The Creative Councils programme run by Nesta and the Local Government Association (LGA) helps local government innovate and create radical ideas and solutions to the challenges their communities are facing.  Councils were invited to pitch ideas  and a chance to receive further support from Innovation Unit, a London based social enterprise who specialise in solving social challenges and empowering new ways of working within public services.

The new ideas, learning and practices were collated into a report and a set of individual visual stories to be shared in the hope of inspiring other councils to tackle their problems in different ways. Innovation Unit asked Auralab to come up with a way of telling the story of each of the final five councils in a concise but engaging way. The solution was a set narrative structure of six slides for each council with the key points being told via illustrations supported by short captions.

The storytelling phase of the project required fast learning of the background of each council and the service area in question and then synthesising complex learnings into initial storyboards and then final illustrated stories. The process was an excellent collaboration with the team at Innovation Unit and the outcome was successful in communicating a lot of information and effort in a short format.

Have a closer look at the stories:

Derbyshire (PDF)
How can Derbyshire transform the achievement levels and life chances of its children in care?

Monmouthshire (PDF)
How can the councils of the future continue to make a positive impact on people’s lives with less money?

Rotherham (PDF)
How do you scale an effective approach to empowering young people and communities to be more enterprising?

Stoke-on-Trent (PDF)
How can the environment team in Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and its partners, contribute to the revival of the city?

Wigan (PDF)
How can we use the devolution of adult social care budgets to build community capital, stimulate volunteering, strengthen the local economy, and transform the lives of adult social care users?

You can download the report and read more about the project on the Creative Councils page on Nesta’s website and you can also find out more about Innovation Unit and how they describe the process on their Creative Councils page.

If this sparked your interest, get in touch to discuss ideas for visual storytelling.


  • Laura was booked by the Wales Deanery to make a graphic recording of our MedTRiM Course for doctors. She captured both the main learning outcomes of the course and the essence of the learning activities incredibly well. What she produced was so good we now use it on all MedTRiM Courses to set the scene for the day.

    Andy McCann, DNA Definitive

  • Laura was a pleasure to work with, both flexible and accommodating for our specific needs. The final piece produced on the day was of exceptional quality and I highly recommend her.

    Chris Formosa, Strategic HR Project Manager at City of London

  • Laura’s unique work created an extremely exciting, vivid and innovative artwork that Chapter continues to profile through its marketing and promotional material.

    Hannah Firth – Head of Visual and Live Arts, Chapter

  • She turned our research into a creative and effective set of scenarios. We would recommend anyone who wants to make their research come alive to work with Laura.

    Noel Hatch – Co-Chair, Transeuropa Cooperative

  • The work done by Laura was invaluable in helping others to understanding the innovation model clearly, and in a lively way that inspired and engaged people. Laura was very effective in clarifying the brief and making helpful suggestions to improve the final product.

    Ian Graham, Head of Innovation, City of York Council