Workshops 2018 2

Creatuals: Breaking patterns, moving minds

In this workshop, participants will get to know an approach to change and transformation based on Creatuals – a unique approach to create tailor made rituals to mark important transitions, break patterns and move minds.

The group will be invited to use their individual talents in order to find new direction and collective innovation on a given issue or situation. And all together, you and the other participants will search for new perspectives and associated rituals.

We Are All Chimeras: Promoting Unity, Diversity, and Ingenuity through Metaphorical Storytelling

We will share an experience of using a mythological creature (the Chimera) and organizational metaphor analysis (see, e.g., Gareth Morgan’s Imaginization) to guide people through the process of crafting stories about how they envision themselves and their organizations as multi-faceted or hybrid organisms—reflecting on their past, present, and future possibilities—with the aim of valuing the diversity of that community while also promoting a collective, collaborative identity.

During the workshop, facilitators will briefly share the case study behind this workshop (10 minutes) then lead the participants through a series of interactive storytelling activities to reflect on the “chimeric” characteristics of themselves and of their organizations (70 minutes) and close with a time for reflection and further discussion (10 minutes).

The background of this workshop is a case study at an Art and Design college with a diverse international student population (California College of the Arts in San Francisco, USA). Students, faculty, and staff adopted as the school mascot the Chimera: a fantastic beast from Greek mythology—part lion, goat, serpent, and dragon. The term “chimera” in English has come to mean any dazzling, seemingly impossible, or ingenious combination of things, so until recently there was no single visual symbol for this mascot and no single definition of it; instead, our artists composed many different chimera. This seemed fitting for a community where everyone celebrates their own uniqueness. But when a symbol can mean almost anything, it can become vague rather than unifying. Student Life leaders developed a series of campaigns to help people at all levels of the organization see themselves as chimera, using visual and verbal storytelling to bring people together to compose and communicate that message.

What participants will get out of the workshop is: 1) A critically reflective and creative learning experience regarding their personal and professional identities; 2) a set of tools and examples for facilitating hands-on “maker-space” type experiences with colleagues (using visual methods such as collage along with creative writing prompts) for metaphorical storytelling and dialogue within their organizations; 3) an annotated bibliography of resources for further reading and exploration about this approach. 

Social Presencing Theatre meets Storytelling: Re-authoring futures through the body

Can our bodies tell stories? And how can we embody our future?

During this two hour experienced based introduction workshop, we will dive into the narrative world of our bodies.
Both on a personal and an organizational level we often find solutions for challenges based on our experiences from the past. Often we rely on our minds, disregarding the wisdom of our bodily experiences. The methods of the Social Presencing Theatre (SPT) enable us to learn from our future possibilities through the knowledge of our bodies. They show where individuals or groups are stuck today, where they could be going tomorrow, and what the real issues are in moving from here to there.

During the workshop you will experience individual and group embodied practices to enhance the perception of your own story as well as the stories of social systems.

Activating your embodied knowledge, you will gain new insights and find new expressions for challenges you or your community currently faces.

This workshop is for anyone who wants to learn how to use the body as a powerful tool for transforming current stories into future possibilities.

Tough times: how to look up when you´re face down

If we are brave enough often enough, we will fail. When we strive for something that matters to us, the only certainty is that we will face adversity, fear and failure. Every story worth telling has difficult parts in it. This is the part of story we very often leave out, try to forget and deny as soon as we get out of it. And yet, this is the part where the magic happens – our failure and our crisis is a start of a revolution. To re-author our future, the first and necessary step is to own the hard parts of our story.

We will dive into the Rising Strong™ process, developed by the researcher/storyteller dr. Brené Brown. People as story-making animals will, in the absence of data, inevitably make up stories. When times are tough, the stories we make up will either keep us down or support us in rising stronger. In the process of rising strong, we go through three steps that correspond to the Hero's Journey. Act 1 is the reckoning, where we get curious about our emotions when we get triggered. Act 2 is the rumble, where we really dive into the meaning behind our SFD (shitty first draft) of the stories we make up. This is the hard part, facing the challenge and overcoming the crisis. What used to work does not work anymore and the rumble requires that we change. Act 3 is the revolution. We take the learnings from our story and let the process become practice. We have owned our story and now hold the pen to write the ending.

The Rising Strong™ process can be applied to anything from seeing our boss frown to a major business loss, from failing a deadline to mass lay-offs, from a hurtful comment of our spouse to dealing with death of a loved one. The process is the same.

Learning Histories: how a multi-perspective view on past events helps to re-author the future

In this workshop we will explore a special kind of story telling known as 'learning histories'. Developed in the 1990s in the wake of the theory of the learning organization at M.I.T. Boston, the theory and method of learning histories has found many applications worldwide. In this workshop we will focus on two different applications of the method as developed in Germany (Karin Thier, Christine Erlach) and Holland (Rik Peters). After a short exposition of the two applications (in organisations and in the scientific literature), we will lead the audience via a critical debate to two of the main techniques employed in the learning histories, focussing on the crucial art of questioning and listening. During our workshop, the participants will practise the method in an “in depth interview exercise” to be conducted in small groups. In the harvesting round, we focus on the function of questioning in learning histories.

The sun is still in my eyes. Reflecting on the constructiveness of life.

This workshop is based on a movie project with the Berlin Artist Wilhelm Singer. It will consist of three parts: 1) a short talk between me and the artist (preferably in a dark room, with some some light spots in it. 2) the screening of the movie (which is about 18 min long) and 3) a moderated discussion about the movies approach on how we construct identity, about the singular, the truth and death on one side and the lifes opportunity of florishing plurals. About our re-auhtoring the past and what it makes with our future possibilities.

Workshop Hosts