story for social impact

I train leaders, candidates and organizations to harness the power of story to radically accelerate impact.  My deep background in theater, film, and television as both creator and performer, my work teaching story structure at the Juilliard School and NYU’s Graduate Film program, and my work at the intersection of the arts and social change for nearly two decades, have served as a laboratory to study how story can connect, inspire and motivate prosocial action. 

When we engage with a story, we walk in the shoes of the protagonist, traveling on their journey.  We are emotionally impacted by the challenges they face on that journey—experiencing them neurologically as if they were happening to us—and we emerge from that experience transformed. For those of us working for social good, this understanding contains incredible potential. It means that using story to convey our message can enroll and inspire audiences in ways that no other form of communication can. It means that it’s possible to choose stories that impart our message emotionally—that give the audience the immediate emotional experience of our mission—without once having to explain it to them.

The understanding that story has a special sort of power is becoming more widespread in the nonprofit and social good worlds. But when it comes to understanding how this power works—and how to harness and implement it—there’s often a gap. My work enables organizations and leaders to identify which stories will organically carry their message and mission, and to work with those stories skillfully to create a reliable audience response, giving audiences an immediate emotional experience that transforms, inspires, and enrolls.

I conduct trainings in Story Literacy and Strategy, do one-on-one coaching with leaders and progressive candidates, and work as a consultant to create story strategy and execute story projects customized to your organization’s mission and needs. Contact me here to discuss consultancies and story training.