Common Ground Common Future is an Erasmus + KA2 project that aims to see how work with narratives can strengthen an individual and a community through knowledge and skills in the use of narration, especially in conflict-filled situations. The project consists of partners from Cyprus, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Norway and Romania. This two-year project concludes with a conference. The conference will be organized by the Department of Art, Design and Drama at Oslomet – metropolitan university on the following date: 1st of October 2021.
The conference consists of short storytelling performances, lectures, sessions and workshops and will be held on the online platform ZOOM.

The partners and organizers of the conference are:

Storytelling Centre (Netherlands) believes in the power of storytelling. In recent years Storytelling Centre has developed numerous activities in the field of storytelling. The
Centre is now known nationally and internationally as a training centre, festival producer, producer of urgent performances by young storytelling talents and as a supporter of cultural diversity and connectivity between different cultural backgrounds.

OsloMet metropolitan university (Norway) have been running storytelling studies on bachelor level since 1995. Additionally, OsloMet has a master in aesthetics where students can focus on storytelling as both an artform and applied tool in a cultural and social context. The education and teaching is based on both artistic and academic research.

Psiterra (Rumania) is a professional NGO with 10 members and over 100 collaborators and volunteers and it is involved in various activities of applied psychology it promotes. Psiterra is an accredited training professional organization by the Romanian professional psychological organization (CPR). Since 2013 Psiterra initiated or was partner in various projects (Grundtvig, SEE Grants, Iasi City Municipality Grants, Erasmus+ KA2 and KA3) with excellent programmatic and financial standing. Promoting narrative approaches as core methodologies.

Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) (Cyprus) is a Research and Development organization which focuses on fostering social innovation that can bring about a positive change to local, national, regional and global contexts. CSI is working closely to address market, social, economic and cultural challenges with governments, local administrative agencies, non for profit agencies, commercial entities, and educational institutions.

YIHR KS (Kosovo) is a non-governmental organization focuses on advancing youth participation in civic and political life, encouraging inter-ethnic reconciliation and cooperation, promoting respect for human rights, and fostering development of the rule of law. Through projects in the field of human rights, rule of law, education and transitional justice, the organization has provided young people with different educational and capacity development opportunities which have contributed in increasing their critical thinking and have empowered them to become active citizens and defenders of human rights for all.

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Friday 1st of October

0900 Opening (in English):
Presentation of the common ground common future project with partners in the project

0930 Lecture (in English):
Narrative communication skills for academic teaching and learning
with Ovidiu Gavrilovici
QA with Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen

1015 Break

1030 Sessions (in English):
Storytelling as an intervention to diminish polarization
with Arjen Barel
Dealing with the Past and Storytelling
with Bjeshka Guri and Marigona Shabiu.
Golden Dawn’s Rhetoric on Social Networks
with Georgios Samaras
QA with Peter Fruhmann

1145 Break

1200 Choose one of the following workshops:
1200 Workshop 1 (In English):
The hidden stories behind objects with Georgia Nicolaou
QA with Ovidiu Gavrilovici

1200 Workshop 2 (In Swedish):
Salutogenic Co-Creative Storytelling for Nature Connection, Sustainability, and Resilience with Annika Wiklund-Engblom and Lina Teir
QA with Bintang Emilie Sitanggang

1200 Workshop 3 (in Norwegian):
Common ground, common future with Fortellerlab Oslo
QA with Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen

1315 Lunch Break

1415 Choose one of the following workshops:

1415 Workshop 4 (In Norwegian):
Sulten på fortellinger with Bintang Emilie Sitanggang
QA with Mimesis Heidi Dahlsveen

1415 Workshop 5 (In English):
Tree of Life with Peter Fruhmann
QA with Bjeshka Guri or Marigona Shabiu

1415 Workshop 6 (In English):
A room with a view” or “Stories… at an exhibition” – Definitional Ceremony as a celebration of experience and life with Ovidiu Gavrilovici
QA with Arjen Barel

1530 Talking and networking

Description of the program:

Opening (in English)
In the opening the partners from the project will share examples, stories, solutions and experiences from the two year-long project. In the opening a toolkit for using narratives in conflicts will be presented.

For more info about the partners, see above.

Lecture (in English): Narrative communication skills for academic teaching and learning
Narrative principles and practices were introduced in therapy in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s and 1990s under the collaboration of Michael White and David Epston. Evidence of influential changes of such relational perspectives start to accumulate presently and various applications are under way – in medicine, «narrative medicine», in education and leadership, in coaching, in mental health and community work. Narrative approaches prove to be influential in education fostering a «community of care and learning». The lecture underlines the major sources and processes of narrative practices in education as well as opportunities to have personal narrative experiences with interactive opportunities for reflection and learning.
Ovidiu teaches at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Psychology Department. Main courses include: Introduction to psychological counseling (BA), Psychological counseling (MA), Narrative Therapy (MA), Educational Leadership (MA). Ovidiu’s research interests focus on narrative approaches applied in psychology and educational sciences. He is a clinician psychologist in private practice, trainer and supervisor; Ericksonian, systemic and narrative therapist. Ovidiu is the founder and president of Psiterra Association, a professional NGO offering applied psychological research, training, and services in Iasi City, Romania. Ovidiu earned his BA with merit from UAIC (1995), MA in Management of nonprofit organizations in social services from University of Bucharest (1996), and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA (2004). In 2013 he finalized a postdoctoral research at the “Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Iasi, Romania in Ethics and Health Policies.

Sessions (in English):
Session1: Storytelling as a tool for behavioural change to diminish polarization
In heterogeneous societies, walls are standing between groups. Sometimes physical walls but most of them are invisible. These walls cause a typically human behaviour: the we vs them thinking. Instead of talking with each other, we start talking about the other. Based on assumptions and labels we create, dealing with the identity of the other, but meanwhile mainly intending to reinforce our own identity.

The we vs them thinking is more about ourselves then it is about the other. And, as Bart Brandsma, expert on polarisation, explains it is often about similarities instead of differences, though we focus on the latter (Brandsma 2016). To put it more strongly: we are inclined to focus on the differences, because the idea that the other appears to be almost the same as yourself is sometimes unbearable.

What if they would acknowledge that we often have a similar aim and desire and start to think about sharing instead of fighting each other and accusing each other of all kinds of things, based on perceived differences, identities and stereotypes? It requires courage to share (Brown 2007, Buster 2013), it is way easier to stay in your trench and to shoot at each other, either verbally or physically. It needs a change in behaviour and a change in the system, as people tend to choose the easy way over taking a little more effort. Certainly, when the result is not always immediately and easily measurable.

Nevertheless, this behavioural change is what we constantly intend to do in our applied storytelling work. Like in the projects focusing on connecting people with different backgrounds through sharing stories. For their own benefit and the benefit of their communities, at least on the long run, because many studies point out that people perform better in safe environments. In communities with fewer and smaller conflicts or better: peaceful and resilient communities.

Storytelling, sometimes combined with theatre techniques, provides strong tools to establish this connection between people and the behavioural change that is necessary to break through the we vs them thinking. Storytelling is about sharing between two people, the teller and the listener.

A good storyteller – in essence every human being with the ability to speak and listen – is always aware of the resonance his or her story has in the mind of the other. On the contrary, he or she shares his/her values, insights and emotions with the other and feels the reaction.
This is also because a good story is a journey taking us along opposing and supporting forces. A journey containing personal, emotional and universal information (Barel, 2020). True and authentic information, often showing us the vulnerability of the teller.

In the end a good story can arouse emphatic feelings. The teller takes the listener on a journey and as soon as you are on this journey together, you can feel with each other and in the end find a common ground. Something that connects the teller and the listener emotionally.
Though, most people need some help to start sharing, especially with strangers or people living in their own community but belonging to another group. That’s why we, Storytelling Centre, have developed several methods to encourage people to share stories.

Arjen Barel will highlight some of the tools we use within this work. First, he will pay a lot of attention to the set-up of workshops and trainings and the different steps that are necessary to take before diving into emotional and personal stories. In addition to that, he will focus on how to use the power of stories in the most effective way.

Arjen Barel (1973) is producer and director, mainly in the field of storytelling performances, and spends a large part of his professional life listening to stories and training people in the art of storytelling. Until 2017 he was responsible the program for the International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam, which he founded in 2008. He regularly coaches and directs storytellers, both amateur and professionals.

Arjen teaches Storytelling and Presentation at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He also delivers training for professionals in how to use storytelling in youth work and community work in several places in the world. Arjen Barel studied Drama Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In 2020 he published a book about applied storytelling, called Storytelling en de Wereld (Storytelling and the World, how sharing stories can contribute to personal growth and social impact). In 2021 he published a second book, Sterker Staan met je eigen verhaal (Standing Stronger with your own story), about how one can use one’s own life story in building mental resilience.

Session2: Dealing with the Past and Storytelling
The war in Kosovo between the Serbian military forces and the Kosovo Liberation Army was another severe humanitarian catastrophe in the Western Balkans. However, even though the war has ended more than 20 years ago, its aftermaths are visible and impact our present days. The situation in Kosovo remains fragile, especially in the northern part of Kosovo, populated mostly by Kosovo-Serbs. Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, but Serbia does not recognize Kosovo as a state.

Because of closed and isolated societies that perceive «others» as enemies, we have young people that are growing up in fear and isolation, unaware of the wider context and problems shared by all communities living in Kosovo. The pressure that young people experience under the influence of the media, various nationalist organizations and aggressive environments makes them take the wrong side that sees the cause of all problems in “the other”.
The recent wartime past of Kosovo is dominated by exclusive ethnic-nationalist narratives, for which most young people in Kosovo lack capacities and the will to deconstruct such narratives.

Considering all this, we first started using the Storytelling Technique within the workshops of the project Fostering New Approaches to Youth Reconciliation as an intervention on the dynamic of intercultural dialogue and cooperation among young people of different ethnic backgrounds with a special focus on Kosovo-Albanians and Kosovo-Serbs. In addition, the project aim is to challenge the biased and ethnic-nationalist public discourse regarding the past of Kosovo and enrich it with personal stories and experiences of people.
We will present the results and the effects that the storytelling technique has on participants coming from Kosovo-Albanians and Kosovo-Serbs and in what ways affected their relations and attitudes towards each other.

Marigona Shabiu has a master’s degree in Public Works specializing in Management of Non-Profit Organizations and International Development at Indiana University Bloomington, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Prishtina and Public Administration at the International Business College in Mitrovica. During her master’s studies, she completed a three-month internship at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In 2014, Ms. Shabiu co-founded the non-governmental organization KAND – Center for Social and Cultural Development, where she also held the position of Executive Director for 3 years. She has more than eight years of experience in the civil society sector.

Bjeshkë Guri is finishing her studies at the Department of Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Prishtina and the Faculty of Law at the same university. For a while, she was engaged as a researcher in the project “Memory of Kosovo” implemented by the National Library of Kosovo. Within the organization she is working as a Coordinator of the Youth Empowerment Program. Over the years she has been involved in projects related to discrimination, dialogue, collective memory, oral history and the use of various art forms to promote human rights.

Session3: Golden Dawn’s Rhetoric on Social Networks
New media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter introduced the world to a new era of instant communication. An era where online interactions could replace a lot of offline actions. Technology can create a mediated environment in which participants can communicate (one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many) both synchronously and asynchronously and participate in reciprocal message exchanges. Currently, social networks are attracting similar academic attention to that of the internet after its mainstream implementation into public life. Websites and platforms are seen as the forefront of a new political change. There is a significant backdrop of previous methodologies employed to research the effects of social networks. New approaches are being developed to be able to adapt to the growth of social networks and invention of new platforms.
Golden Dawn was the first openly neo-Nazi party post World War II to win seats in the parliament of a European country. Its racist rhetoric and violent tactics on social networks were rewarded by their supporters, who in the face of Golden Dawn’s leaders saw a ‘new dawn’ in Greek politics. Mainstream media banned its leaders and members of the party indefinitely after Ilias Kasidiaris attacked Liana Kanelli, a member of the Greek Communist Party, on live television. This media ban was seen as a treasonous move by a significant percentage of voters, who believed that the system was desperately trying to censor Golden Dawn to favour mainstream parties. The shocking attack on live television received international coverage and while European countries were condemning this newly emerged neo-Nazi rhetoric, almost 7 per cent of the Greek population rewarded Golden Dawn with 18 seats in the Greek parliament. Many seem to think that Golden Dawn mobilised its voters online and this approach played a significant role in spreading their message and appealing to wider audiences. No strict online censorship existed back in 2012 and although Golden Dawn was openly used neo-Nazi symbolism, it was allowed to use social networks without serious restrictions until 2017.
My paper has used qualitative methods to investigate Golden Dawn’s rise on social networks from 2012 to 2019. The focus of my content analysis was set on three social networking platforms: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, while the existence of Golden Dawn’s website, which was used as a news sharing hub, was also taken into account. My content analysis included text and visual analyses that sampled content from their social networking pages to translate their political messaging through an ideological lens focused on extreme-right populism. The absence of hate speech regulations on social network platforms in 2012 allowed the free expression of those heavily ultranationalist and populist views, as they were employed by Golden Dawn in the Greek political scene. On YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, the influence of their rhetoric was particularly strong. Official channels and MPs profiles were investigated to explore the messaging in-depth and understand its ideological elements.

Georgios Samaras is an Assistant Lecturer at UCL and PhD candidate and Teaching Associate at the Department of European and International Studies. His doctoral research focuses on the rise of the extreme-right in Greece during the years of the fiscal crisis — with a particular emphasis on Golden Dawn’s rhetoric and media manipulation strategies. His research interests range from political communication to feminist policies and game theory.
Georgios studied German Language and Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and Journalism at the University of Westminster on postgraduate level. He later joined King’s College London, where he earned a master’s degree in Education Policy under the supervision of Professor Alan Cribb.
His previous research explored the impact of austerity policies on Greece’s Higher Education system, and the systemic implementation of the Bologna Process. Prior to his PhD, he worked for two years at CNN Greece & International. His work experience also includes two years in the energy industry. Alongside his research interests, he is an opinion writer for Greek newspaper ‘Kathimerini’.

Workshop 1(in English): The hidden stories behind objects
This workshop will be focusing on the stories hiding behind objects we can find in museums and other cultural institutions and spaces. Participants will be able to explore the stories hiding behind various objects and the power those stories might have. The workshop will follow a constructivist approach to explore questions like: Why are those stories so important? How powerful can a story be? Are those stories equally important to everyone? etc. Furthermore, the workshop will also shed light on sensitive stories, the emotions connected with various objects and the stories connected to them; as well as the ways in which stories can be used as a means to bring people together and help them overcome conflicts and achieve peace.

Georgia Nicolaou has a background in Education (BA Primary Education) and Museum education (MSc in Museum Education). She is currently working as a European Project Manager in CSI Cyprus and her main interests are education for social change. She is managing diverse educational projects within the Erasmus+ KA2. Some of those programs focus on the integration of immigrants in the community of Cyprus, the provision of extremism in young people, the professional development of artists and mental health professionals regarding art therapy and mental health users. She is also a research associate for Imagine project coordinated and organised by the Association for Historical Dialogue and Research. Imagine project aims for the production of educational material for the study of places of cultural/historic/environmental significance across the divide. The material is aimed to assist teachers of secondary education to conduct activities during school visits. Some of the goals of the publication is to support historical thinking, to explore underrepresented parts of the history of Cyprus and to cultivate peace-building.
Georgia Nicolaou believes that stories play a crucial role in the development of cognition, social skills, and meaning-making since they evoke curiosity, and foster empathy and societal change.

Workshop 2 (in Swedish): Salutogenic Co-Creative Storytelling for Nature Connection, Sustainability, and Resilience
This workshop involves participants in co-creative nature-based storytelling, in which we explore the educational value of “fairy trails”, which aim to assist families in having meaningful nature experiences to building resilience, compassion, and a sustainable future.

The interactive fairy trails include instructions on how to experience nature through a guiding story. These are loosely built on the Hero’s journey model, archetypes and magical thinking. They are grounded on theories on character strengths, mentalization, self-regulation, and encourage dialogue around understanding one’s own emotions and thoughts as well as those of others. This affords developing both self-awareness and empathy. Compassion for those different from yourself is a key theme. The storyworld allows children to identify with the strengths and weaknesses of the fictive characters and practice social role play and narrative thinking through the interactive story.

The fairy trails are written to empower children (and parents) to experience nature multidimensionally, which, in addition to their rational thinking, includes their sensory, imaginary, and spiritual experiences of nature. The latter is defined by a sense of awe, which has shown to be the most important emotion connected to long term effects on mental health from spending time in nature. Hence, one aim of activities is to evoke a sense of awe, but also to create a contrast to this by facing difficult emotions. The context of nature, the storyworld, and the co-creative dimension provides a multimodal universal space where everything is possible. The hypothesis is that the fairy trails, as embodied learning experiences in nature, will empower children morally, socially, emotionally, cognitively, physiologically, as well as spiritually.

The fairy trail concept is being introduced to educational researchers and early childhood education teacher students through workshops, as well as to a broader public audience through social media and YLE, the national broadcasting company.

Annika Wiklund-Engblom, EdD, MA, has a doctoral degree in educational psychology (Åbo Akademi University, 2015) with a focus on digital design for self-regulated learning, as well as a degree in IT-pedagogics and a master’s degree in developmental psychology (Åbo Akademi Unviersity, 1997). She has been a post-doctoral fellow at Umeå University (2017-2019) at the department of applied educational science where she did research on digital relation competence in distance learning environments. Before that, she worked at MediaCity’s Experience Lab at Åbo Akademi (2008-2016) where the research and development focused on transmedia storytelling and experience design. Now, she is an independent researcher and consultant, as well as a full time project manager at Folkhälsans Förbund (Finland). As a project manager, she combines experience design and storytelling with her interest in designing for wellbeing, using her knowledge of yoga, qigong, mindfulness, dance, art, and music to design nature experiences for families and children. Wiklund-Engblom is board member of GLÖD Centre of oral storytelling in Ostrobothnia, Finland, as well as board member of Alba Suomi Finland. She is actively trying to bring oral storytelling to a wider audience, both digitally and face-to-face, in which both psychological and educational perspectives are in focus.

Lina Teir is a Swedish-speaking storyteller, musician, playwright, director and teacher originally from Finland, living in Oslo, Norway. She is senior lecturer at the University of South-Eastern Norway, teaching drama and storytelling at the teacher education department of kindergarten and primary school teachers. She is also one of the founders of Glöd – Centre for oral storytelling in Ostrobothnia, Finland and is in charge of a development project with Wasa Teater, developing arenas for oral storytelling in an institutional theatre context. Lina Teir has a special interest and expertise in musical storytelling, artistic and pedagogical work with life stories and collective storytelling as aesthetic learning processes. She is also involved in storytelling as activism, for example as one of the creators of the campaign “We see you”, promoting human rights of asylum seekers in Finland.

Workshop 3 (in Norwegian): Workshop Common ground, common future
The storyteller is always visible, audible and present as a complete being, yet the attention goes to the verbal story-text. The expression “90% of what the audience perceive is from the non-verbal expressions” urges us to make conscious choices regarding the use of non-verbal storytelling.

Through lecturing, show-casing and exercises, the workshop will share the essence of experience and knowledge retrieved from a ten-year long artistic research of the formal aesthetic aspect of storytelling.

The author has systematically investigated storytelling as a multimodal expression, regarding the storytellers’ expressions; verbal and non-verbal, (gesture, music, breath etc.) as equal parts of storytelling-text. By conscious use of non-verbal expressions storytellers can question and create ruptures in the story, to create critical distance to the verbal text. Following Brecht and Schechner, we discuss how to use multi-layered texts to play with critical distance and deep involvement and counteract emotional manipulation. Framing storytelling as a multimodal-expression makes it possible to separate modalities and use them as unique, elements in a multi-layered story-text. Not only does that creates awareness of redundance or affordance, but it also allows the story to be a dissonant expression, within itself.

Paying attention to the non-verbal aspect of storytelling is an ethical, democratic question. Visible and audible information communicate directly to emotions, as a physical experience. How do we, as storytellers colour our stories, in terms of an emotional, non-verbal textual layer? How do we, as storytellers use this potential; to create consensus or stories with multiple voices, viewpoints or dissention? How do we tell stories that offers room for multiple meanings? The workshop offers the participants a chance to experience and reflect on how giving storytelling-expressions an aesthetic form, by conscious use of different generic modalities, can create thicker, layered stories with a flow of information alongside the verbal text.

Fortellerlab Oslo is a group of five storytellers in collaboration focusing on developing the formal aesthetic aspect of storytelling and storytelling as form of art.
Starting their work in 2010, they have systematically researched and investigated different aspect of storytelling as a performing art, situated on stage, in theatrical frames. Through several performances, used as base for development and artistic research in collaboration with other artists, the group has developed an understanding and competence in the broad aspect of the generic skills a storyteller. Through the ten years of experimenting and exploring storytelling as a genre and its limits, they have developed a distinct style of telling and work-method.

All members of the group are professional storytellers, with experience ranging from 20 – 25 years of performing and teaching storytelling.

Workshop 4 (in Norwegian): Sulten på fortellinger
Bintang Emilie vil lede den deltakende fortellerforestilling Sulten på fortellinger under konferansen. Fortellerforestilligen har blitt utarbeidet og bearbeidet gjennom flere piloter med ulike grupper, som en del av Common Ground, Common Future-prosjektet. Fortellerforestillingen består av kunstneriske opplevelser, hvor deltakerne vil være aktive lyttere, men også øvelser hvor de selv jobber med en personlig fortelling. Rammen skapes rundt den greske myten Erysichthon, kongen av Thessalia, myten om kongen som ble straffet av sult og endte med å spise seg selv.
Sulten på fortellinger er en utforskning av påstanden om at enhver fortelling er en forenkling og dermed vil skape stigmatisering, og videre spørsmål knyttet til sannhetens rolle i fortellinger. Gjennom både tradisjonelle og personlige fortellinger, forteller og deltakere sammen, blir det sett nærmere på hvilke prosesser og strukturer en fortelling går gjennom.
Eier vi fortellingene våre? Er vi fortellingene våre? Er fortellinger sannhet og er alt jeg forteller sant?

Bintang Emilie Sitanggang (1993) er utdannet forteller og dramapedagog fra OsloMet – Storbyuniversitet, og studerer nå master i drama og teaterkommunikasjon med fordypning i muntlig fortellerkunst. Hun har erfaring fra å fortelle i skolen, på museum og bibliotek, og har blant annet vært involvert i formidling av norrøn mytologi ved Historisk museum, Oslo. Bintang Emilie er for tiden engasjert som formidler på Grinimuseet (MiA, museene i Akershus), i tillegg til å jobbe som dramapedagog ved Bærum teaterskole.

Workshop 5 (in English): Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is an approach to working with individuals, especially those who have experienced hard times. It enables people to speak about their lives in ways that make them stronger. It invites individuals drawing their own ‘tree of life’, with which they get to explore (and tell of) their ‘roots’ (where they come from), their skills and knowledges, their hopes and dreams, as well as the special people in their lives. The approach can be applied in many different contexts, it has been successfully deployed in developing countries and crisis areas around the world (e.g. refugees and immigrants), but also for individuals and groups in the ‘free world’. It enables people to speak about their lives in ways that are not re-traumatising, but instead strengthens their relationships with their own history, their culture, significant people in their lives, and last past not least – an opening towards a rewarding future. You are cordially invited to become acquainted with it yourself.

Peter Frühmann has a background as a designer (BA Applied Arts) and copywriter. His interest in what makes people tick led to a BSc in Psychology / Ethology. He believes that stories play an important role in the development of cognition, social skills, and meaning-making. Stories evoke curiosity, they engage, ignite empathy, and connect. Stories are the glue of societies. Working with stories can contribute to self-esteem and resilience, and to the planning of strategies and concrete actions.
Peter offers narrative practices as an effective and inspiring means to organisations (change and development) and educational projects. He is also lecturer ’Story Development’ (personal, team and scenario) at the Film Department of the SAE Creative Media Institute Amsterdam, a regular guest lecturer ‘Stories in Organisations’ for master students at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Rotterdam School of Management), and partner in diverse educational projects within the Erasmus+ program.

Workshop 6 (In English): “A room with a view” or “Stories… at an exhibition” – Definitional Ceremony as a celebration of experience and life.
The workshop is proposed to engage the participants at the conference in a rich description of their experiences and the identity-related effects of such participation. The Definitional Ceremony was adopted in narrative practice by Michael White after the work of the American anthropologist Barbara Meyerhoff. The “DC” metaphor structures rituals that are acknowledging of, and ‘regrading’ of people’s lives, in contrast to many of the common rituals of modern culture that are judging of and ‘degrading’ of lives» (White, 2005). Beyond the specific three-layered structuring of the DC (telling – re-telling – re-re-telling), the last open discussion will allow a short description of narrative principles employed and of the epistemic positioning of the facilitative process, grounded in non-structuralism, favoring intentional descriptions of identity of those involved in conversations. The specific narrative process opposing dialogic encounters will be underlined and explained.
Ovidiu teaches at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, Psychology Department. Main courses include: Introduction to psychological counseling (BA), Psychological counseling (MA), Narrative Therapy (MA), Educational Leadership (MA). Ovidiu’s research interests focus on narrative approaches applied in psychology and educational sciences. He is a clinician psychologist in private practice, trainer and supervisor; Ericksonian, systemic and narrative therapist. Ovidiu is the founder and president of Psiterra Association, a professional NGO offering applied psychological research, training, and services in Iasi City, Romania. Ovidiu earned his BA with merit from UAIC (1995), MA in Management of nonprofit organizations in social services from University of Bucharest (1996), and Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA (2004). In 2013 he finalized a postdoctoral research at the “Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Iasi, Romania in Ethics and Health Policies.