The power of story: Hacking the operating system of the world

In this combination of overview and workshop, we’ll talk about Story as Theory of Change – the idea that story is the operating system of our brains and our societies.

We’ll explore the concept that stories – some as invisible as water to a fish – determine our behaviour, our sense of right and wrong, our sense of what’s normal and what’s weird, and the behaviours that spring from those beliefs.

We’ll look at how social change has arisen in the past from hacking the stories that define cultures, and practice techniques for telling persuasive and transformational stories – including Marshal Ganz’s Story of Self/Us/Now and Jonah Sach’s story-mapping technique.

We’ll hear about how Greenpeace and Unicef have put story at the centre of their work, and the techniques they’ve used to become better storytellers.  


Aimed at:

Changemakers of all stripes who are new to the idea of story as theory of change. 


Learning outcomes:

  • How to map the story of a campaign using a simple story template 
  • Some practical story telling techniques from UNICEF 
  • How articulating your organisational story can help shape your internal culture and sharpen your external communications 
  • The importance of making the weird look normal and the normal look weird in social change campaigning. 


Brian Fitzgerald (Netherlands)
Founder & Co-Director, Dancing Fox
Shweta Luthra (Switzerland)
Global Fundraising Content Specialist, UNICEF