Good Neighbours: Storytelling with Chatbots

Learn about chatbot tools and how to write an engaging and interactive story using this technology.

The Good Neighbours Workshop will explore the rise of the conversational interface and explore this medium as a tool for storytelling. We will start with a focus on the ongoing research project *Good Neighbours. Thereafter we will showcase some best practices in chatbot storytelling before we start writing and building our own storyline.

Workshop participants will learn about a variety of chatbot tools and how to write an engaging and interactive story using this technology. Participants will work on their stories in small teams and code this directly into a chatbot interface. The result will be a single collaboratively written chatbot!

*Good Neighbours – Chatbot documentary
WhatsApp is often adopted in neighbourhoods to distribute and discuss information about security. The rise in popularity of WhatsApp chat groups in suburban settings has recast this technology as a new form of neighbourhood watch. As a result, a culture of intimate surveillance is emerging globally. Calling on three years of research in South Africa and The Netherlands Dr. Natalie Dixon (ZA) and Klasien van de Zandschulp (NL) bring their knowledge of this research to the workshop to discuss.

Level: All levels. No coding or writing skills required.  Participants who have their own laptops are asked to please bring them. A limited number of workshop laptops will also be supplied.


More on workshop:
The increasing popularity of WhatsApp groups for surveillance in neighbourhoods across the world has meant that this technology has become the new “neighbourhood watch/ buurtpreventie”. In the Netherlands, urban and semi-urban neighbourhoods have been quick to adopt this technology. Currently, there are approximately 8,600 WhatsApp ‘buurtpreventie’ groups in the Netherlands. This intimate form of communication has introduced new forms of surveillance and even hostility, where the question of Who Belongs? is constantly raised. We aim to creatively explore this emerging form of neighbourhood surveillance to understand what the implications are for society.

Partners & Funders:


Sep 04 2019


10:00 am - 1:00 pm

More Info



19th Floor, University Cnr, 1 Jan Smuts Ave, Braamfontein
Dr. Natalie Dixon


Dr. Natalie Dixon

Other Organizers

Klasien van de Zandschulp
Klasien van de Zandschulp

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