Mary Alice Arthur is a Story Activist


“She just lives storytelling and knows how to best apply it in all kind of contexts.”

View Mary Alice’s Meaning Conference talk on the power of stories here.

Engendering & enhancing capacity, creativity & connection
ACTIVATING STORIES FOR A MORE FLOURISHING FUTURE


As the daughter of two teachers, Mary Alice was hooked on stories from the first moment she saw a book.  She was the kid who kept reading after lights out and walked to school reading two books at once (fortunately, she grew up in a flat place!).  During school holidays the family piled into the car and took to the roads, and that gave her an itchy foot.  The stage was set for a love of wondering coupled with a delight in wandering — the ideal attributes for a Story Activist and a self-professed citizen of the world.

She caught the story bug in earnest in the early ’90s (including performing as a storyteller) and was part of the first gatherings of organisational storytelling practitioners a decade later. She joins StoryWork with a leading edge skill in using participatory practice to help groups become high performing communities, able to step up, co-create a compelling story, and from it, wise sustained action.

She works around the world with leaders in all levels of public and private organisations and communities. She excels at creating extraordinary meetings that get results and is a sought after speaker, host and thought leader. As an international steward of the Art of Hosting network, she teaches storyworking skills and participatory practice, and hosts participatory gatherings all over the globe.

Mary Alice’s work demonstrates that our stories are the key to unleashing our potential, conversations are a medium of transformation and the wisdom we need is already in the group. She is a powerful synthesiser and meaningmaker, valued for her insight and ability to make the complex understandable, the simple profound and the pathway clear. People often say they love her stories, feel faith in groups again and feel well and wisely held.

She is based in Columbus, Ohio.



“She brought her superlative best practices to how to engage a group of people, transforming them from passive audience to participatory community. And happily, I learned a thing or two from her myself.”Hanson Hosein, Communication leader & educator, Seattle, USA

Working with Mary Alice

Every engagement is unique. Here are some of the ways we can work together…

  • Bringing your story to life

    Work together with Mary Alice to create a clear and compelling story that opens the door to your flourishing future. Activate the story and discover how it can enhance and extend the impact of your organisation, team, community, event or initiative. Mary Alice works together with you using story to gain a fresh insight into your vision, mission and culture or as a focus on issues or potentials.

  • Creating leaders everywhere - capacity building & training

    Working with Mary Alice can put a fresh focus on your personal or collective story of leadership, purpose, vision or impact. From this foundation, she supports you to put together the processes that encourage and invigorate your team and stakeholders into engaged action. Continue building the skills and capacities for connection, resilience and innovation through training, mentoring or projects.

  • Making meetings extraordinary

    Mary Alice can support you in creating meetings, conference, events, retreats and participatory processes that get results and create real engagement. Working in this way builds capacity and skills within the system and leaves a lasting legacy. Mary Alice is an internationally respected meeting host, an engaging speaker and skilled at working with diverse teams.

  • Coach, Mentor & Thought Partner

    Mary Alice can work alongside you as coach, mentor or thought partner on a one-to-one or a one-to-many basis. She has a proven track record as a strategic counsel, design support and sounding board either in-person or virtually.


“Our gathering was a phenomenal success – Storytelling allowed us to go on a journey of thoughtful reflection and supportive challenges. You inspired us, nurtured us and challenged us to reconsider how we work together.”
Learn with Mary Alice