Axiom-inspired News Org Now in Belgium

Axiom-inspired News Org Now in Belgium

I already have enough business to support myself: founder Griet Bouwen

A Belgian news agency modeling itself after Axiom News based in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada has opened for business.

Founder Griet Bouwen first learned about Axiom News about a year ago, and was inspired to learn more as she saw it bringing clarity and life to what had been a somewhat nebulous vision of her own.

 
  Griet Bouwen

Interested in exploring the possibility of a similar operation for Europe’s Dutch-speaking population, Griet travelled to Peterborough last spring, met with members of the Axiom News team who attended the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in April and later visited the Canadian office again.

The trust built through this connection was an important step and paved a path to the future growth and sustainability of the news service, Griet says.

“I think we have made a major step in becoming friends and getting to know each other and building a lot of trust in co-operating together,” she says.

Axiom Nieuws Belgium is currently offering two kinds of service, generative news-making for clients and news about economic and social transition issues for the general public.

The agency has contracts for news services with three clients — enough to both support Griet and necessitating some additional help already. Her clients include a government tourism department working with low-income Belgian residents, a social housing agency and a consultancy. The news agency provides a mix of news stories published to the client websites, e-newsletters and print pieces.

Griet says her intent is to give careful thought to every client she works with — seeking out systems that are committed to social and environmental good, not just profit maximization.

The transition news is being delivered on a voluntary basis, with about 14 writers already wanting to participate in a network Griet is organizing for the purpose of learning, connecting and delivering this news. The voluntary network could be key to the Axiom News innovation — generative journalism — becoming a movement rather than just another new service, she says.

Griet says she was impatient to launch the transition news, despite the lack of funding.

“I can feel in my own network there is a hunger for this kinds of news,” she says, noting she foresees the network’s growth to one that is “warm, strong and connected” enabling it to eventually add something new and of real significance to the Flanders region.

“My hope is that the people in Flanders for a start, and later also in the Netherlands, could find a place on the Internet to connect with ideas and stories of people and organizations already making a change in our society towards the things we want to see happening on the issues of sustainability, solidarity, democracy,” says Griet, noting she’s not aware of a news service in the region with a similar commitment to covering transition issues from a generative perspective.

For the future, Griet’s hope and intent is to have the European and Canadian Axiom teams “fully connected,” exchanging both news and ideas and methodologies for news delivery, with the goal of enriching and strengthening their work and the systems in which they operate.

Asked how this new endeavour aligns with her life mission, Griet says she’s been searching and struggling to understand that mission for about 10 years, and she feels she can finally let the struggle go.

“Normally in these hard times of winter I am doing tests on the Internet related to life mission, talking with people about what it’s all about, and for the first time in these 10 years . . . it’s like I am at the starting point of what it’s all about.

“It gives me a special kind of mental rest, a special rest and silence I haven’t experienced before.

“From now on I have the feeling that I can trust that the right things are going to happen.  The search is over for now, and now it’s just working working working.”

Click here to visit Axiom Nieuws Belgium.

Feel free to comment on this story below, or e-mail michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.

 

 

 

Writer Bio

Michelle Strutzenberger's picture
Michelle Strutzenberger

Generative Journalist

 

Reprint This Story

Axiom News content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Stories may be reprinted in their entirety with permission and when appropriately credited.

Please contact Axiom News at
1-800-294-0051 for more information.