Illustration: Jocasta Boone

Seeding a Better Future Through Media-Making
Six themes are emerging for

The media-making plans of the Peterborough Dialogues — a community experience planted in a blend of possibility-oriented dialogue and media making — are swirling into clear focus. Weekly gatherings centred on the media making have surfaced six core themes for the ongoing work.

The emergent themes all relate to localization and participatory efforts to cultivate and create resilient, thriving community in Peterborough City and County, Ontario. They include:

  • Local Livelihoods and Entrepreneurship
  • The Art of Neighbouring
  • Citizens Shaping Their Cities
  • Local Food
  • The Story of This Place

The sixth category is more open-ended. It is described as “Emergent One-Offs” — a continuous discovery of projects, people and perspectives that open up new local possibilities.

The referenced media source is missing and needs to be re-embedded.

  Click on illustration to enlarge.

The gatherings themselves have been taking place in the Axiom News “Tree Fort” — chunks of time that have been slotted just for Peterborough Dialogues participants to join or host their own community-cultivating gatherings in the Axiom News offices. The media-making conversations are evolving into an informal circle that plays some of the roles of an editorial board: an opportunity for Peterborough Dialogues members who choose to participate to discern, plan and shape the next community-building stories to tell.

The circle creating energy around media-making includes members of the Axiom News team and participants drawn to the Dialogues process since its launch in March. Axiom News is a Peterborough “new economy” company that has been reporting on the transition agenda internationally for 12 years, and is growing local roots with Peterborough Dialogues.

What makes a good story? It starts with a possibility the community is living into (rather than a problem). It’s about people using their gifts, and the assets at the community’s disposal, to create the future we choose and prefer, as active and engaged citizens (rather than focusing on how institutions and others have failed to do so).

It’s about continuously cultivating new conversation and new possibilities — storytelling for the purpose of seeding a better future.

This story was originally posted on, the news site of the Peterborough Dialogues, a local engagement project designed and hosted by Axiom News.

You can comment on this story below, or e-mail ben(at)


Since time immemorial, it has been about the story! This is confirmed by the great writers and sages of our time and time past. From Homer to Annie Lenorard. I believe your dialogues are what needs to be started all over the planet. We need to bring in the stories of the lives that cannot speak for themselves also. The animals, the air, water; everything has a right to be heard, to tell its story and how it is part of the whole. I have heard that it's all connected! That is a theme that is very old also. Many people are now identifying how they are connected not just by blood but by location, desire, thought, awe and survival. Thanks for starting this although you know you are not the first! The pockets of storytellers are popping up all over the place. What is great about yours is that you are making it very easy for people to participate. I am grateful for that and hope that you continue to connect. Expand on your ability to be inclusive and create ways for the ones who cannot speak to be heard.