Food for Thought

Welcome to our growing collection of resources. Come in, look around. Find some resources which will increase your capacity to meet the challenges and opportunities you encounter.

If you have  recommendations for resources to include, please give us your suggestions. 


Developmental Evaluation Primer

James AA Gamble
Developmental Evaluation is the one of the most developed "complexity-aware" evaluation approaches. This PDF, developed by Canada's McConnell Foundation provides an excellent overview. Read post

Spiral of Co-Creating

NewStories Introduces a framework -- the Spiral of Co-Creating -- as a new way to look at how we can create collective impact. Read post

Cynefin Framework from AfterNow

This chapter excerpt from AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin? gives a solid and colorful introduction to how we must work differently in situations that are obvious, complicated, complex and chaotic. Download PDF Read post

Methods for Dialogue and Conversation

AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin
How do we design and host conversations that matter?  This PDF shares the approaches Bob Stilger used in Japan for five years after the the Triple Disasters of March 11, 2011.   Read post

Aquaponics in Cherokee Nation

Vian, OK – It all started with an innate passion for helping others, and Oklahoma resident Richard Tyler has it.  Tyler’s passion and hard work has led to a 10,000sf aquaponic facility he constructed in 2015 to address the need for quality food in Vian’s predominantly Native American community. Read post

AfterNow: Introduction

In the summer of 2017 NewStories will publish Bob Stilger's Book AfterNow: When We Cannot See the Future, Where Do We Begin. The book is his story of how he entered in to the intense field of collapse. It is the stories of how people found their way forward to create a new normal -- a new NOW. Read post

Communities Report on Culture of Health

What does it take to create a Culture of Health in the United States? In 2016 NewStories embarked on a Listening Tour in West Virginia, Cherokee Nation, New Mexico and Northern California to find new questions and new insights. Read post

Thomas Berry: The New Story

This powerful essay from 1978 by Thomas Berry was part of the inspiration for founding NewStories in 2000.  It begins with these words: It’s all a question of story.  We are in trouble now because we do not have a good story.  We are in between stories. The Old Story — the account of how Read post

Limits to Complexity: Are Bureaucrasies Becoming Unmanageable?

Duane Elgin
This lovely analysis was made by Duane Elgin and Robert Bushnell almost 40 years ago and points with stunning accuracy to our world today. Limits to Large Complex Systems Read post

Learning Resilience

Bob Stilger
Bob Stilger had a chance to talk about learning resilience at the 2014 TEDxTokyo Teachers event.  It was a delightful evening when he had a chance to practice some of what he described! Read post

The Way It Is

William Stafford
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer Read post


Bob Stilger
Bob Stilger spent four years working in Japan's triple disaster area and shares stories, insights and questions about how we create a future when the world we know falls apart. Read post

Power and Love

Barry Oshry
Barry Oshry has spent decades analyzing the ways in which power works (and doesn't work). This remarkable essay follows on a conversation Barry had with Adam Kahane before Adam wrote his book Power and Love. The essay offers critical insights. Read post

The Soul of Place

Michael Jones
Michael is an extraordinary artist with deep sensitivity to nature, leadership and community. This book is a wonderful exploration of the powers of place and how they can inform our lives. Read post

Living Universe or Dead Universe

Duane Elgin
What does it mean to be part of a living universe? How is it different from a universe that is dead? Read post

Lush Cosmetics Presents: The Oasis Game

What happens when volunteers from Lush Cosmetics meet a community group to play the Oasis Game? Read post

A World of Solutions

MOVING ART by Louie Schwartzberg
A sequel to the film "What's Possible" for the United Nations Climate Summit. Read post

Combining Competencies

Faizan Baig
The Story Of Turtle And Rabbit (The New Version) Read post

Weaving the Community Resilience and New Economy Movement Report
A portrait of a rich and vibrant movement, full of promise and hope for a better future. Read post

Tao Te Ching – Chapter 15

Stephen Mitchell
Are you patient enough to let your mud settle, waiting until the water is clear? Read post

The Healing Century

Robert Theobald
Despite the widespread frustrations of our time, I believe we must live with hope. We are capable of making a profound positive shift in our thinking. The heart of this shift would be for us to conceptualize the 21st century as the healing century. Read post


Bob Stilger
世界のあちこちで、人々は新しい形でリーダーシップを取ろうとし始めている。その人たちは多くの場合、組織や地域社会で権力をもつ立場にいるわけではない。ただ、なされるべきことが見え、進んで声を上げ、そして実際に行動する人々なのだ。 Read post

Beautiful Solutions

Naomi Klein
Resistance is essential, but it’s not enough. As we fight the injustice around us, we also have to imagine — and create — the world we want. Read post

Disaster as a Springboard for Thriving Resilient Communities

Bob Stilger
This article chronicles the initial response to Japan's triple disasters of March 11, 2011. It looks at how people begin to create the new after everything falls apart. Read post

The Six or Seven Axioms of Social Change

Zaid Hassan
Explore Margaret Mead’s axiom: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Read post

Journeying to a New World

Margaret Wheatley
Margaret Wheatley says she’s “still trying to come to terms with the experience of seeing, feeling, tasting and working earnestly from a new paradigm while living in the old one.” Read post

Spiritual Activism and Liberation Spirituality

Claudia Horwitz and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey
Activists are being asked to examine our current historical moment with real intimacy, with fresh eyes, fire, and compassion. Read post

The Great Turning

David Korton
By what name will future generations know our time? Will they speak in anger and frustration of the time of the Great Unraveling, Read post

Emergence and Systems of Influence (Spanish)

Spanish version of article is written by Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze about working with emergence.  Read post

Reflections on Now Activism

Manish Jain and Bob Stilger
An introduction to a booklet produced by Shikshantar: The People’s Institute for Rethinking Education and Development on the theme of the Now Activism. Read post

Slouching Towards Flatland

Zaid Hassan
n 2000, the United Nations articulated eight development goals that all member countries agreed to try to meet by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Read post

The Roots of Aliveness

Michael Jones
It has often been said that our span of awareness is a mile wide and an inch deep. The quality of our inner life is frequently overlooked in our efforts to cope with the daily demands and expectations of our outer life. Read post

Enspirited Leadership In Japan

Bob Stilger
This chapter from Leading with Spirit, Presence and Authenticity describes leadership emerging at the community level in Japan as people work together to create a new future after the triple disasters of 2011 Read post


Planetary Collective
PLANETARY is a feature length documentary that expands on the mind-blowing perspective shared by astronauts and indigenous elders alike Read post

The Place Beyond Hope and Fear

Margaret Wheatley
In difficult times it takes effort to stay grounded in the present, but it is only there, says Margaret Wheatley, that we will find a place unclouded by hope and fear. Read post


Alycia Lee and Tatiana Glad
The Courage to Step into a Meaningful Mess
We have all experienced the messiness of collaboration. What makes collaboration worth it? Read post

The Leaders We Need Are Already Here

Nitin Paranjape
This beautiful booklet tells the story of the Berkana Fellows program in India - young men and women learned to step forward. Read post

Enspirited Leadership

Bob Stilger
This article from the Berkana Institute summarizes Bob Stilger's findings about Landmarks for Leaders and Enspirited Leadership. Read post

The Economics of Happiness

The Economics of Happiness is a project by The International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) Read post

Local Futures

Local Futures is a non-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization of cultural and biological diversity Read post


John Kania & Mark Kramer
Large-scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, Read post

Organisations as living systems

Phil Cass
Phil Cass talking through his perspective on organisations as living systems Read post

The Networking of Knowledge and Storytelling

David Weinberger / Future of StoryTelling
“Western culture’s traditional system of knowledge is a stunning achievement,” says author and Harvard Internet scholar David Weinberger at the outset of this thought-provoking video. “It made us the dominant species on the planet.” But it was constructed as a series of stopping points: you asked a question, and you got an answer—on the page of a book or newspaper, say, or from an expert or a teacher. Read post

Supporting Pioneering Leaders as Communities of Practice

Margaret Wheatley
If we stepped away from our assumptions of what a talented leader looks like, what would we see? Read post

hear & now

Bob Stilger
Bob Stilger wrote this article for Ascent Magazine about how we need to cultivate a better listening… Read post

Empathy, Neurochemistry, and the Dramatic Arc

Dr. Paul Zak - Future of Storytelling
The emotionally charged story recounted at the beginning Dr. Paul Zak’s film—of a terminally ill two-year-old named Ben and his father—offers a simple yet remarkable case study in how the human brain responds to effective storytelling. As part of his study, Dr. Zak, a founding pioneer in the emerging field of neuroeconomics, closely monitored the Read post

Warriors Without Weapons: How Learning Moves Trans-locally

Aerin Dunford
Sixty youth from sixteen countries stand in a river in Southeast Brazil slapping their hands on the water, chanting, “HE-áh-na-na-na, HEáh-na-na-na, HE-áh-nah-nah- HE!” Read post


Camille Marotte
A narrative poem weaves through the stunning background to create a piece of art. Read post

What is Our Role in Creating Change?

Margaret Wheatley
Margaret Wheatley discusses how the world changes and why we need to step forward for what we care about. Read post

Perseverance: Lost in the Gulf of Mexico

Margaret Wheatley
Written in the middle of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, this piece invites us to think about what these kinds of disasters mean for us as human beings in these times. Read post

Leadership in the Age of Complexity

Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze
For too long, too many of us have been entranced by heroes. Perhaps it’s our desire to be saved, to not have to do the hard work, to rely on someone else to figure things out. Read post

Alive In Community

Bob Stilger
This article, co-authored with Aerin Dunford, describes how Berkana has designed and hosted large, multicultural gatherings in different parts of the world for people who are building healthy and resilient communities. Read post

Can I Be Fearless?

Margaret Wheatley
Margaret Wheatley asks a difficult question of us in this energizing article. She takes her readers along a path lined with different answers and solutions to dealing with our fears. Read post