Humans are storytelling animals that have for, as long as we have been standing on two legs, been sharing narratives with our pack in order to succeed as a species. From dream time stories to the methodologies and scriptures that provide frameworks for life -- the transference of information from one generation to another has been critical to our success. We know that storytelling is evocative and powerful for the mind, but why? Stories trigger visuals and emotion, and they are one of the primary forms through which human experience is made meaningful and through which we learn and interact. Become adept at concepts governing Moral Panics and logistical framing, and discover how to master language and storytelling for positive social change.


  • Consider how language, schemas, and communication techniques are used as social influencers- constructively and destructively.

  • Explore the historical development of Public Relations and pervasive communication to discover how framing impacts the effects of language, including moral panics and fear framing.

  • Unravel the existing patterns of language and communication techniques that frame your understanding of the world around you.

  • Develop a framework for effectively using language to transfer emotion, influence decision making, and affect change. Identify and relate to neurochemical influencers.


Available for this course

Use this area to describe the image or provide supporting information.Certificates are issued by the UnSchool (using third party certifier upon successful and demonstrable completion of all course elements. Accredible uses bank-level encryption and blockchain logging to ensure legitimacy and verification, and offers easy to share credentials that you can receive as a downloadable PDF, share on LinkedIn and other digital platforms. Accredible also allows you to control your own data via their credential portal, accessible for free when you receive any certificates or badges.

Dr. Leyla Acaroglu

Instructor Bio:

Sustainability provocateur, award-winning designer, 2016 UNEP Champion of the Earth, and creative changemaker pioneer, Dr. Leyla Acaroglu challenges people to think differently about how the world works. As the founder of the UnSchool and creator of the Disruptive Design Method, Leyla weaves together her skills as a designer, sociologist, and social entrepreneur to create highly immersive educative experiences. She is a renowned international expert on systems thinking and sustainability, running workshops around the world and designing activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help equip people with the tools to intervene and change systems to make the status quo obsolete. Sought after for her unique approach to activating positive social change by design, Leyla's main-stage TED talk on sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she is the author of several handbooks, as well as an op ed contributor for major publications like the New York Times.

Dr. Leyla Acaroglu

UnSchool Founder + Global Change Maker


  • 01


  • 02

    Part 1: The Power of Language

  • 03

    Part 2: The Art of Persuasion

    • Read: Introduction to The Art of Persuasion

    • Video: The Art of Persuasion

    • Read: Theories of Learned Language

    • Read: The Birth of Public Relations

    • Read: Rhetoric

    • Read: Tone and Style

    • Knowledge Check: The Art of Persuasion

  • 04

    Part 3: Moral Panics, Misdirection and Framing

    • Read: Mental Frames and Schemas

    • Video: Moral Panics, Misdirection and Fear Framing

    • Read: The Framing Effect

    • Read: Moral Panics & Fear Framing

    • Read: Deception & Misdirection

    • Knowledge Check: Moral Panics, Misdirection and Fear Framing

  • 05

    Part 4: Language as a System

    • Read: Language is a System

    • Watch: Language as a System

    • Read: Memes & Stickiness

    • Knowledge Check: Language as a System

  • 06

    Part 5: Storytelling and Narratives that Make Change

  • 07


    • Tying It All Together

    • Additional Resources & Links

    • Language Influence & Effect Final Reflection

    • A Message From Leyla

  • 08

    Completion Certificate

    • Language Influence & Effect Final Knowledge Check

    • Get your certificate of completion!

  • 09

    Next Steps

    • Continue Your Learning Journey!


“For the past few weeks I've been taking the (very responsibly priced) online courses these folks offer. In short, their amazing, enriching, fun and worth every penny. If you are looking to build a community, design a product or just want to better understand Disruptive Design, design for equity, systems thinking, have a look. ”

Via Twitter

Jade Rivera

“Wow. Awesome. Amazing. Leyla is a synapse - with her energy, passion, knowledge and humour, she ignites every neuron in the audience, and frees people to think and design sustainably.”

Trish Hyde

“As someone operating in the nonprofit sphere, it was refreshing to branch out and learn a new way of thinking. I’m going to take this new learning to become an agent of cultural change in my circles.”

Michael Paone



Language is one of the most powerful tools humans have developed; in fact, it's one of the core reasons we have evolved into being such a prolific species on this planet! The ability to communicate effectively and affect change through the communication tools we develop - in all mediums - is a really important part of the changemaker’s toolkit. The old adage, “Words will never hurt me,” simply is not true, as words do have the power to destroy, but more importantly- to build, to uplift, to inspire, and ultimately, to heal. But how do we move to being expert communicators in a society that is increasingly disconnected, thanks to tech advancement that replaces face-to-face...or even voice-to-voice...communication?

In this knowledge session, we explore the ways in which language and communication have evolved to be used as powerful social influencers, how they have been misused, how certain types of framing affect us cognitively, and how political and cultural experiences result from inflectional languages. You will gain an understanding of the social construction of influential communication tactics and learn how to apply these tactics to shift behaviors towards more sustainable practices. 

We also explore how existing patterns of language have developed and break down the history of logistical framing, moral panics, and discourse. We’ll investigate the influence of Freud's theories on Public Relations and track its evolution to the modern day mechanisms that influence and affect us today, from digital to real-world interventions. Not only will this class help you wield storytelling prowess in your changemaking endeavors, but it will also help you better understand why you respond to the various mediums of communication all around you. Let’s get started! 




Additional products