Blog > Michelle Strutzenberger

Between Fretting about the National Economy and Hunkering Down at Our Desks: A National Dialogue Series on the New Economy

With news like that of the heightened risk of inflation and even more jobs on the line as Target announces its plans to pull out of the country, the sense that Canada’s economy is skating onto increasingly brittle ice can leave one feeling a need to do one or both of two things: fret or hunker down and work even more feverishly at what’s still left on one’s desk to get done.

Both reactions are a natural outgrowth of a belief that the economy is largely out of our control.

But a small group engaged in launching a national dialogue series on the new economy is working from a an entirely different premise: That we do have power over the state of the economy — and can have much more if we join together with others who believe a different reality is possible.

These folks are imagining what could happen if people from across sectors and geographies joined a regularly held, thoughtfully designed and hosted set of dialogues on the broad topic of a new economy.

Imagine if people had a chance to both learn from content leaders sharing their brilliance and also meet and talk with other practitioners holding the same burning sense of possibility. Top that all off with stories and follow-up small-group conversations, again, all emanating from this same sense that we can and will do things differently, that we are able to create a preferred future, that we do not have to willy-nilly take what’s handed down to us – and we will be doing the work of changing Canada’s economy story right here and now.

Now if that doesn’t sound both promising and fun, I don’t know what will. Perhaps hunkering down and fretting?

Updates will be provided soon on how to become a participant in the dialogues, which are slated to begin in February. In both cases, we’re looking for people who have already come to the conclusion although what they’re doing is great work and it’s having great impact, it’s not enough. They’re recognizing that they need to do more, that all of us, collectively need to do things differently.

You can comment on this blog below, or e-mail michelle(at)

Blogger Profile

Michelle Strutzenberger's picture

Generative Journalist


Latest Blog

It stands out as a bright and proud moment. I was a newly minted “professional” mingling with the accomplished-yet-astoundingly-generous front-runners of the Appreciative Inquiry community; David Cooperrider, Ada-Jo Mann, Diana Whitney, Jen Hetzel-Silbert, to name a few. As I offered my business card, I will never forget the brightened eyes and genuine exclamations of delight and curiosity at the sight of my title, “Generative Journalist.”

They are the needed pioneers of our time, those stepping out to hold space for community dialogue that embraces authentic connection, new possibilities and personal efficacy.

Trying to listen well — like striving to live healthy — can easily erode into a guilt-heavy, anxiety-stabbed experience.

An unfolding ‘a-ha’ about crafting stories that are truly generative

I’ve been struck by the hunting and claiming language cropping up in our conversations about our work as journalists and specifically Generative Journalists here at Axiom News recently.

On a foundation of friendship and trust, a small media makers’ circle decided to venture further into experiencing what we’d been flirting with for the past several months — the art and essence of Generative Journalism and the New Narrative Arts.

Listening in on a call last week, I had two of those belly-shiver moments where suddenly the future flashes open and one glimpses what could be. It truly is a flash, a second, maybe two, as if a bare wire zapped some intuition alive. And then things go dark. But the sense of having “seen” a possibility lingers on, like a scent after someone’s left the room.

From getting in state to illuminating new possibilities

After more than 12 years of aspiring to practice what we’ve come to call Generative Journalism, several elements have begun to take shape as integral to some of the best experiences of the work.