NENA Narratives Week 2022

NENA NARRATIVES WEEK: Monday 18 - Friday 22 July 2022

In July 2022 NENA hosted an exciting week of workshops and discussions, where we explored the power of stories and narratives, and how they can shape our economy and society.

Humans are born storytellers. We live our lives immersed in a sea of narrative - from personal narratives about the twists and turns of our lives, to big cultural and economic narratives about what it means to live well and be human. For decades now, our economic narratives have valued growth in economic activity, competition and exploitation of nature, leading to ecological devastation and human misery. Most people have become so used to these narratives that they seem unremarkable.

But narratives can change. If our economic narratives are not serving the needs of people and planet, we need to find new ones. NENA Narratives Week explored the power of economic narratives in our lives and how we might transform those narratives to support a better future for people and planet. Through a program of daily events, we examined dominant narratives and the power they exert on our daily lives, look at the new stories that are already emerging, and identify practical actions NENA members can take to bring new economic stories to life.


(scroll down for speaker bios)

Monday 18th July, 12pm – 1:30pm AEST

Why do narratives matter? How do we tell a compelling story about our present society and economy that brings more people into dialogue?

Tuesday 19th July, 12pm – 1:30pm AEST

How do we communicate an inspiring, succinct, memorable vision for the future of Australian society and our economic system

    • Alina Siegfried, Author of “The Future Untold” - 10 New Myths for Humanity
    • Caresse Cranwell and Sophia van Ruth (Wicked Elephants), The Power of Personal Storytelling
    • Host: Chris Riedy

Wednesday 20th July, 12pm – 1:30pm AEST

How do we tell a compelling, coherent story about the innovations that can take us to that imagined future? How does this story give people agency? How are people around the world and within Australia, telling new economic stories?

  • Eleanor Glenn's introduction - Eleanor Glenn, Common Cause
  • “NENA’s Gruen Transfer” - Join the discussion as we analyse the narratives used by communicators in the old and new economy. Panelists include: Eleanor Glenn, Chris Riedy, Michelle Maloney

Thursday 21st July, 5pm - 7pm AEST

Interactive "People Need People" (Warm Data) session exploring the question, "What is essential?" across multiple contexts.

  • Johanna De Ruyter, Fiona Brooks and other Warm Data hosts.

Friday 22nd July, 12pm – 2pm AEST

**Download the workshop slides here

Join Digital Storytellers to learn about tools and approaches that communities can use to start activating and sharing digital stories from their own perspective.

  • Workshop run by Natasha Akib, Director, Stories For Impact program, Digital Storytellers

This workshop will cover:

  • The Story Canvas
  • Using smartphones to gather better footage, images and audio
  • Gear and equipment
  • Editing software and approaches or smartphones and computers


Alana Marsh

Alana Marsh is a Meriam woman (Torres Strait Islander), who grew up on mainland Australia, Bundjalung country (Northern Coast NSW) and now living on Wurundjeri country (Melbourne VIC). She has worked in Project Management and two levels of government, however, is directing more and more energy to System Re-setting and sharing Wayapa Wuurrk. Wayapa is a wellness modality that enables the transmission of intergenerational wellbeing by deepening our individual and collective reciprocity with our shared Mother; Mother Earth.


Chris Riedy

Chris Riedy is Professor of Sustainability Transformations and Associate Director Learning and Development at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology Sydney. Chris also co-convenes NENA’s Narratives Hub and loves exploring the power of stories to create change.


Katherine Trebeck

Katherine is a political economist, writer and advocate for economic system change. She co-founded the Wellbeing Economy Alliance and also WEAll Scotland, its Scottish hub. She sits on a range of boards and advisory groups such as The Democracy Collaborative, the C40 Centre for Urban Climate Policy and Economy, and the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity.

Michelle Maloney

Dr Michelle Maloney, (BA/LLB [Hons] ANU, PhD, Griffith University), is an Earth lawyer, governance expert and systems change/social change maker. Michelle is the Co-Founder & National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA). She is also Co-Founder and Director of NENA and Co-Founder and Director of Future Dreaming Australia.


Alina Siegfried

Alina is an author, storyteller, narrative strategist, social innovator, systems change advocate, and spoken word artist based in Wellington, New Zealand. She is dedicated to helping businesses, organisations, and individuals to connect authentically and find collective solutions to systemic problems through story.


Caresse Cranwell

Caresse is a long-time facilitator of both personal and social change workshops. She’s an experiential psychotherapist focused on the inner journey and deep ecology. Caresse is also a spoken word artist. Her performances explore the relationships between the dynamic inner world and the outer world of science. She inspires her audiences through the awe and wonder of creative possibility.

Sophia van Ruth

Sophia offers highly interactive workshops and trainings using play-based, arts-based and meditative methodologies to support people in gaining deeper insights into complex problems within their lives or work.


Eleanor Glenn

Eleanor’s background is in environmental policy and advocacy, with more recent work in campaign analysis and advice. Her fascination with what makes people tick led to a PhD in climate change communications and engagement. She has since supported the Australia reMADE collaboration and many organisations across health, human rights, the arts and more to put values and frames into practice.

Natasha Akib

Natasha Akib has skilled up over 10,000 storytellers across Australia and around the world, through the Stories For Impact program. Stories For Impact places the incredible power of storytelling in your hands. Learn how to FIND, MAKE, EDIT and SHARE amazing and affordable stories using tools and resources you already have. The democratisation of storytelling promises to change the world for the better. What story will you tell?

"People need People" (Warm Data) Session

Join our People Need People session, in which we’ll learn together while exploring the question “What is essential?” across multiple contexts.

Sharing our stories and descriptions within this ecology of relationships reveals our interdependencies and the arbitrary nature of the divisions we create, for example Economy/Art/Science. The conversations allow the improvisation of life to move within and between us.

"Everything else is secondary now to understanding the world we live in as a living, breathing, learning, changing, cooperating, co-evolving phenomenon, and that our intelligence, especially our reductionist intelligence, is extremely limited in that context. And so, where's the edge—there is no edge. All these divisions are arbitrary."

~Rex Weyler

We’d love you to invite your friends, family, neighbours and co-workers. This session is a space for people to connect and converse with others from across the globe.

Further information below about People Need People and Warm Data for those who’d like to delve deeper: