The power of stories to inspire change


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 we are too many of us are isolated and disregarded, the story  teller is empowered to share a part of their life to an 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.

Since coming back to Adelaide and through many conversations I have been inspired to launch a series of story sharing events, Campfire Stories, with the specific aim of building community and sowing seeds of environmentally conscious lifestyles through the sharing of true stories and food.

Campfire Stories will be launched in Willunga on Feb 15 at the Willunga Environment Centre and in Adelaide on Feb 23 at The Joinery.

It would be great to hear stories from Sustainable Communities SA members. The theme for the February is “change”.

How it will work: Come along and share a 5 minute true story related to the night’s theme, or sit back and enjoy the stories on offer.

For the brave the challenge is to share a true 5 minute story about the night’s theme of Change. Hate it or love it change is a constant part of life. Opportunities, challenges, grief and loss are all part of change. Do you resist change at all costs or seek to create change? Talk about a time when you actively tried to change yourself or those around you or were swept up in a movement to create change. As Ghandi famously said “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

There is no pressure to speak in front of the audience. People are just as welcome to come and listen to other people’s stories.

After all stories have been told then you will have a chance to share your reactions and thoughts.

The night will close with a shared supper so please bring a plate to share. Coffee and tea is provided.

Entry is optional $5 donation at the door.

Event is open to all ages.

More details and RSVP via eventbrite:

Willunga 15 Feb

Adelaide 23 Feb.

If you have any questions feel free to email me.

The events are being kindly supported by the Willunga Environment Centre and the Adelaide Sustainability Centre.


Growing a sustainable community

Pauline and Anne with another batch of Pauline's seedlings.

Pauline and Anne with another batch of Pauline’s seedlings.

The Unley community groups, in particular the Grow Grow Grow Your Own group, of Sustainable Communities SA have been working with their local council on the issue of food security for a while now. The group has been running gardening workshops to increase people’s skills in growing their own food and to create a community of skilled food growers in the Unley Council area. As an offshoot Pauline and Anne have been running a series of free propagation and seed raising workshops. Although each workshop takes a lot of time and effort to plan, both Pauline and Anne light up when they talk about them and the buzz they get from the sharing of knowledge with all the participants. Continue reading

Eating local

The Local Harvest challenge of eating locally sourced food is on again this Sun 3rd April to Saturday 9th April. Its a good reminder of the many health and environmental benefits of eating more locally grown food.

So why not make an effort this April to discover some of your local producers from the many Farmers Markets that are now operating across Adelaide, to swap and share produce stalls and other small markets like the One Planet Market.

Or you can even start to grow some of your own. A few pots or a small plot in the garden is all you need to grow some of your own greens and herbs.

Wagtail Farms from Geoff Lawton on Vimeo.

Ending food waste

After watching the movie Just Eat It (see my previous post on this movie) a few members from Sustainable Communities were motivated to go out and see for ourselves what is being thrown away. We were fortunate to find an experienced freegan in fellow Sustainable Communities member Steven. So armed with a knowledgeable guide, a torch, gloves  and bags we hit the streets on a Sunday night.

The essentials-light and milkcrate

Dumpster Diving Tip: a milk crate is a handy tool tool too for extra height and then storage of the loot.

Continue reading