Stories can be the means by which people work out their thoughts and ideas: they can be an exploration, a search for meaning or an offering up to others. People's stories about their experiences provide useful insights into what is happening in their lives and communities.
Stories like these are a valuable source of qualitative data that can be used to inform the findings of research projects, provide intricate understandings of issues pertinent to communities, be catalysts of change in service design, advise local and national agendas and policies, and much more. From a community development point of view, story is an extremely useful tool for helping people to locate themselves in their own lives and their communities. And more importantly, it is universal and there are no prerequisites equired in order to tell a story. Many organizations collect stories within the communities they work with but the way stories and curated and presented is still lacking a shared methodology that can support an effective impact on stakeholders and decision makers. The Our Voices project seeks to find innovative ways of curating people’s stories so that the ideas, messages and knowledge within them can be better shared with the people, groups and organisations in a position to use them to create positive change in communities across Europe.
This book is a presentation of the project's initial findings into how people, groups, communities and organisations across Europe are currently collecting, curating and creating impact with stories.