Sharing Stories: Building Community

By Dinali Devasagayam

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This year I have been running story sharing nights called Campfire Stories at The Joinery and the Willunga Environment Centre. The notion is to provide a regular space where people can come and share life stories providing both connection and entertainment. It seems to me to be another way in which we can build stronger communities while having some fun. The power of the story is also being recognised as a way to widen our awareness of the world and promote meaningful change.

The next Campfire Stories is on Thursday 22 June 2017 at The Joinery, 111 Franklin Street, Adelaide from 6:30pm – 9pm with a theme of  The Great Outdoors. The stories are limited to 5 minutes with a shared informal supper at the end where participants can mingle and chat further. There is no pressure to speak in front of the audience. You are just as welcome to come and listen to other people’s stories.

So far I have been amazed at the diversity of stories and the breadth of human experience they represent. If you are interested in coming along  and being a part of the stories you can RSVP at www.campfirestoriesadelaide3.eventbrite.com. Please email me if you have any questions. I hope to see some of you on the night.

Reshaping our economy: the doughnut perspective

The current economic system with its focus on money and GDP is highly destructive to our well-being and the entire the planet. It is hard to envision how we can move beyond this way of managing our activities and meeting our needs. There have been in recent decades a number of  alternative economics concepts developed. The conceptualisation by Kate Raworth of a Doughnut of social and planetary boundaries that can be used to guide our economic activities is one of the more recent, and I think exciting, approaches to challenge the dominant paradigm.

The following clip is a good introduction to the concept:

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The power of stories to inspire change

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There is something so powerful about a well told story to move people in a way that reams of dry facts never will. On my travels last year I had the opportunity to attend a live session of The Moth in New York, where the audience members are also the story tellers. These live true story-sharing events draw in a wide cross section of the community and a similarly diverse range of stories.

It was for me a splendid example of how we all have stories to share and so can entertain each other without having to resort to mass produced, corporate-controlled forms of story telling. It gives power back to the common folk to share what is important to them. The sharing goes both ways. In a world were too many of us are isolated and disregarded, the story  teller is empowered to share a part of their life to a receptive audience. It also enriches the audience by giving us a glimpse of another person’s experiences and in this way widens our view of the world. Continue reading