48 episodes

Frustrated it's so hard to get people to buy into your big idea? Join award-winning storyteller & strategist Denise Withers as she interviews global change agents to discover how they overcome barriers to create breakthrough change, for good. If you need a new way to move your big idea forward, then tune in, because she has a story just for you.

Q.west for good: Innovation stories with Denise Withers Denise Withers

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 10 Ratings

Frustrated it's so hard to get people to buy into your big idea? Join award-winning storyteller & strategist Denise Withers as she interviews global change agents to discover how they overcome barriers to create breakthrough change, for good. If you need a new way to move your big idea forward, then tune in, because she has a story just for you.

    The Q.west for good

    The Q.west for good

    After a brief hiatus to shift direction, I'm back with an amazing line-up of innovators ready to share the stories of how they overcome barriers to create breakthrough change on issues from fleet electrification to chronic disease.

    In this episode, I talk briefly about the new direction and what to expect, introduce my new online journal packed with innovation stories and strategies from global change agents, and share highlights from the first three years of the show. 

    Grab some inspiration. Grow your influence.  Get more impact. And join me on my Q.west for good!

    • 33 min
    Denise Withers: TEDX Talk on Narrative Intelligence

    Denise Withers: TEDX Talk on Narrative Intelligence

    We're changing things up a bit this episode! Before taking a break for the summer, I wanted to share my TEDX talk on Narrative Intelligence.

    It's a great introduction to how we can use stories to make personal, cultural and social change, weaving together everything I've learned over the last 30+ years of work as a filmmaker, educator, consultant and coach.

    If you'd rather watch the video for the full TEDX experience, here's the link.

    And don't forget to check out my free online webbook that unpacks all the science and shows you how to put Narrative Intelligence to work right away.

    Happy listening and have a great summer!

    • 16 min
    Shizue Roche Adachi: Nourishing social change by changing food narratives

    Shizue Roche Adachi: Nourishing social change by changing food narratives

    Food does more than just provide the chemicals we need to survive. It feeds our spirit, imagination and relationships. It connects us to the land, our history, our culture and each other. Perhaps most importantly, food also gives us the power to heal our relationships, systems and society. But to do that, we first have to start to explore, understand and ultimately shift the dominant narratives that define our relationship to food.

    And that's exactly what Shizue Roche Adachi and the team at Food Culture Collective are trying to do through story-driven events and strategies with food culture workers. In this conversation, Shizue helps us unpack the power of food to nourish and heal a struggling society. She also shares examples of the ways in which stories can not only reveal harmful narratives but also create opportunities to shape the future.

    Find out more about upcoming events at the Food Culture Collective here, and check out their recent piece in the Non-Profit Quarterly here. 

    • 22 min
    Council Fire: Finding common ground for change, with stories

    Council Fire: Finding common ground for change, with stories

    The only way we’re going to make progress on complex environmental and social issues is through collaboration - bringing together groups with diverse perspectives, needs and skills. And the only way to do that is to find common ground as a place to start - something that’s getting tough to do in an increasingly polarized world. 
    That’s why I’m so excited to have George Chmael II and Rachel Seba from Council Fire join me for this episode. As long-time leaders in sustainability consulting, they’ve recently integrated a more intentional approach to storytelling in their work, with impressive results. In particular, their recent film, Fishing for Data for the Net Gains Alliance offers a powerful case study of how to use stories to bring diverse stakeholders together to tackle a common problem.

    In this conversation, we look at how they've used stories on multi-year projects to not only find ways to engage diverse communities in co-creating a better future together – but also address historical injustices along the way. In particular, they walk us through two powerful case studies - Fishing for Data, and the development of Masonville Cove - the first urban wildlife refuge partnership in the USA.

    They also talk about their decision to develop their internal storytelling capacity to elevate the power of stories in their client work, as well as how they managed to build such a powerful creative team as a small business.

    As George reminds us:
    "We've got to get the word out. We have to tell the stories. We have to connect to people such that we can drive action in the masses. The activity of an individual company or an individual person can't get it done by itself. We have to do it at scale and storytelling is a key tool to help us do that."

     

    • 25 min
    Laura Hughes: Overcoming polarization, with stories.

    Laura Hughes: Overcoming polarization, with stories.

    Polarization has become a major roadblock for those working on issues from public health to climate change. Unless we can figure out how to shift cultures and the stories that shape them, it’s going to be tough for us to find ways to move forward together.

    That’s why I’m so excited to have Laura Hughes join me for this episode. As a senior policy analyst in the Alberta clean energy program at the Pembina Institute, she leads the organization’s files on women in the energy transition, the Alberta Narratives Project, and nature-based solutions. She also works with municipalities to support their transitions to renewable energy.

    In this episode, Laura walks us through the details of the Alberta Narratives Project – an incredibly successful initiative run with Alberta Ecotrust and Climate Outreach to help everyone move past the polarizing stories that were holding them back and find common ground to start creating a better future together.  She outlines what they did, who they worked with, what challenges they faced, and – importantly – what they found in their evaluation. 

    She also talks more broadly about the value of taking a narrative approach to policy development, as a key strategy in creating the cultural momentum necessary for any successful change project. 

    With competing stories and ideologies tearing apart families, communities and nations, learning how to find common ground to tackle tough issues is a critical skill we all need to develop. Laura and her team have created a model for how, exactly, to do that. So be sure to check out her work!

    • 30 min
    Jenn T. Grace: Why your raw, real story matters

    Jenn T. Grace: Why your raw, real story matters

    "In so many ways I have seen people downplay certain aspects of their identity. When in reality, they should be really, really kind of doubling down on being more of who they are." –– Jenn T. Grace

    Despite decades of advocacy for diversity in publishing, a quick Google search for the top non-fiction authors inevitably turns up a list of white men. This matters, for lots of reasons. If we want people to be transformed by books, they have to see themselves in those books. Which means that we’re not connecting with a vast majority of the world. Plus, by not publishing work by under-represented writers, we’re missing out on all the wisdom and expertise they have to share, stuff that only they know.

    Nobody knows this better than Jenn T. Grace. As an author, speaker, founder and CEO of Publish Your Purpose, Jenn has a fierce commitment to bringing voice to the invisible stories that free people from their isolation. She’s published six books of her own, including her memoir “House on Fire” and coached hundreds of authors to help them bring their stories into the light.

    In this episode, Jenn shares key insights from her publishing journey. We talk about why it's important for authors (and the rest of us) to get raw and real when we share our stories. We explore the one-to-one connection authors must create with their readers. And we talk about the need for more diversity in publishing – something she's trying to change through her work.

    "It tends to be either women or LGBTQ people or people with disabilities or people of color, people who are coming from some marginalized standpoint that go and enter into the publishing space, and just don't feel seen. And if you want to share your story, speak your truth, impact people, you have to be working with a partner that helps you feel seen and heard. And there's just not a lot of that still in the publishing space. And so our focus is very much on those voices that are often excluded from those traditional publishing settings.

    Jenn also has some great tips for authors who are just starting out, and those who want to take their work to the next level. Find out more about her and her journey here. 

    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
10 Ratings

10 Ratings

NakNakGNJ ,

Episode 5 with Tracy Bacenas

Loved this episode! It really emphasizes to me how important story design is in everyday life!

mrtangoo ,

Storytelling to change the world

Denise proves through her guests and great questions that storytelling can be used in a broader sense and in all kinds of amazing business models and causes.

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