Bye Bye boring. UBC takes novel approach to its annual report

Crowd-sourced stories, powerful narratives, sharp infographics and an interactive platform putting the reader in the editor’s seat. These are the elements that make this year’s University of British Columbia annual report an engaging experience.

Released today, the 2012 UBC Annual Report is provided only as a digital, online document, in a format that shakes up the traditional annual report model for academic institutions.

“We have used rich media to breathe some life into facts, figures and features,” said Kari Grist, managing director of Communications and Marketing at UBC. “This gives the report a fresh, authentic tone. It really embodies the dynamism, sustainability and transparency that are the very essence of this university.”

A first for UBC and a rarity among other academic institutions, the annual report includes an interactive timeline of major milestones, a financial summary infographic, a metrics scorecard, and customizable, printable options to create and share special interest versions of the annual report to specific stakeholders.

“Shared stories connect us as a community, serve as inspiration, and act as a catalyst to ignite change,” said Grist. “There are over eighty stories to explore and a world of inspiration to be found in this report.”

The UBC 2012 Annual Report can be found here.


Report creation:  The UBC Annual Report was collaboratively created through crowd-sourcing stories that were then submitted using an online repository (StoryBox), built on a WordPress platform, allowing users to easily create ‘blog-style’ entries and share copy, photos and video.

Engaging the UBC community as co-creators:  There were 383 submissions from the community, which allowed for a high degree of discoverability. Stories selected for the report reflect UBC’s nine commitments in the university’s Place and Promise Plan.

Digital Storytelling:  The online experience becomes dynamic through an interactive timeline of major milestones, a financial summary infographic, a metrics scorecard,and customizable, printable options to create and share targeted reports to specific audiences.


Kari Grist
Managing Director, Communications and Marketing
Tel: 604.827.0014