19-23 November 2012
Teachers: Chris Nichols, Geoff Mead, Chris Seeley, and Arran Stibbe – University of Gloucestershire
‘Stories are the secret reservoir of values: change the stories individuals and nations live by and tell themselves, and you change the individuals and nations’ Ben Okri
The stories that surround the issues of sustainability can be highly contested, political, idealistic or polarising. Participants on Tell Me Another Story will work together with the deep underlying assumptions, narratives and metaphors which shape our thinking for the future. Going beyond the politics of left and right and the language of progressives and conservatives, we’ll explore and experiment with the possibilities of reframing our current worldview into new, more generative stories.
‘Our goal is simple: we want our country to flourish. Our dilemma is simple: we have not yet told our people a story that sticks’ Barry Lopez
Throughout history, and in all cultures, people have turned to the imaginative possibilities of story at times of change, crisis, learning and celebration. Bringing a greater awareness of the stories that do, don’t and could get told and heard inside our organisations today can help us shape a better future. This awareness is crucial for people in leadership roles, change agents and those striving to reconstitute society in healthier ways. Stories shape the ways we think and help us define what is possible.
Click here to see Chris Seeley’s blog about the course
We are all born storytellers and listeners – nothing comes more naturally to us as human beings – so right from the start of this workshop, you will be telling each other your own stories, drawing on your own experience as well as on fictional and mythological themes.
Grounded in our lived experience, this workshop will offer storytelling and other creative activities to help us connect with and share what really matters to us about our work in the world. The workshop will be mainly experiential rather than theoretical (though theories of storytelling and narrative are also fascinating and we will explore them, too). We will also spend time identifying some of the stories that you want or need to tell in your organisational and working contexts, practising them and getting feedback.
During the course, you will:
‘Maybe there are only three kinds of stories: the stories we live, the stories we tell, and the higher stories that help our souls fly up towards the light.’ Ben Okri
Chris Nichols, BSc (Hons)MSc MBA DMS FCMI
Chris has an international background having worked with clients in over 50 countries. He is a Director of Innovation and Quality at Ashridge Consulting, specializing in creative large group work. Chris is also a member of the Academic Board of Ashridge and co-directs the Ashridge Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility.
Chris is very interested in using artful ways of knowing to deepen our understanding and ways of working in society. Chris is a visiting teacher at Schumacher College, Devon and is co-founder of several initiatives in richer ways of knowing and working in organisations including: www.gameshift.co.uk, www.groundedcreativity.com and www.artfulorganisation.org
Geoff Mead, PhD MBA BA(Hons)
Geoff is passionate about stories and storytelling. He has taken his work on storytelling and narrative leadership into a wide variety of organisational settings and regularly performs traditional stories and teaches storytelling around the world.
Geoff has created or co-created leadership development programmes in a range of contexts. He completed an MBA at Henley Management College in 1991 and a PhD in action research in 2002 at University of Bath. Geoff has trained in the organisational use of constellations.
Chris Seeley, PhD MSc MA BA(Hons)
Chris has extensive experience working with on sustainability issues for business service and economic development organisations and has worked globally in the small enterprise development sector.
She completed an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice at the University of Bath in 2001 and gained her Doctorate at the University of Bath’s Centre for Action Research in Professional Practice in 2006. She concentrates on action research approaches and artful knowing for sustainability. She co-directs the Ashridge Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility and is a Faculty member for Ashridge’s Doctorate in Organisational Change. Chris is a visiting teacher at Schumacher College, Devon and is leading Ashridge’s research project on Artful Organisation.
The workshop will also include visiting guest speakers. Participants will receive pre-reading and introductions briefings and will be expected to work with examples and stories from their own practice and experience.
Arran Stibbe, PhD, MSc, BEng
Arran’s research involves analysing texts which play an important role in the formation of identities and the construction of society. His current specialisation is in ecological linguistics, which involves investigating the ecologically destructive effects of discourses such as consumerism, and searching for alternative discourses which encourage more sustainable practices. He has recently published papers on ecological linguistics in the journals Language and Intercultural Communication, Society & Animals, and Anthrozoös, about magic in Soundings, about health in Men and Masculinities, and about disability in Japan Forum. He is the founder of the Language & Ecology Research Forum (www.ecoling.net) and chair of the EAUC’s Education for Sustainability group.
£750 All course fees include accommodation, food, field trips and all teaching sessions.
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