Essential Knowledge

Over the years working with groups around the world in many ways, NewStories comes across some amazing resources which we believe will increase your capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities you encounter in our changing world. These include great articles, handouts for various methodologies, informative videos, websites that are related to our work.

This Essential Knowledge is categorized both by topic and types to make it easy for you to find what you need quickly. AND, it is a growing collection. Explore what we have available and select resources that can help you find meaning and make sense of these times.

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The Long View

These truly are perplexing times. Days and nights filled with confusion. When we are able to settle down a bit, there is also a sense of deep possibility. Please explore these powerful insights from our friends at Commonweal....

Community Resilience Planning Guide

The Berry Creek fire in Northern California in September, 2020 was heartbreaking. Not far from the Camp Fire of November 8, 2018 which decimated Paradise, CA, Berry Creek fire was a reminder of devastation and destruction. So what do we ...

Finding Our Next Now

A momentous time in the Divided States of America. How will we find our way forward now? Diversity and difference are critical ingredients for creativity. Rough surfaces – jumbled, scratchy, uneven — give better handholds than smooth. Wh...

Just Before the Dawn

Otto Scharmer offers a thoughtful and comprehensive analysis of where we are and how we might move ahead in this time of turmoil and confusion in the USA and all over the world.  He suggests that we must: Listen with Humility: Let Reali...

NAACP’s In The Eye of The Storm

This 2018 publication from the NAACP describes how environmental justice and climate justice are civil and human rights issues. They started the Environmental and Climate Justice Program in 2009, after decades of civil rights advocacy, ...

Introducing Nice White Parents

We know American public schools do not guarantee each child an equal education. Two decades of school reform initiatives have not changed that. But when Chana Joffe-Walt, a reporter, looked at inequality in education, she saw that most r...

Resources for White Boomers

So you're white. Maybe you were out there on the streets in the 60s and the 70s and helped to start some of the progressive work of the last 50 years. You think of yourself as a progressive and now you are feeling hammered. Perhaps you...

Kimberly Jones: How We Can Win

Kimberly Jones, co-author of I’m Not Dying With You Tonight offers powerful commentary in this video. She says there are protestors, rioters, and looters out in the demonstrations of June, 2020 and the tendency is to focus on the what, ...

There There

Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather,...


This book is just one of the powerful ones written by Ta-Nehishi Coates. It is available on his website as well as on Amazon In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate...

My Grandmother’s Hands

My Grandmother's HandsResmaa Menakem points out that one of two things will happen now. Ideally, America will grow up and out of white-body supremacy; Americans will begin healing their long-held trauma around race; and whiteness will...

Why are white people waking up now?

Courtney Martin, in this recent blog gets right to the point. We’re waking up because our attention is finally available, because COVID has taught us about interdependence and because Trump’s blatant immorality and ineptitude has force...

How To Build an Anti-Racist World

The heartbeat of racism itself has always been denial. The sound of that heartbeat is "I am not racist." There is no such thing as "not racist." We are either racist or anti-racist. In each moment, one or the other. We either support...

Quarantine Relationship Advice

For hundreds of thousands of years, even the most devoted couples have been uttering some version of that basic romantic principle: ‘I married you for better or for worse, but not for lunch.’ This article by John Tierney and Roy F. Baum...

Tips for a Virtual Seder

“How is this night different from all other nights? ” This question, that is part of the Passover ritual dinner, will have a very different answer this year given that we are all living in the shadow of a pandemic. Instead of gathering ...

empty church

A Lent for the Record Books

As many of us are in quarantine as a result of illness, exposure, “Shelter in Place” orders, or simply as a means of self protection, few of us actually know the origin of the word. Quarantine “means about 40, in French, and its Latin or...

Songs of Comfort

Music is something that actually looks into the inside, that that knows no boundaries, and if we can actually express what is in our insides and show that, then this is the beginning of a deeper understanding of one another. … We’re coll...

Free Zoom Accounts for Schools

If your school is closed and you’re wondering how to keep kids connected, zoom is now offering free accounts for schools. Teachers could teach in a virtual classroom, and kids without computer or internet can call in from a phone to a lo...

Free COVID-19 online screening tool

GYANT is offering a COVID-19 Emergency Response Assistant on their website and to hospital systems. Please visit to screen for symptoms and risk, and keep yourself educated on the most up-to-date information....

Illustrated Guide For Families

This is an awesome guide from MANUELA MOLINA – @MINDHEART.KIDS WWW.MINDHEART.CO Checkout this guide and workbook for families. It can help your kids (and you) understand what’s happening! You’ve probably already figured it out: our kids ...

Making Community in New Ways

From the Independent, March 13th, Kate Ng As life in Italy grinds to a halt amid a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, one street was filled with song as the community banded their voices together i...


By Lynn Unger What if you thought of itas the Jews consider the Sabbath — the most sacred of times?Cease from travel.Cease from buying and selling.Give up, just for now,on trying to make the worlddifferent than it is.Sing. Pray. Touch o...

You Can Hear the Birds Again

Brother Richard is a priest-friar of the Irish branch of the Capuchin Franciscan Order. For over twenty years he has worked to bring the insights of the Christian contemplative tradition to greater public awareness, particularly with ref...

Collapse and Regeneration

Walking the Line Between Denial and Despair A couple of months ago, I received an email from Jenn Meilleur, our soon to be new Executive Director at NewStories. She was curious about an article she had received on Deep Adaptation or “A...

Pedagogy of Bioregional Regeneration

This remarkable conceptual framework comes to us from Joe Brewer. Much of our work at NewStories is around how to step beyond the extraordinary pressure after major disasters to get back to the old normal as quickly as possible.  We bel...


When disaster strikes, communities come together. Government, businesses, nonprofits, community groups and citizens set aside suspicions and grievances and just do what needs to be done. The overwhelming purpose of saving lives, caring f...

Borrow The Sugar

What does it take to come back into relationship with each other and our beautiful planet?  Why is it important? What shifts when we do? Daniel Aldrich in Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery suggests that it is...

Preparing for the Possible PDF

In the past many of us thought of community building — creating the lives and communities we know are possible — was different that work for disaster preparedness and recovery.  It’s time to step beyond that distinction.  When we...

Deep Adaptation

Can we look our current situation squarely in the eye? How do we live with the possibility that collapse is imminent, catastrophe likely and extinction possible? How do we find a way forward, accompanied by these hard truths?...

Cynefin Framework from AfterNow

This chapter excerpt from AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin? gives a solid and colorful introduction to how we must work differently in situations that are obvious, complicated, complex and chaotic. Download PDF...


At NewStories we have decades of experience in helping communities and organizations and businesses have conversations that matter -- conversations which explore possibilities, strategize new action, deepen learning and ......

Aquaponics in Cherokee Nation

Vian, OK – It all started with an innate passion for helping others, and Oklahoma resident Richard Tyler has it.  Tyler’s passion and hard work has led to a 10,000sf aquaponic facility he constructed in 2015 to address the need for...

Play At The Core

Play At The Core is a Youth Development Consulting Group that serves children facing adversity and their communities by supporting program quality improvement in organizations that directly engage youth. PATC uses a play-based, experient...

AfterNow: Introduction

In the summer of 2017 NewStories will publish Bob Stilger's Book AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin. The book is his story of how he entered in to the intense field of collapse. It is the stories of how...

Two Loops

This simple model really isn’t a theory of change, as some people sometimes refer to it.  It’s a map for thinking about what is important to each of us now and where our work lands in a larger system.  It was co-discovered and co-c...

Thomas Berry: The New Story

This powerful essay from 1978 by Thomas Berry was part of the inspiration for founding NewStories in 2000.  It begins with these words: It’s all a question of story.  We are in trouble now because we do not have a good story.  We ar...

TEDxTokyo, 2010 Bob and Annie

Bob Stilger and his daughter Annie Stilger Virnig were asked to do the first ever father-daughter presentation at the second TEDxTokyo in 2010.  They talked about what they each had learned through their work with communities in the glo...

Disaster as A Springboard

  Bob Stilger describes his learning and experience from the first three years of work after the triple disasters in Japan on March 11, 2011.  Beyond the tragedy of disaster, there is a huge opening in which the new can be given...

Learning Resilience

Bob Stilger had a chance to talk about learning resilience at the 2014 TEDxTokyo Teachers event.  It was a delightful evening when he had a chance to practice some of what he described!...

The Way It Is

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t ge...

Cynefin Framework

The ways in which we effectively find our way forward, responding to a particular problem or opportunity, need to be situational. Our work is in one of four domains: simple, complicated, complex, chaos or disorder...

While Waiting For Homo Systemicus

Many of the problems we human beings encounter might be remedied if we overcame our blindness to the systems in which we live and developed what Barry Oshry calls systems sight. This thoughtful manuscript points towards a different...

Power and Love

Barry Oshry has spent decades analyzing the ways in which power works (and doesn't work). This remarkable essay follows on a conversation Barry had with Adam Kahane before Adam wrote his book Power and Love. The essay offers critical...

The Soul of Place

Michael is an extraordinary artist with deep sensitivity to nature, leadership and community. This book is a wonderful exploration of the powers of place and how they can inform our lives....

Warriors Without Weapons 2011

GSA is a 32-day immersion, which is based on the daily life of 60 young people from all over the world, who learn and apply different social technologies together in order to realize collective dreams of 3 different communities....

Vikalp Sangam

This website hopes to feature alternatives in the full range of human endeavour as they take place in India, and through this to help build bridges amongst them, learn from each other, and together present a challenge to the mainstream...

The Healing Century

Despite the widespread frustrations of our time, I believe we must live with hope. We are capable of making a profound positive shift in our thinking. The heart of this shift would be for us to conceptualize the 21st century as the...



The Roots of Aliveness

It has often been said that our span of awareness is a mile wide and an inch deep. The quality of our inner life is frequently overlooked in our efforts to cope with the daily demands and expectations of our outer life....


PLANETARY is a feature length documentary that expands on the mind-blowing perspective shared by astronauts and indigenous elders alike...

Alive In Community

This article, co-authored with Aerin Dunford, describes how Berkana has designed and hosted large, multicultural gatherings in different parts of the world for people who are building healthy and resilient communities....

Can I Be Fearless?

Margaret Wheatley asks a difficult question of us in this energizing article. She takes her readers along a path lined with different answers and solutions to dealing with our fears....