Sharing Stories: What Sleuthing Makes Possible for This Initiative

This is Post #3 in our exploration of a new Sharing Stories Initiative at Creating the Future. To read this series from the beginning, head to Post #1.

Sleuthing is the term we use at Creating the Future for creating engaged relationships, centered on a topic or issue both participants care about. Just as a “sleuth” in a detective story learns by asking, we sleuth by briefly telling our story, asking questions, and then actively listening to the responses. Through that exchange of asking and listening and creating real dialogue, we engage people in meaningful, deep and rich conversations.

Digging deeper, we ask what can sleuthing conversations make possible for our Sharing Stories Initiative.

  • Open the door to build a new relationship, or strengthen an existing one between Creating the Future and the individual we are sleuthing.
  • Honor, recognize and tap the incredible wisdom, experiences, skills and passions that already exist in the world.
  • Strengthen the connectivity between individuals, which reinforces the sense of belonging to something larger than each of us alone.
  • Ripple out far beyond that initial conversation, in ways we had no idea of as we started to sleuth.

So, it’s no surprise that we will build and scale our Sharing Stories Initiative through ongoing sleuthing, and that all of this will be an open, participatory co-creating effort. You are invited to step into and shape this space with us, in whatever ways are meaningful to you.

Sleuthing Categories
We identified five sleuthing categories to help us find individuals who care about this, with “this” being all/part/some of the ongoing practice of inviting, capturing, storing, organizing, analyzing, and sharing of stories?  But there may be more, and we invite you to add to this list.
1) Existing story repositories
Learn where stories are already being collected, and what kinds of stories are/are not being collected. Learn what questions are being asked.

2) Existing technology and mechanisms for collecting, organizing, storing, and sharing stories
Learn what platforms and processes already exist.

3) People who are seeking stories as evidence
Identify the kinds of stories they are seeking. Understand what questions they hope these stories will help them answer, and what having these stories will make possible, and for whom.

4) People who have stories to share
Determine what kinds of stories already exist, and what the stories are about. Understand what formats would be best to share their stories.

5) Ongoing relationships with individuals in every category
Each story, and each connection that leads to either gathering or sharing a story, is an invitation to a relationship.  Learn how these individuals want to stay engaged and connected to our story and what we are learning, as they are now part of the story. Identify effective ways to share with them directly, how often, and in what formats.

Underlying Conditions for ALL Categories of Questions
Within each of those sleuthing categories, we will create the following favorable conditions with each person we sleuth:
• Model Creating the Future’s Catalytic Thinking Framework  in the way we reach out, in the questions we ask, and in our Catalytic Listening.
• Use each sleuthing opportunity as an opportunity to share stories and to use that to point out the power of stories.
• Create new partnerships and weave new networks with each sleuthing opportunity.
• Consider what it will take to incorporate perspectives from around the world for each sleuthing category.

What’s Next
Some of our next steps follow. What would you add to this list?

  • Tap the wisdom of others to co-create our sleuthing plan.
  • Build our lists of who we will sleuth with an open invitation for you to connect with us, and/or to other individuals to add to these lists.
  • Sleuth and share as we go.

We know that part of sleuthing is to co-create everything. We are tapping your wisdom right now. If we are sleuthing you what would you want to know before we get together? What individuals and organizations can you connect us with, and be a part of those conversations if that interests you? We look forward to your responses, and encourage you to post your thoughts below.

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