The Stories We Are

Field for the British Isles


We are the stories we tell ourselves [Joan Didion]

A Unique Invitation
After a two-year break, we are delighted to invite you to our Summer Gathering on 27-28 June 2016 at Hawkwood College, Stroud. The theme for this event, The Stories We Are offers the opportunity to explore the ways in which we create our identity through stories and to consider how, in our various fields of practice, we can better help individuals and groups come to understand and sometimes to change their stories. We’ll consider such questions as:

  • How do we create, maintain, and explore our identity through stories ?
  • How do we better let go of the old stories when they no longer serve?
  • How do we find, co-create and share the new stories with each other?
  • How do we bring them into an emerging context that can shape our future?

The gathering will be co-hosted by regulars Geoff Mead, Charlene Collison, and Robert Holtom. There will be some special guests including Bristol-based memoirist, script-writer and radio-producer Paul Dodgson. We’re also corresponding with colleagues in California and New Zealand who we are hoping will join us. We are keen to maintain our tradition of meeting as peers in a community of inquiry, so bring your questions, creativity and curiosity, and be willing to share your current and emerging practice.

Storyteller, coach, change agent, consultant, teacher, parent, carer, researcher, writer, citizen, social activist, therapist, business or organisational leader: you could be any, all, or none of these things. Whatever your background, if you are interested in the power of stories to shape our lives and the world in which we live, then this event is for you.


How you can help
Please justify our shared hopes and ambition for the Centre by making an early commitment to attending the gathering. As well as attending yourself, there are two other ways in which you can help to ensure the success of the event.

First, we want to extend ‘membership’ of the Centre by asking you to invite other people who you believe would be interested in, benefit from, contribute to and enjoy The Stories We Are. Our core constituency includes leaders, developers and researchers as well as storytellers but we are also open to ‘wild card’ invitations to people you know and trust from other fields including clients (bearing in mind that this is a participative event rather than a showcase).

Second, please come forward with offers to facilitate sessions, bring case studies, run workshops, share stories, initiate projects, and whatever else you would like to see at the gathering. You do not have to be an expert just enthusiastic and committed. Your active participation is essential to shape the Centre in the ways that you want to see it develop.

The Venue
Hawkwood College is set in 42 acres of beautiful gardens, woods and fields, with its own spring water and wonderful views of Cotswold hills and valleys. It is easily accessible from Heathrow and London by train (direct service between Paddington and Stroud) and by road (M4/A46).

Booking and fees
The gathering is offered at cost price £165 residential, £140 residential (shared), £110 non-residential (all inclusive of VAT) to both regular and new attendees. Click here for The Stories We Are Booking Form (Word Document) and here for The Stories We Are Booking Form (pdf file). Save the date and make sure you book early as there are limited places available. Also, do circulate the invitation to anyone else you think would be interested in attending this event.

Further Information
For further information please contact co-hosts Geoff Mead (, Robert Holtom Robert ( or Charlene Collison ( with any questions about the event.

CNL wordle