Narrative is known to be a fundamental structure of human meaning making. Identity formation and personal development can be understood in terms of narrative structure and processes as well.

Europe – drowned in modern media – seems to have lost its link with storytelling and oral tradition. Content, language and performance turn stories into genuine products of the culture they are based in. A revitalisation of storytelling can help communities to regain a link with their own heritage and identity and provides them with an instrument to better understand each other.

The Story Regions project wants to develop and share storytelling approaches for community development, social cohesion and learning by promoting storytelling in formal and non-formal learning and in a variety of social & cultural sectors, by developing the professional competences of teachers, trainers and storytelling curators and by creating regional inter-sectorial storytelling networks with European links.

In this project we want to explore the potential of oral storytelling as a tool for learning for different target groups in adult education and in social and cultural contexts. Not only by using stories as carriers of (cultural, historical) knowledge and to practice listening and speaking skills, but also because it offers a strong tool for empowerment and social inclusion. We think that storytelling has a great potential to attract and motivate people to learn, to connect with others, with other generations, to express oneself and to integrate in society. We also think that storytelling offers a common approach to personal development and learning that has the potential to unite the different sectors in a community.

The Story Regions project wants:
– to raise awareness of the potential of storytelling and to promote storytelling as a learning tool in different fields of formal and non-formal adult education and socio-cultural life
– to raise awareness of the potential of storytelling as a tool for participation and (European) citizenship awareness
– to foster social inclusion, especially with regard to disadvantaged groups, migrants, new comers
– to improve the professional capacity of teachers, adult trainers, community workers and cultural professionals in using stories and storytelling with their target groups.
– to improve the professional capacity of socio-cultural actors in a community to build storytelling based projects for community development.
– to develop a regional approach to promoting and enhancing inter-sectorial cooperation on applied storytelling for learning and for social cohesion
– to contribute to the professional development of ‘storytelling curators’ who promote and support the introduction of storytelling in societal sectors and enhance international and inter-sectorial networking and cooperation in this respect.
– to develop an intercultural and international dimension to the approach and tools.

The innovation of the Story Regions project lies in introducing storytelling approaches and techniques as a binding factor to unite the different learning and socio-cultural sectors in a community in a common approach to cooperation for learning, for community development and for inclusion. It will try to achieve this by developing the professional competences of teachers, trainers, social & cultural workers and storytelling curators and by creating regional inter-sectorial storytelling networks with European links.

The Story Regions project involves a number of activities, such as:
– mapping the different actors in a community that play a role in (non-formal) learning
survey in order to analyze the needs
– developing a Competence Profile of a ‘storytelling curator’
methodology development for intersectorial cooperation through storytelling
– collecting good practice in Europe
piloting storytelling community projects
– organizing national dissemination & training days
– creating guidelines and publishing a manual