Power of Story & Story as Theory of Change

Power of Story & Story as Theory of Change

Change the story, change the world
The power of stories

Stories invisibly govern our lives and are society's operating system. But what if we could hack the operating system? This day is a call to adventure to explore modern mythologies and how to crack open and replace them.

General timing
10:00 Welcome and introduction
13:00 Lunch (included)
17:30 End of course
Campaigners, fundraisers, media officers, digital experts, communicators, designers, copywriters, of all stripes.
£300 (including lunch)
World Animal Protection 5th Floor, 222 Grays Inn Rd, London WC1X 8HB
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Brian here. I was a campaigner and communicator with Greenpeace for decades when I stumbled upon the field of story as theory of change. It was like putting on a new pair of glasses. I suddenly had a better understanding of why some campaigns succeed and others utterly flop. In the years since, I've gone deep into the rabbit hole of story, behavioural economics, invitational activism and values-based communications, working with NGOs large and small.

Stories are key to our understanding of the world. They form a kind of operating system of the human mind and society.

Whether we know it or not, as activists, we're story hackers, seeking to change cultural narratives that define what's right, what's normal, and what's possible.

This day is a call to adventure to explore a new way of thinking about story and some powerful techniques for telling better ones.

What You'll Learn

Together with my improv facilitator and "Yes Activism" guru Lucy Taylor, we'll take you on a fabulous and fun learning journey. You'll discover how to map the story of a campaign, organisation,  or movement using a simple story template which helps teams open up insights into strategy, tactics, and audience.

We will work with Marshall Ganz’s Story of Self, Story of Us, Story of Now framework to explore how we can create compelling personal narratives that connect people’s heads and hearts behind a call to action.

We'll explore creative techniques and brainstorming methods that borrow from the world of improv theater. We'll learn a powerful set of tips and tricks for idea creation, including one that was taught to me by the creators of Ted Lasso back when they were members of the Boom Chicago theatre group in Amsterdam!


This is learning by doing, and by having fun. The day is highly interactive and will feature group work, energizers, inspired story telling, a bit of artistry, and the joy of working with hope-inspired people who are working for a better world.


Dancing Fox’s workshop on storytelling grabbed the MA Media, Campaigning and Social Change students' attention from the start and held them spellbound till the end of the day. The balance of fun, deep thinking and actual storytelling in Mister Fox's workshop is just right. The students came away energised and with new insights into the layers of thinking and planning needed to develop high quality storytelling. The best attended class of the term, and the energy levels stayed sky high throughout. Please come back next year!
-Michaela O'Brien, Westminster University

I want to thank you so much for your inspiring and fantastic workshop yesterday! With your input I wrote today's newsletter copy and our editor did not change a single word! This is absolutely extraordinary - it never happens. And it's all thanks to you... I'm so excited - and so glad that I attended to the workshop.
--Simone Kater, Campact

I was inspired, engaged, and encouraged!
--Ainsley Beattey, Transition Network

The story mapping technique that Dancing Fox teaches brought me to a Eureka moment in my ongoing grappling with a narrative around refugees. I will heartily recommend their workshop to others.
--Stefan Simanowitz, Media Manager Europe, Turkey, and the Balkans, Amnesty International

About the Trainer

Brian Fitzgerald, Dancing FoxBrian Fitzgerald worked for 35 years with Greenpeace International as an activist, deck hand, technologist, hot air balloon pilot, communications director, and digital explorer. He and a small pirate team of story tellers at Greenpeace crafted a new organisational story for Greenpeace, and a culture change agenda to match: The Greenpeace Story and the 7 Shifts. Together with Tommy Crawford, he founded Dancing Fox in 2016, an agency founded by activists for activists, dedicated to "mischief, magic, and mind bombs."

Lucy Taylor, Dancing FoxLucy Taylor was with communications consulting firm eatbigfish when she brought her talents as a professional facilitator, improvisational actress, and big-picture thinker to the task of crafting the story of Greenpeace. As the founder of Make Work Play, Lucy designs and leads playful processes which help teams unleash their individual and collective magic. Her superpowers include singing, cold-water swimming, and being a mom. She really likes puppets.

by Duane Raymond published Jan 31, 2013,