“Advocating for a New Story of our Shared Humanity” (ANS) is a self-hosted 5-session conversation for small groups designed to explore the dominant narratives in the world and in our lives. It can also be used as a tool for individual reflection. Anyone can use the guide to self-host small group discussions.
This programme is designed for the following purposes:
We also hope that this guide will serve as a vehicle for meaningful conversations in modern cultures that often have little time to connect deeply.
Story sharing from the beginning of time has been used to inform and educate, to record and entertain, to remind and restore. Whether in prose, poetry, song or through art of all mediums, it is our prime tool of communication. Our collective national and international experiences combine to form the grand narratives that inform our relationships and identities.
Throughout history, dominant cultures have distorted the meaning of a shared humanity to a restricted interpretation that only included those people necessary to the status quo, excluding those people considered lesser. Whole peoples and histories have been marginalized, rights denied, voices unheard and genocides sanctioned. Colonisations and conquests have been based on a hierarchy of human value to legitimise greed for wealth and power.
We all matter and we all are of value. Addressing our individual stories alongside the huge challenges of planetary devastation, food shortages and human displacement among other issues, requires a new-found appreciation of our togetherness and mutual value.
The programme is designed for five 2-hour conversations (10 total hours). Weekly sessions are recommended, though it is up to the host how the sessions are scheduled.
Our guide is made for anyone to host their own 5-session conversation for small groups. Simply download the guide.
Occasionally, we offer online sessions hosted by a facilitator from our team. Sign up for a pre-arranged online session here.
We love to hear how self-hosted sessions went. You can use this form to provide your feedback (you can skip the sign up portion).
The conversation circle helped me to have a better understanding and perspective about other people’s stories. I would like to use this Advocating for a New Story module, especially the guiding questions, to equip and connect young people in trust and community building. These conversations can help us to respond to the many traumatic narratives of interreligious and intercultural issues that exist in my country."
- Huda Miftahul, Indonesia
"I found the experience of genuine listening to and being heard by each other very moving. The way in which space was held, and the willingness of participants to be vulnerable, enabled deep sharing. I came away much more aware of some of the narratives about myself and others which I have been living out of, and challenged, inspired, and supported to identify some new, more life-giving narratives."
- Emma Yates, Australia
I joined an ANS conversation group to explore how I can become an advocate for a new, peaceful world. In the sessions, I became aware of my own narrative towards Pakistan, an enemy neighbour. I decided to dig deeper into this bias. I discerned that I, and many Indians, are reliving an old narrative created by British colonisers through “divide and rule”.
- Anvita Bisaria, Australia/India