by: John Caddell
Rakontu will help communities tell, annotate and connect stories; discover insight-creating patterns in them; and use stories to resolve conflicts and make decisions together. This degree of support is only available today through the help of experienced narrative practitioners. Rakontu will embody understandings about narrative in communities so that people will not have to know anything about narrative to benefit from its use. Some possible outcomes are better understandings of opposing perspectives, a greater diversity of voices being heard, better consensus on tough choices, more problems dealt with before they get worse, safer streets, fewer footholds for extremism and paranoia, and greater common strength in times of crisis.
I've written in this blog, over and over, about the use of stories for knowledge sharing, learning, and creating insight. You're probably tired of reading about it. But think about this: we should be using every tool at our disposal to help bring our communities together, to combat the "bowling alone" syndrome, and make our neighborhoods a better place to live. That's what Rakontu can do, and I hope you'll visit the Knight News Challenge site and support Cynthia's application.
(Disclosure: I have worked with Cynthia on this grant and will be conducting community trials of the software if the grant is awarded. Therefore I have a vested interest in getting the grant approved.)