Luisteren naar verhalen voor een samenleving in beweging

Home Agenda Narrative Matters: going on climate adventure together

Narrative Matters 2018: workshop climate adventure

Narrative Matters is a bi-annual conference on the study of narrative, which brings together scholars from different disciplines. The current booming interest for narrative or “story-telling” across academic disciplines and professional fields comes with a number of challenges. One of these challenges, as captured by the conference theme “the ABCs of narrative”, is the need for a better understanding and an interdisciplinary dialogue between A) the arts and humanities; B) the natural and computer sciences; C) the behavioral, social, and health sciences.

Kirsten Notten will give a workshop at this peer reviewed conference.

On climate adventure together

In her work as a storyteller for policymaking Kirsten Notten has participated in the Dutch National Energy Dialogue. She listened to the stories of ordinary people about their daily practices with sustainability in their homes. Their stories showed the steps of the ‘hero’s journey’ as captured by Joseph Campbell and Mieke Bouma. Residents are on an climate adventure, entering a new world, facing monsters and going through a crisis before they are able to change behaviour or invest in new energy systems.

Policymakers could work with the narrative understanding of changing daily life to find new practices of governance and to support the actions of inhabitants. Besides that, the hero’s journey gives a narrative coping with uncertainty and complexity. It offers grip by working step by step and understanding dramatic changes. It also offers space to adapt and learn along the way. Narrative work opens the possibility to go on climate adventure together.

How to strengthen the practice of storytelling in policymaking? What lessons can we learn for climate policies? Kirsten Notten works in this workshop with the dilemmas when using storytelling in the context of policy-making on climate issues.


Narrative coping with complexity and uncertainty in policy-making
Narrative and power in societies, organizations, and practices.


Workshop Kirsten: Thursday 5th of july, the practical day of the conference, 9 PM.
Narrative Matters, July 2-5, 2018, Enschede, the Netherlands

information and registration >>