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Webinar 2: How do stories enable social change?

Thursday 23 June | 12pm-1.15pm AEDT

Stories are powerful agents of change - they can build empathy, shift mindsets, build connections, and help people to teach and learn.

Stories are an essential part of the human experience - it’s how we all make sense of the world. But how might storytelling actually change entire systems? How do we make sure the right people are telling stories, and hearing stories?

Join us as we explore how storytelling can be used to both enable and celebrate important systems change efforts.


  • Teya Dusseldorp (Executive Director, Dusseldorp Forum)

  • Simon Goff (Partner & Global Managing Director, Purpose)

  • Skye Trudgett (CEO, Kowa)

Facilitated by:

  • Thea Snow (Director, CPI)

Materials Hub

To take our webinar further, we’ve collated a wide range of material exploring legitimacy, and rebuilding trust in government. Scroll below to explore:

The Webinar

Watch the webinar, and read more about what our CoP is saying.

The Theory

Dive more deeply into this topic by learning more through blogs, articles and reports.

  • Dr Claire Craig and Dr Sarah Dillon have written an article on Storylistening, which explores why narrative evidence matters for public reasoning. 

  • The Narrative Initiative’s report, Toward New Gravity, captures the insights from their 2017 listening tour of over 100 experts, innovators and visionaries from a range of disciplines and communities, working at the intersection of social justice and narrative change. 

  • Are You Really Listening?, Kevin Sharer and Adam Bryant share how leaders can actively create a more expansive “listening ecosystem”. 

  • Sam Rye’s article Metaphors of Change explores how metaphors shape our understanding of the world.

  • Ella Saltmarsh’s article, Using Story to Change Systems, explores how story and narrative can be used to change systems. This is the article where you can find the framing of stories as light, stories as glue and stories as web. 

  • The Waves model, developed by The Narrative Initiative, is a framework that guides our thinking towards considering the stories we hear in light of narratives they are part of and the values and worldview that shape these narratives.

In Practice

We’ve collated case studies and material to illustrate what these ideas look like in practice, and offer frameworks and tools to support experimentation with a similar approach in your work.

  • The Passing the Message stick report is a great resource. It’s the result of a two year project of research to understand how stories can be used to create transformation through community led solutions.

  • The Old Fire station report from Oxford, UK outlines their approach to using stories to explore impact through an adapted version of the Most Significant Change methodology.

  • Frameworks Institute have written and shared this report exploring an approach for using stories and narrative shift to drive social change. Within the report they define the patterns and elements of a narrative form that is designed to be a practical tool to help shape narratives around poverty.

  • See this Impact Yarns tool shared by our speaker Skye Trudgett, and created by Kowa collaboration, Blak Impact and The National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. It has been designed to help collect stories of impact from a range of stakeholders and then reflect on their meaning through a First Nations lens.

  • Another great resource is Choose both. This guide, developed by the team at Purpose and shared by our speaker Simon Goff, is designed to help people combine data and evidence with equity-based approaches to storytelling. 

  • Simon has also shared the racial equity framework that the people at Purpose designed and use in their work. It includes three racial equity checkpoints to consider when working on issues of race in the US and other societies with similar racial dynamics.

Join our community

Our Community of Practice is a forum for conversations over the course of the webinar series, and a great way to build new relationships with like-minded people, passionate about reimagining government. Content in webinars will be brought to life, through events, workshops, conversations, and networking opportunities.

Register below, and join us as we reimagine government.

Join our Community of Practice