CANNING AND REINSBORO: Re: Imagining Change: How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World

February 13, 2010
Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning

What is "story-based strategy"? The people at smartMeme explain:

Storytelling has always been central to the work of organizers and movement builders. Narrative is the lens through which humans process the information we encounter, be it cultural, emotional, experiential, or political. We make up stories about ourselves, our histories, our futures, and our hopes.


Often times those of us working for change make the mistake of focusing on what the public doesn’t know (“If they only knew the facts…”) Story-based strategy flips this approach to examine what people DO know – what are the existing stories and assumptions of the people we are trying to reach? What is their existing story relating to the issue and how does that story limit possibility? Story-based strategy works to reach past people’s narrative filters and change the dominant story around an issue or campaign.

A new book by smartMeme
co-directors Doyle Canning & Patrick Reinsborough, Re:Imagining Change: How to Use Story-based Strategy to Win Campaigns, Build Movements, and Change the World, due for release in April 2010, provides resources, theory, hands-on tools and illuminating case studies for the next generation of innovative change makers. The book explores how culture, media, memes, and narrative intertwine with social change strategies, and offers practical methods to amplify progressive causes in the popular culture.


Additional Information: 

Other SmartMeme resources for story-based organizing:

Re:Imagining Change (60 page full color booklet) (.pdf) A resource guide to smartMeme's story-based strategy approach providing tools, analysis, case studies and inspiration to change your campaign, your community and your world.

Re:Imagining Change (60 page printer-friendly black and white booklet) (.pdf)

Story-based Strategy Campaign Model Chart providing a step-by-step method for applying the story-based strategy approach to planning a campaign and taking creative action.

And more...