NewStories in Action
Our projects are a dynamic ecosystem of interrelated work where new stories and new possibilities are created.
Regenerating community, together
Part of our commitment at NewStories is to do whatever we can to support work that brings communities back to life. We both undertake initiatives of our own as well as serve as a US home for efforts of others whose efforts are resonate with our values, principles and beliefs.
Meet the people behind these projects here.
One of the things that always happens after a disaster of the magnitude of the 2018 Camp Fire is that people step forward with their dreams and creativity to help. A collage of new ideas and ones held dear before the disasters starts to become visible and possibilities emerge. The work of Regenerating Paradise is to help these possibilities become reality.
We have been actively helping Regenerating Paradise develop a framework to connect community creativity and nourish it. An overview of this framework is here. With each other, and with the Town of Paradise and Butte County, we’ve had a lot of issues to face and initial decisions to make. Please keep checking back at Regenerating Paradise and here at NewStories to see what’s happening and how you might help.
Transition US, the hub of the Transition Town Movement in the United States, was asked by a number of neighborhood leaders to compile an emergency preparedness curriculum that is based on the same approach they used for their successful neighborhood project called Transition Streets – getting clusters of neighbors to work through a self-guided handbook full of practical, affordable actions over the course of several meetings. We are pleased to have assisted Transition US, along with Deb Needham, Certified Emergency Manager, City of Renton’s Office of Emergency Management, and Hannah Heyrich, Disaster Educator at City of Auburn, WA., to create this process, framework and a curriculum for neighbors to get ready together! Here are more details from Carolyne Stayton, Executive Director, Transition US
Preparing for the Possible
We live in a time when anything can happen — and does. On the one hand, cascades of climate, personal, economic, and climate disasters now shape our lives. On the other hand, new insights and people’s own commitment to take action open up new possibilities.Bob Stilger has been a community builder since the mid seventies and working with communities after disaster since Japan’s Triple Disasters on March 11, 2011. This is a direct NewStories Initiative to build a network of people and communities in the wider Northwest Region who are standing up and staying together as we take responsibility for creating the future we want.
Thriving Resilient Communities CoLlaborAtory
In 2012, Leslie Meehan called Lynnaea Lumbard because she needed help in giving birth to an idea that was stirring in her. Leslie saw that many people were doing the same work under many names – Transition Towns, Post-Carbon, Thriving Communities, Bioneers, Sustainable Communities – and that they were not well connected with each other. They were nose to the ground doing their own work, without the time or structure to raise their heads and really learn from other efforts. NewStories enthusiastically agreed to become a fiscal sponsor, a thought partner and initially a co-designer and facilitator to help Leslie give birth to this new Collaboratory — TRCC.
Kufunda Learning Village
NewStories has been with Kufunda Learning Village since it’s beginning at the dawn of this century. Founder Maaianne Knuth and Bob Stilger had gotten to know each other as partners in launching a global leadership initiative — From the Four Directions — with The Berkana Institute. As Zimbabwe was falling apart, Kufunda was born to help people discover new possibilities. For almost 20 years NewStories has been a friend, advisor and thinking partner as well as a US based fiscal sponsor. We’ve organized many learning journeys to Southern Africa and other programs with Kufunda.
Thrive Napa Valley
Bonny Meyer called her friend Lynnaea Lumbard, NewStories Board Chair, one day to talk about community building work she wanted to do. The project she was launching, Thrive Napa Valley, intended to build local community resilience in the Napa region of California to build resilience by shining a light on success stories and by connecting social innovators to promot the most effective sustainable practices from around the world. Later, in 2017 after the devastating wildfires in Napa and Somona and after Bob Stilger’s publication of AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin, Bonny invited NewStories to come in to the region, and help people share grief, discover possibilities and take new action.
NewStories and DreamRider Productions, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, met in 2015. We were inspired by how they used drama and song and laughter to engage children and others. In a playful and energized way, they were helping young people think about the environment and social justice and more. They needed a US fiscal sponsor and NewStories said YES! Since then we’ve helped share their story and look forward to bringing even more of their practices into ours.
The Gaiaifield Project has been growing over the last decade around the service David Nicol has been called to offer in the world. We met 6 or 7 years ago when NewStories was helping to launch the Thriving Resilient Communities Collaboratory, David introduced gaiafield meditations to support the projects. We were blown away by the power of this work and easily agreed to be a fiscal sponsor and supporter The work of subtle activism is essential in our world. It helps us remember who we are.
Gretchen Krampf, then a NewStories Board Member, introduced us to Ben Browner in 2015. He was a young man, filled with energy, discovering his calling. He’s always been called to deep generative intergenerational work and coming at it with music and dance and drama and laughter. We’ve been a fiscal sponsor and partner in several of his ventures. The latest is the Imagine Convergence, a gathering to explore cross-disciplinary solutions to global complexities. The 2019 speakers include Paul Stamets, Charles Eisenstein, Julia Butterfly Hill, Bruce Damer, Autumn Skye (her painting is above) and a host of other thinkers, authors, scientists and innovators exploring what it means to be alive in this time.
Humane Prison Hospice
In late 2016, NewStories President Bob Stilger had a conversation with a long time family friend, LadyBird Morgan, about her hospice work in the Bay Area. Lady Bird was particularly excited about some work she was doing with Marvin Mutch, recently released through the Innocence Project, after 41 years in San Quentin for a crime he did not commit. LadyBird and Marvin were talking about the horrible lack of support for the dying among our aging prison population. They asked NewStories to advise them and be their fiscal sponsor in launching Humane Prison Hospice. We are very committed to this important work.
NewStories lives in a web of insight, experience, and stories. Another part of our mission is to bring forward the knowledge and insights from our work and from many partners and colleagues in North America and around the world. We have organized and curate three bodies of knowledge that we know are useful for those of us trying to make sense of these times. You can access this curated knowledge from our Resources Page.