Europe.


Kübra Sariyar

“Hi, my name is Kübra Sariyar, starting my master’s in European Media Studies. With the Narrative Change Approach, I recognise that there is the opportunity to transform knowledge into something tangible, and hope that curiosity and trust will be brought to outreach work. I’m especially looking forward to this experimental approach.”

David Bakum

“Hi, I’m David and I’m studying theatre and film in Edinburgh. I value JIK as an empowerment space for many young Muslims in Germany and would like to support as an ally. In learning about the Narrative Change approach, I look forward to designing a campaign concept to realise JIK’s visions across Europe!”

Who will be attending the Narrative Change Academy?

Together with the two fellows, 12 Europeans between the age of 18 and 27 based in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany will work at the Academy, 4 chosen from each country. Our goal is to facilitate exchange between young people from different backgrounds and experiences.

The Timeline

The Academy is running from May 2023 to February 2024. Four three-day-long on-site workshops will take place in Berlin (11–13 May 2023; 22-24 June 2023; 7-9 September 2023 and 9-11 November 2023). Travel and hotel costs will be covered by the Narrative Change Academy. Participants will be accommodated in single rooms. Breakfast and lunch are included. There will be vegan and vegetarian options.

We are shaping the post-migrant Europe of tomorrow.

What is the Narrative Change approach?

The Narrative Change approach addresses the “movable middle” and focusses on values, concerns, and personal stories. This approach forms an important basis for genuine dialogue and democratic coexistence. Mainstream society is characterised by a lack of participation in migration discourses, concerns about growing inequality, and is potentially susceptible to populist ideas and similar rhetoric.

Cooperation partners for the Narrative Change Academy include one step beyond – communications and strategy, the Berlin Institute for Empirical Research on Integration and Migration (BIM) at the Humboldt University of Berlin and Connecting Europe, a European programme of the European Policy Centre.

A publication will be produced as part of the scientific support provided by BIM. Roundtables with decision-makers at national and the European level will make the results more visible, thus rounding off the academy programme.

The Narrative Change Academy is supported by the Allianz Foundation and the Stiftung Mercator. The contact person is Jasemin Seven.