I have long been curious about the different roles that stories and narratives can play in the work of community change. I have seen how one individual story, powerfully told, has the power to instantly engage people and offer clarity and understanding of a complex issue in ways that well-researched data and analysis alone cannot accomplish.
I know that communities, like individuals, have stories about themselves that can both limit and inspire their hopes for the future. These community narratives – about who we are; how things go; what’s possible for us here – shape collective thinking and can play a role in determining the future. Uncovering current shared community narratives and inviting community members to co-create new, compelling narratives that are rooted in their shared hopes for the future can be a powerful lever for community change.