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Common Bound Conference - Boston

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Boston, June 6, 2014. Organizers of the Common Bound Conference in Boston expected 300 people and we almost overwhelmed when 650 people representing 110 organizations registered, maxing out the accommodations (our publisher Rob Kall was among those who couldn't find a room.) The theme is "Moving Together Toward a New Economy." The notion of a new economy proceeds from the recognition that the economy is much more than just money. Traditional economic modeling treats society and the natural world as externalities -- variables that are ignored in the modeling of the system. The new economy would encompass the totality of our biosphere and seek include sustainability and stewardship as core values.

Christine Cordero
(image by Christine Cordero)

Gathering at Northeastern University in Boston on Friday, people from cities across the nation began with a workshops at Northeastern University. (Program) Marguerite Chandler, reported on the session Storytelling & Memes based on the work of Christine Cordero, Center for Story Based Strategy. Twitter and other public media require a very brief yet compelling meme or story. When done well, the meme goes viral and is widely re-tweeted reaching an expanding network of people. The workshop revealed how to craft such viral tweets. You can get the flavor of the workshop from Marguerite's outline:

What makes a story? conflict, characters, imagery, foreshadowing, underlying assumptions (of the listeners)

Narrative power analysis

1. filters - not what people DON'T know, but what they DO know (challenging underlying assumptions - e.g., "greed economy" becomes a meme for the extractive, non-sustainable, lack of stewardship of our current economy)

2. analyzing the DOMINANT STORIES that affect our understanding of the issue

3. We have to re-frame and change the stories

Winning the battle of the story

- frame the conflict

- amplify the voice of impacted individuals

- show, not tell (facts + images tell a fuller tale)

- engage people and their values

- foreshadowing (create a clear, compelling vision of alternatives: e.g., people and planet first, sustainable use and stewardship of resources, protection and valuing of cultural capital, strengthening local economies, reclaiming democracy and control of wealth, investment in renewable forms of energy)

-challenge assumptions (make invisible stories visible)

Participants learned how to include dramatic photographs in the tweet to achieve full impact. If you are wishing you could participate, much of the conference is being streamed online. (click here)

Speaking of the whole conference experience Chandler said,

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Richmond Shreve is a citizen journalist and former Senior Editor at He is a published author of fiction (Lost River Anthology, Amazon) and training materials (Instructor Candidate Manual, and A retired (more...)

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The conference is the third of an annual series th... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 11:10:46 AM
Sigh. I'm disappointed I couldn't make it. Thanks ... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 12:34:51 PM
Tweet: #commonbound ... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 2:25:35 PM
Marguerite is writing a full-blown article that I ... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 2:26:54 PM
The New Economy website includes a mission stateme... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 7, 2014 at 2:56:55 PM
New thinking in macroeconomics is an old idea, but... by David Chester on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 9:53:05 AM
Much as I see that a "strength through joy" approa... by David Chester on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 10:18:44 AM
Sounds like you need to find a way to translate yo... by Richmond Shreve on Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 at 1:00:27 PM