Storytelling is a very human way of grappling with complexity. However in the social sector, we’ve become used to telling a specific type of story: the ‘hero’s journey’ model of an exceptional individual or organization single-handedly responsible for change. Telling and retelling versions of this story reinforces existing narratives about how social change happens and ultimately distracts our attention away from collective approaches to systems change.
The Collective Change Lab’s Systems Storytelling Project aims to identify non-dominant traditions, methods and techniques for storytelling that foster collective meaning-making in more relational and emergent ways. The core partners for this project are a diverse Community of Practice with lived & learned experiences of various genres of storytelling (ie, indigenous storytelling, folklore, oral traditions, visual/musical arts, journalism, filmmaking and creative writing).
Together, this community is reinvigorating ways of storytelling that foster trust, celebrate plurality, and re-center the power of change making within collective communities.