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An ecology of story for the well-being of community and democracy

Submitted by PeggyHolman on Wed, 06/04/2008 – 9:00am

My friend and colleague, Tom Atlee, founder of the The Co-Intelligence Institute, developed a map of stories entitled Whole System Learning and Evolution — and the New Journalism
that I think has great potential as a way of thinking about what is
required for both great stories and great story-telling organizations.
In the version below, I changed a few terms (e.g., “community” became
“connect” to create consistency of form) and I added four verbs (in
blue) that, framed as questions, I think could provide a tool for
assessing the likely effectiveness of a story or a news organization.
The questions that Tom’s model sparked for me:

• Does it inform? (a primary focus of traditional journalism)
• Does it engage? (a primary focus of the emerging social networking sites)
• Does it inspire? (almost virgin territory, but hinted at by the idea of “possibility journalism”)
• Does it activate? (also exciting terrain)