The Story Dojo

Strengthen your story muscles, build your leadership capacity

The Story Dojo is a place to hone the art of being a new kind of leader — a Story Activist.


A new paradigm leader is someone who creates space for the next bigger potential. This kind of leader is not someone with all the answers, but someone with a more powerful question, and one who is deeply attuned to the next systemic shift needed. This kind of leader realises that story is the currency for organising capacity and that a continued focus on practice builds the capacities needed to thrive in complexity.

How story works as a leadership practice

The Story Dojo is the place leaders hone their skills and develop their capacity to activate potent positive stories. It has two focal points:

  •  Storytelling – how to find, craft and tell your visionary compelling story. This is about expanding your horizon.
  • StoryWorkhow to work with the stories that are already alive in the system you are part of and leverage them into a more potent future. This is about strengthening your ground and finding higher ground.

10 practices for being a Story Activist

The Story Activist Intensive gives you a foundation: Six steps to support you in creating intention and intervention through finding, crafting and working with the stories surrounding you.  Six steps to help you find, work with and shape the stories in your group, team or organisation and engage community in creating its most vibrant future. More about the Story Activist Intensive below.

6 steps to stories & organisations that create a more flourishing future

The Story Activist Lab gives you an action plan: Six steps to support you in creating intention and intervention through finding, crafting and working with the stories surrounding you.  Six steps to help you find, work with and shape the stories in your group, team or organisation and engage community in creating its most vibrant future. More about the Story Activist Lab below.


What is a dojo?

Dojo is a Japanese word. Your “do” (pronounced dough) is your way, or practice. Dojo is literally “place of practice”. In the martial arts traditions, the dojo is a place you come to practice through exercises and sparring with others. It is also where you learn new skills, often from a sensei or master teacher, but also from more advanced students. When you teach others what you know, your own learning deepens.

There is a discipline and a deep respect for others, as well as care and attention for the practice space that happens in a dojo. People step into what they most need to work on and receive both a deeper knowing of themselves and others. Learning and community arise. That makes practicing both very focused and a delight.

How you can join The Story Dojo

The Story Activist Intensive

“She has what is really an art to shine light on the essence of what was expressed, to bring it to another level where change and transformation will emerge.”Marc Levitte, Management Consultant
Coming again in 2018
  • What?

    Take your leadership story practice to the next level, as we discover and embody the practice of Story Activism. We focus on the 5 practices that underpin becoming a Story Change Agent, as well as taking a look at how story works in the world and how we can support each other to take on practical action to shift collective narratives.

  • How?

    The Story Activist Intensive takes place online, in four 2 hour sessions.  Learn from the comfort of your best learning space with an international group bringing a unique perspective to your story work.

  • Support

    Supported by a comprehensive workbook and a library of story at work videos, the Intensive also has an active online community offering peer support and project development.

  • Who should attend?

    For those wanting to work more deeply with the power of story in organisational, community and geographic systems.  For those wanting to focus on how to shift the collectively held stories in the systems they are part of.


The Story Activist Lab

“I really enjoyed the introduction to using stories professionally. I absolutely revelled in connecting with others around the world.”
Coming again in 2018

  • What?

    Focused on supporting you to take your Story Change Agent skills into action, we look at how story works inside the systems you are part of and how you can shape your intention into a powerful intervention.  You bring your own real life focus and work with it both in the full group and individually.  You also have the option of forming buddy teams to take the work deeper.

  • How?

    The Story Activist Lab takes place online, in six 2 hour sessions with optional live Q&A targeted to your projects.  Learn from the comfort of your best learning space with an international group bringing a unique perspective to your story work.

  • Support

    Supported by a comprehensive workbook and backgrounders for each of the six steps, the Lab also has an active online community, videos and lots of other resource materials.

  • Who should attend?

    For anyone who wants to find, craft and deliver their compelling story.  For those who want to engage their teams, organisations and community systems in seeing and working with the stories they are living in, and the ones they want to live into.


Custom Experiences

“The two day storytelling workshop unlocked an incredible amount of learning and innovation in my team, greatly improved trust and team spirit and helped us in orientating in our complex surroundings.”Alexander Fröde, GIZ
Connect now!
  • Invite the Story Dojo

    Got something specific in mind?  Invite The Story Dojo to come to you.  We can work to your timeframe:  From short introductions to longer developmental sessions, events, retreats, or on-going consultation.

  • The story in the room

    Make your meeting memorable, your conference extraordinary.  Mary Alice can give a keynote that uplifts the meaning in your work or she can work with the stories in the room to connect people, purpose and passion.

  • One-on-one / Coaching

    Keen to craft your story in a more powerful and compelling way?  Work with Mary Alice individually or as team to find, polish and present your story in its best light. Coaching and mentoring of individuals, teams and communities.

  • Witnessing the story

    In Japan there is the concept of “sacred witness” — someone from outside the system who is invited to observe and report to support the systemic evolution.  Mary Alice is adept at finding and pointing to the stories that are underneath the surface and working with you to transform them.


The Story Activist Intensive & Story Activist Lab coming again in 2018!