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Stories and storytelling

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 13 years, 5 months ago
Story making is crucial to making sense of complexity and communicating understandings about complex things.
Story making and telling are the oldest forms of communication. The first thing people do upon meeting each other is begin telling stories.


Stories are the medium through we can communicate meaningfully with each other. Our wisdom, our intuitive knowing is imbedded in the stories we tell. Just after our need for food and even before our need for love, we have a need for story. A wise teacher once said, "The shortest distance between two people is a story." Another teacher was asked by his frustrated students one day, "Master, we ask to hear the truth and all you tell us are stories." The Master smiled and replied, "The shortest distance between a person and the truth is a story. "


Stories invest our lives with meaning, they develop and express our creativity. They help us to laugh at ourselves. They give us the strength to face life's difficult moments. They connect us more vitally with ourselves and each other and they turn ordinary moments into extraordinary ones.


"If there were no stories there would be no world because the world is made up of stories," said a child when asked the question. "What are stories?" Think about it. We create with our stories. We imagine what is possible, we make up a story about it. We bring that story into existence. Our words, our images are just that powerful.


We organize information in story form. It is how we make sense of the world around us. And it is how we communicate that understanding to another. Stories allow us to bypass the linear and access whole brain learning. When I tell you a story, I let you into my world. I cannot tell you who I am without telling you a story.


Stories illustrate the text of our lives. They go beyond facts into feelings. They engage the whole of us--our minds and our hearts. By storying my life, that is, by telling about the incidents that give my life meaning I make sense out of it. I begin to connect the dots of my experience and as I do, gracefully,artistically, memorably, I invite you to go inside and begin to connect your own dots to make sense out of your own experience.  Michale Gabriel  Learning and Growing through Stories 



These wise words embody so much what we are trying to do in this wiki. Our wiki is a story, more accurately it is a collection of stories and the telling of many stories. A new page signals that someone has had the courage to begin a story that makes a bit of sense to them and is willing to let go so others can add their own stories or adaptations. Through this storytelling process we begin to build a collective and connected story of the many interpretations and understandings of what learning in a complex world might mean.  Please add your own stories to the wiki and share your wisdom about the role of stories and the telling of stories in a complex world. Norman August 22/08/07


The human species is on the verge of self-annihilation, and we are meeting to talk about stories. Far from being frivolous and irrelevant as some might assume, this gathering is at the cutting edge of serious change. The power to shape the stories that frame a culture is the only power that potentially trumps the power of the dysfunctional, but seemingly invulnerable institutions that currently set the human course. Changing the story field of modern culture has become an imperative. — David Korten



Here is a beautiful story painted by  Danna Lynne Anderson Which Future?



Inspiring stories

The story field conversations conference blog is well worth a visit. 





Six stories you need to be able to tell1 Who I Am Stories

2 Why I Am Here Stories

3 My Vision Story

4 Teaching Stories

5 Values in Action Stories

6 "I Know what you are Thinking" Stories








Storytelling in Organizations 

What is the role of storytelling in organizations today? What role does storytelling play in the creation and sharing of knowledge? In his talk at the Smithsonian in April 2001, Larry Prusak, executive director of IBM's Institute of Knowledge Management, recognized the following categories of story and discusses the reasons for why people tell these types of story
A.    Stories about other people 

B.  Stories about the work itself

C. Stories about the organization

D. Stories as social bonding

E. Stories as signals

F. Stories about the past

G. Stories about the future

H. Stories about life itself

I. Stories about oneself and identity 

J. Electronic storytelling
Storytelling: The film-maker as storyteller
Katalina Groh explains the process by which film can be used to tell stories that reaches a wide audience and makes a point.

Digital Stories are "mini-movies" of images or images and sound, created and edited by people using cameras, computers, scanners and their own photo albums. This technique of combining stories and new technology means that anyone can easily create a story. The use of digital storytelling in education is in its infancy but seems to offer a useful tool in assisting reflective learning, investigating and recording the student experience.





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