Session Descriptions

We are very excited to share information about all of our amazing presentations at STORY:GNV 2020. Learn more about each of our keynotes and tracks below!

Please note, the order that these talks are listed in is not necessarily the order that they will be in on March 14.


The Science of Story Building

What makes one story more compelling than another? How can we build stories that illustrate the importance of our work and that can drive social change? This session dives deep into the structure of story and uncovers seven principles to help you take a narrative approach to your communications work. Using a small-group feedback model, participants will experiment with each of the principles throughout the course. At the end, participants will map out a story about their own work or organization using the framework.

Co-Presented by Ellen Nodine

Co-Presented by Matt Sheehan


How to Survive a Terrible Year

How do we metabolize or process the things that happen to us? How do the stories of our lives show up in our bodies— sensations, scars, patterns of tension or unease? What does it mean to heal? Join therapist and writer Ezra Stone for an evidence-informed, woo-woo infused story of how to survive a terrible year. Somatic self-help tools and take home writing prompts will be provided.

Presented by Ezra Stone

Personal Growth Track

What Occupies Our Time: What We Do or Who We Are?

Presented by Lindsey Telg, MOT, OTR/L

In Occupational Therapy, “occupations” mean much more than jobs. Occupations are all the many tasks and roles that fill our day – the minutiae and the marvelous. What we do is inevitably influenced by other factors: time, the environment, resources at hand and more. Across our lives, engagement in these activities ultimately writes the story of our lives. If what we do ultimately becomes who we are – how do we make sure we’re doing and being the things that matter most to us? It all starts with taking stock of all the things you currently do, what supports your efforts and what’s getting in the way. In this interactive workshop, you’ll be invited to consider the question, “Am I happy with the story I’m writing?”In that moment, what do you think? How do you respond?
We (humans) are meaning making machines. We fill in the gaps. Our lives and identities are shaped by three things: the meaning we give to our experiences, the language we use to story our lives, and the situation we occupy in our social structures in particular the power relations in these structures.
In this workshop, participants will get to dive into these concepts as derived from narrative therapy and apply them to their own life. Through this process, new stories will emerge offering hope, growth, and possibilities.

Flip the Script and Rewrite Your Narrative

Presented by Terri Bailey

This is the 1st of 3 exciting Writing to Heal Workshops developed by the Bailey Learning and Arts Collective Queens Room. The Flip the Script and Rewrite Your Narrative workshop helps you identify who you are as defined by you! During this session you will:
*Learn the power and value of your personal story
*Identify and eliminate the negative, oppressive language you use to describe yourself
*Create a new personal narrative using positive and empowering words
*Gain tools that develop focus, enhance creativity and encourage self-love

Nonfiction writing for growth and innovation

Co-Presented by Dylan Klempner & Heather Halak

Non-fiction writing, while important for self-reflection and self-expression, is also useful for professional development and social change. In this workshop, you will access your creative voice and express yourself through the written word. Join us, whether you are a blocked writer in need of inspiration, or a non-writer with hopes of experimenting with a new form of creative expression. Together, we will make new work that we will read aloud in a safe and supportive environment. We will also discuss practical concerns for nonfiction writers, including publication opportunities.

Organizational Growth

Power UP! Your Leadership Communications Strategy

Presented by Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC

Organizations need two things: 1) a reason to believe, and 2) the path forward. That’s where you should come in. How are you aligning and inspiring others to move relentlessly toward the destination (mission & vision)? Are you aligning everyone around the strategy? Are you communicating in a way that resonates? Managing change requires an organization to communicate with all stakeholders to maintain credibility and confidence through the transition. Leadership communication strategies can be successful, but it depends on the ability to inform, involve and inspire internal and external stakeholders, based on a proper understanding of what drives them and how they will react when faced with new challenges.

Future Aiming

Presented by John Engels

How do we claim our strengths in life? How do we review and revise expectations of ourselves? Many have seen or used good strategy in organizations and know how powerful it can be. Or, alternatively, have seen how the lack of it could be problematic. Being strategic can be a powerful guide in our personal lives too. This talk will explore consistently making core directional choices that move us towards our hoped-for future.

Beware of Your Stories: Rise Up, Revise, and Reach Your Potential

Presented by Scott Blades, M.Ed.

What stories are you telling yourself and others about the things you experience at work? How do you interpret and respond to your circumstances? If your career were a movie starring you as the protagonist, what would be the genre? A drama? An adventure? A comedy? A tragedy? When it comes to your work performance, are you creating a positive narrative that leads to inner peace and drives tangible results? Or are you weakening your impact and your team’s performance with negative thinking and a long list of excuses?

By the end of this session, you will be able to:
• Explore the destructive thought patterns that are holding you back from your best performance
• Apply strategies to “revise your story” and approach work with renewed vigor and enthusiasm
• Recognize the power of using data and success stories to create a positive relationship with your leadership, colleagues, and customers

You are the author of your script. By adopting an anti-drama, facts-based approach to work, you can release frustrations, protect your energy, model excellence, and achieve next-level success.

Community Growth

The Lenses We See Through: The Stories We Tell For Community Growth and Connection

Presented by Turbado Marabou

This workshop will investigate the narratives and paradigms a community uses as coping strategies and defense mechanisms to preserve and teach a for growth and preservation.

Tackling Taboo Topics Through Music

Co-Presented by Kalani Baer Henshaw
Connie Henshaw

Music has a special power to open up an emotional, creative, and subconscious part of ourselves. In this talk, we explore the idea of integrating music, storytelling, art, and expression to address important community topics that are normally considered taboo; building community and raising voices along the way.

Building A Story Community Panel

Moderated by: Brandon Telg

Over the last few years, Gainesville has become a storytelling city. The work of several story-based organizations has helped usher in this new community identify. Join members of Self Narrate, Guts & Glory GNV, and The Conch as they discuss how this has happened, and where we can go together!

Building A Story Community Panel

Panelist: Taylor Williams

Building A Story Community Panel

Panelist: Alyson Larson