Our last call, on December 11, was about how PNI fits into the larger milieu of “story work.” We had a lively discussion that I’ve mostly forgotten. The things I remember are:
- How getting people to think about listening to stories is like “selling broccoli in a candy store,” because people are so drawn to the idea of telling stories to communicate, persuade, and express oneself.
- How broccoli is amazing.
- How everyone who does story work has to deal with this issue, no matter what type of story work they do. If you tell stories on a stage, you have to deal with people who would rather just watch television. If you engage people in participatory drama, you have to deal with people who would rather just watch a play. If you help people work with their own stories, you have to deal with people who would rather listen to prepared stories than make the effort to work through their own.
- How everyone who does story work has a tendency to compare themselves and think, “Those people have sold out, but I’m doing the hard work.” And everyone else is thinking the same thing, only about some other aspect of story work. How we all look past our own “low-hanging fruit” and see only the “simple” things other people seem to be working on. The fact is, we all face situations where people want us to create candy-coated solutions. We all need to figure out how to make that work (because, let’s face it, we all need money), along with the amazing broccoli we know we can create for people.
- How we can help each other do that. Together.
So I guess I remember a little more than I realized. Anyway, the conversation was such a hit that we decided to explore more deeply into the topic next month.
So: our next hangout will (again) be on the topic of how PNI fits into the larger milieu of “story work,” which encompasses several fields, such as:
- organizational storytelling
- business storytelling
- oral history
- narrative therapy
- participatory theatre
- narrative inquiry
- folklore studies
… that is, anything related to stories. We invite people from the PNI community as well as from related approaches to explore with us.
The call will be at:
- Date Friday January 8
- Time California 7 00 New York 10 00 London 15 00 Amsterdam 16 00 South Africa 17 00 Melbourne 02 00 (Saturday)
- Place PNI Hangout on Google