The human species is on the verge of self-annihilation, and we are meeting to talk about stories. Far from being frivolous and irrelevant as some might assume, this gathering is at the cutting edge of serious change. The power to shape the stories that frame a culture is the only power that potentially trumps the power of the dysfunctional, but seemingly invulnerable institutions that currently set the human course. Changing the story field of modern culture has become an imperative. — David Korten
As we continue reaching out to friends and colleagues to join our August gathering, our original intention in convening this conference is coming into sharper focus — and the form and flavor of the conference are evolving in exciting ways. We wish to share the latest with you, which have emerged through our communications with other conference invitees like yourself:
THE CONFERENCE INTENTION
As you know, the target of our shared attention and passion for this conference is the culture’s “story field”. All around us are signs that an impulse is arising within the story field to shift from a seriously dysfunctional meta-story — David Korten, who is joining us, calls it “suicidal” — to a more spirit-full, life-serving, sustainable meta-story.
We expect that the Story Field Conference — and the activities before and after it — will address the story field at a number of levels:
1. THEORY: We will all deepen our awareness and understanding of story fields and their dynamics — and the power of Story, in general.
2. WHAT EXISTS: We will deepen our awareness of the presence and content of the existing story field as it shapes our culture and mass consciousness.
3. WHAT WE WANT: We will explore together life-serving narratives and how we might help them shift the story field we all live in. This includes bringing out emerging technologies, innovations, collaborations, and other possibilities and resources that can help us — including ancient ways and knowings that many of us have lost touch with..
4. ACTUALIZING IT: We will initiate efforts to spread more life-serving stories and help people actually live into a more life-enhancing story field on the ground, making it real in the world, so it becomes not just a told story or a believed story but a rich fabric of mutually reinforcing lived stories, with more and more people living it.
That’s the overall picture we see of the conference.
AN EMERGING DEVELOPMENT and ENTICING INVITATION (at least we think so!)
As part of (4), above, we have attracted several meta-story change agents — e.g., Michael Dowd with the Great Story of evolution (http://thegreatstory.org), David Korten with the Great Turning (http://thegreatturning.net), and a place-based story-shifting network from Hawaii — to bring colleagues to the conference for focused face-to-face work developing their on-the-ground story-realization projects while being immersed in the generative ecosystem of storytellers, artists, visionaries, journalists, etc., who will be swirling around them at this conference.
If you are engaged in such a story shift, come and bring your kindred spirits and colleagues. What better context in which to develop your work than among artists and other story makers? Together, we shall weave a rich tapestry of not one “perfect” yarn, but a vibrantly textured fabric that reflects the richness of our diversity.
After all, the story field we need is not the One Right Story, but a co-creative co-evolution of millions of stories in more life-flourishing directions. So practicing right in our conference the shift from belonging-as-conformity to belonging-as-showing-up-in-our-uniqueness-and-evolving-together is, itself, a profound change in the story!
So please, join us and bring your friends.