Narrative Contest – Submissions

Narrative Contest
Guidelines and Submissions

Greetings Utrecht University PhD Candidates and welcome to our little ABT contest!

We’re inviting you to submit your ONE SENTENCE ABT via this form by May 31st. Our team of ABT Judges (recruited from among the wonderful team that helps run our ABT Framework course) will eventually pick their three most favorite ABTs. Randy Olson will work with the winners during the presentation in a live ABT Build exercise and they will receive prizes.

Here’s a few suggestions to help you get a clear idea of what a typical ABT looks like.

SET UP – the first part should try to give a basic idea of “the world” in which your narrative takes place and why it’s important. This is the AND material.

PROBLEM – on the word BUT you present the element of contradiction that is at the core of the project.

SOLUTION – following the word THEREFORE you present the actions being taken as a result of what has been presented.

Please make sure it’s only one sentence (it can be lengthy) and for clarity, use the three words: AND, BUT, THEREFORE which you capitalize.


Here’s a few examples of ABT’s presented by participants in the ABT Framework course, just to give you an idea of what an ABT looks like. We use the three colors to code the three parts of an ABT. These are not perfect (actually, none of them ever are), BUT … they give you the general idea, THEREFORE they should help in crafting your ABT. You can learn a lot more about the ABT by reading “The Narrative Gym.”



1) Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore proposes has a cross country ski trail system that is utilized AND in need of several improvements that would improve access and maintenance operations, BUT the majority of improvements require building facilities in wetlands. THEREFORE, the Park is searching for alternative design solutions to diminish the impact to the wetlands while still providing quality cross country ski trail amenities.

2) Heart disease is the deadliest disease worldwide AND depression correlates with poor cardiovascular health outcomes BUT there are no mechanisms linking the two diseases. THEREFORE we want to identify whether decreased neural activity associated with depression impairs cardiovascular function.

3) Wisconsin has many lakes and rivers that support many diverse ecosystems AND a strong tourism economy, BUT the highest quality lakes and watersheds are unidentified in a rigorous manner. THEREFORE the water resource division of WDNR is undertaking an effort to utilize data to identify these resources with the objective of protecting the best of the best.