An Introduction to The Power in Story Series

The Academy for the Love of Learning is excited to announce our upcoming three-part series exploring learning and transformation through story: The Power in Story. Designed and facilitated by Chrissie Orr, co-founder of El Otro Lado and the Institute for Living Story, and Aaron Stern, Academy Founder and President, the series is for people working with story across disciplines and applications and recognize the capacity of story to enliven and heal.

In this interview, Chrissie shares the origins of the workshop series, the meaning of the title, and how story can be brought into work and community settings. An Audio Recording  of the interview is also available.

Stay tuned for weekly blog posts with insights into The Power in Story series. Learn more by visiting the series listing or contacting co-facilitator Chrissie Orr.

So, The Power In Story is a series of three intensives and really the title of this, we originally had started calling it The Power Of Story. In deep conversations with Aaron Stern, who is the founder of the Academy for the Love of Learning and also co-facilitator and designer on this series, he one day looked at me and he said, “You know Chrissie, as we are talking, I realize it is not the power of story, it is the power in story.” Instead of looking at story, it is really we are going to be looking at what is the power that is held within our stories.

We will start off in Intensive 1 looking at our personal story, Intensive 2 will go into the group story, what happens when we share our stories and they intermingle and layer upon someone else’s story. What happens? How does that impact us? How does that impact our story? Is there a new story that is created out of that? Then, the third Intensive will be how are we now taking this out into the world, what we are learning? What is mine to do really around this story work? It is following the Academy pedagogy of I, We and It. We will start with the first personal, the I, the group the We, and the third is the action, the It.

We feel this series will be really beneficial for anyone that is working with this idea of story, and as we know, we all have different interpretations of what this word story means. We will be looking at that. How do we identify ourselves in relationship to story? We will be touching on that. But anyone who is interested or is already working with story, such as a therapist. It might be someone working with drug addiction. How does story impact your work? How do you bring story into that work?

I come to story as an artist, actually a visual artist, but an artist that has worked in community for the past 32 odd years, and realizing that the power in story for me was how I connected to community to actually create change. That if I did not know the story of that community, and it could be a personal story or it could be the community story, but if I did not know that story, or hear that story, or feel into that story, then it would be very difficult for me to create the work in collaboration. Artists could be interested in this work, teachers, educators, activists. This power in story really can allow people to really work in collaboration around change.


 “We all have a story worth telling, worth listening to, worth remembering. If we are willing, that story will take us to the other side, where we will find ourselves whole again.” Estevan Rael-Gálvez.