All themes are open to interpretation and conceived in such a way to include a multitude of ideas from different fields. Interested speakers are encouraged to think creatively about how topics they would like to discuss fit into the themes.
Community | Communication | Family | Learning/Education | Love/Relationships | Identity | Resources/Consumption | Spirituality | Work/Money
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To submit a proposal for speaking at the New Narrative please fill out the form here or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a quick breakdown of what we look for in New Narrative speakers, please read here.
Family (Proposed for Summer 2017) (Event page)
For many of us our notion of family is changing and moving away from the concept of the nuclear family. There’s the now-common dynamic of divorce and co-parenting, legal recognition of gay and lesbian families, and growing sense that we also have the power to choose families for ourselves by bringing together a group of friends for a deeper level of support and companionship, sometimes in ways our biological families could never provide. What do we want our families to look like in the new narrative? Why have they been changing so much? How thick do blood bonds really go? (Submission Form)
Work/Money (Proposed for Fall 2017)
We go to work, provide our time and services, get paid money that we later exchange for food, clothing, shelter and student loans payments. Many of us have been feeling an imbalance in this arrangement and there’s the creeping psychic despair that the things we spend 40 hours a week doing really have no meaning to us outside of collecting a paycheck. What do we value in terms of money and what do we value in terms of living a full life? How do we rectify the two? What changes will we need to make to ensure everybody has a chance to make a living in a sustainable world? (Submission Form)
Love/Sex/Relationships (Proposed for Winter 2018)
Of all the things in the world that can bring us joy and happiness, it’s the feeling of falling in love and the quality of the relationships around us that can have the most positive effect. We relish the opportunity to talk about relationships when we can, but it only happens in certain company. Many of us still remain fearful and even ignorant of how to cultivate positive relationships in our lives, how we affect the people closest to us, how to address our own insecurities and how to show others we care. (Submission Form)
Learning / Education
The world continues to change, often times faster than our educational systems can keep up. As adults we find ourselves needing to relearn and re-adapt our skills all the time and there is no end in sight. What is being done to prepare kids to enter into the adult world? What should we be doing? How do we prepare when the act of learning and adapting might soon become the most important skill of them all? (Submission Form)
Everything we purchase, eat or utilize had to come from somewhere, and even our attempts to be green can be co-opted by “green” branding over actual greenness. In this theme we talk about the challenges we face in cutting things out and living more sustainably in our environment. What does it mean to live without a car, eat organic and minimize waste? What are the challenges? How far can we go? How far do we need to go? (Submission Form)
Our earliest ancestors imagined a world in the stars and thought of them as guidance or explanations to the elements of their tangible world they couldn’t understand. In the past religion has served as a comfort, a source for answers and community. It’s also been a means of moral and social control in ways that haven’t always been benevolent. What do we want to see from our spiritual institutions now? What questions can they answer for us? What do we want to see them do to live up to the faith we put in them? (Submission Form)
Community – (Hosted in Fall 2015)
Humans are social creatures. We long to be in the presence of other humans and work together to get things done. We depend on each other for survival and our emotional well being. Yet we’ve formed habits to increasingly replace and shield us from human interaction. Is that what we really want? What does it take to bring people closer together? What are we willing to do to make it happen? (Submission Form)
Communication – (Hosted in Spring 2016)
Our days are filled with notifications from social media and buzzes from our feeds, signs telling us what to do and clickbait articles vying for our attention. When does it all become overwhelming and counterproductive? What can we do to make sure the most important messages still get through? For this theme we will to talk about all the different ways we communicate with each other, from the media we consume, the social media we inhabit to the courage it takes to look somebody in the eye and tell them exactly how you feel. (Submission Form)
Identity (Hosted in Fall 2016)
We have cliques we hang out with and brands we identify with, and if we’re not careful it’s easy to let our Facebook profiles, Twitter handles or Google search histories become our primary representations in the world. We have the opportunity to project ourselves out into the world every single day. Some of us take this for granted while others risk harsh criticism and violence for the simple act of standing up and expressing who they are. How do we want to identify ourselves in the new narrative and what are the challenges in finding these identities? Do they reflect who we really want to be? How do we create space for everybody to confidently and safely express who they are? (Submission Form)