We launched NewStories in 2000 because it seemed pretty obvious that we needed new stories about how to live well on this planet. We were outliers then. People were interested in the perspective we offered but, frankly, there wasn’t a lot of real interest in making things different – in creating new stories.
That’s shifted now. The frequency and ferocity of wildfires and earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes and tsunamis are regular reminders of the climate crises. Gun violence and murders in schools and other public places has become a paramount concern. The opioid and PTSD crises, undeniable. Women, people of color, those with mental and physical disabilities and those with limited resources are making it clear that they will no longer be marginalized. What’s next? How do we get there?
What do we do when the future we thought was before us disappears? See our first book – AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin? What does NewStories offer? Explore the services, stories, projects and resources on this website. What does the past tell us about the times we’re living in? See our work on Great Transition Stories. Our President and administrative offices are in Spokane. Our Board Chair and heartquarters are on Whidbey Island. Our Board is from all over the place. While we emphasize local action, as an organization we are translocal with a Social Field concentrated in the Pacific Northwest that stretches across the planet.
Our purpose is to help people, organizations, communities and systems navigate the tides of change towards well-being, compassion and deep collaboration. We do this through looking at the current stories in place and gently guiding shifts towards a new way of being.
Our work is a dance of facilitating and connecting, publishing and producing, curating and shifting. We seek meaning between the lines of the current narrative, and draw in expertise from a variety of fields to make the shifts necessary for change.
WHO WE ARE
We are a nonprofit collective where leadership and initiative comes from all parts of the system. We have a very small staff, and make most decisions by listening to each other. Most of our work is done with and through many partners who step forward to do the work that calls them.
The work we do ourselves – facilitating, convening, connecting, publishing and producing, curating, finding meaning and making sense – is carried out by a Core Team of practitioners which draws in other expertise as needed from our wider Social Field.
In essence, we are a group of people committed to giving birth to new stories of how we thrive as human beings sharing this planet and its abundance with each other and many other sentient and non-material beings.
Why Are We Called NewStories?
NewStories as an organization came to life almost 20 years ago, when we as a culture began to prepare for “Y2K.” When our clocks would turn into a new millennium on January 1, 2000, no one knew what would happen to all of the computers only programmed to the last day of 1999. Many prepared for the worst and bought food and generators and other supplies, stored water, thought of alternatives for sanitation. Bob Stilger and Robert Theobald moved beyond this survivalist orientation. Yes thoughtful preparation was needed, but what was really missing were new stories about how we wanted to live our lives! Where might we go? What was the new civilization we wanted to co-create? How could we have lives that were more life affirming and joyous?
NewStories was born as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation to help people and communities think about the future they wanted and how to step towards it. We called ourselves NewStories because that’s the core of our work – helping people, communities and organizations discover the new stories of possibilities they want to step towards. Like most memes that seem to emerge simultaneously in the larger culture, we weren’t the only ones starting to call for new stories to find meaning and make sense of our lives. We joined directly and energetically with many others call to this possibility of new stories — Thomas Berry, Joseph Campbell, Brian Swimme, Robert Gilman, Tipping Point Network, David Korten, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Deepak Chopra, and many more.
As humans have the evolutionary capacity to create new stories. We’ve worked for the past twenty years to support and help new stories thrive.
Our Core Team
NewStories provides facilitation and strategic convening services with a core team of skilled practitioners who have worked together for a number of years. We would love to learn more about your work and explore how we might help!
Our Social Field
NewStories is part of an amazing array of practitioners, activists, organizations and wisdom keepers who we think of as our Social Field. We are linked through core values, principles and believes with relationships established over decades combined with those only a few months old. We turn to this field for learning, advice and counsel and we invite them into contracts for services with our clients and community.
Our internal team
NewStories is supported by a team that is passionate about the work we do. These are the people behind the scenes who are really active in the day to day activities of our work.
Our Clients and Community
If you are any person, any age, who suspects or knows that the stories we tell ourselves shape our lives and our world, our website has resources that will be particularly helpful to you.
- Looking for a deeper connection to yourself, others and the planet
- Looking for communities of like-minded/hearted people
- Looking for ways to collaborate with others
- Wanting guidance and support in making the changes you see need to happen
- Leader who wants to support and be supported by other leaders
- Strategic philanthropist and/or social entrepreneur looking for ways to contribute
- Working in the thriving field that wants to share deepest learning
- Wanting to learn to collaborate with others across fields
- Needing guidance to name and bring forward your deepest learning
- Wanting to be part of a larger network of service
- Wanting to explore the story you’re living in and the story you want to live into
- In conflict that wants the benefit of skilled dialogue and facilitation
- Needing a larger vision for how you are part of the whole
- Wanting help in seeing yourself as part of a larger bioregion
- Wanting to know about and connect with other communities to maximize collective impact
- Who has been ripped apart and who seek to reconnect and make new meaning for yourself as well as to survive and thrive