A Story Activist is

someone who works with the stories of people, places and things to discover and activate their greatest potential


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Download the PDF "The Organizational Powerhouse"

We can shape the stories that shape us

In every moment, stories shape and focus every aspect of our lives and impact why and how we take action. Being a Story Activist means cultivating a new practice of actively choosing how you live and work with stories. Stories stop being what defines you, the system or situation, and become an ally for transformation. You become intentional about the stories you choose to activate.

The combination of Story and Hosting is a powerful change agent. STORY creates a compelling vision. HOSTING invites people together to bring the story to life. Together they build the capacity for self-responsibility, participatory leadership and committed action. It's all about activating agency.

Anyone can be a Story Activist

A Story Activist is engaged in the art and practice of using story for positive systemic shift and for focusing collective intelligence on the critical issues of our times. 

It is the stories we decide to pay attention to -- the ones we activate -- that lead us into the future. Which stories keep us stuck? Where can story help us to move first to common ground, and from there, to higher ground? What stories can help us to create our most flourishing future together?

We talk about stereotyping, but in reality, we are all story-o-typers. Changing our stories about something is a powerful act. STORY is key in creating transformational change and the ability to thrive in complexity.

We start by discovering and cultivating the STORY we want to bring to life.

Thank you Mary Alice for all you do to keep story ALIVE in us. It is so strange really how I feel as if I'm just starting to get its power at a more visceral level. It really is EVERYTHING in how we communicate to others!

— Catherine Rees, Canada

It's not only about finding and telling a better story, but bringing a better story to life

SOAR works with six perspectives on story to help you ride the waves and be the changemaker with impact.

Okay, now I'm curious -- show me more!

Hosting is how we activate stories

Once we know what stories we want to activate, then bringing collective power to bear is what helps us to live into them. How you engage people builds the energy to kickstart change. When people participate, they begin to own and live the story and together you create results that keep working long after the first meeting is over.

HOSTING creates the foundation for cohesion, commitment and direction. We work alongside you to create the capacity for people to host the conversations that matter and take wiser action together. Building skills in participatory practice creates leaders everywhere and brings your story to life.

We are better together

Everyone is a leader in their own sphere of influence. It all depends on what gets activated. The stories we as leaders hold and share and how we involve others in living into them, create the foundation for our individual and collective future. When we own our story, we trust ourselves and possibilities open up.  When we hold a story together, the time is ripe for transformation. Something new has the ground to grow.

Hosting is both a practice and an art. Everyone can benefit from getting good at hosting conversations that really matter so people come together -- and stay together --  to bring the future to life.
What does that look like in practice?

Ten Practices of Story Activism

Find out more about the ten practices for being a story change agent in today’s world.

Tell me more!
Get "The Ten Practices of Story Activism" e-book

Story Activism out loud


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From Crisis To Possibility from Peter Engberg on Vimeo.

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Interview on Story Activism for the STORY THE FUTURE Online Summit. Mary Alice takes a look at the ten practices with story colleague David Hutchens.

Does it need to be a current story — one you’re living in now?  In this trailer for a series of events, Mary Alice talks about the story of Denmark going bankrupt in 1813 and why working with it was so important. This work is still continuing in Denmark today.