Campfire Kinship Logo that says "Campfire Kinship" with fire on top and "storyrelling hearth 2 heart" tagline underneath.
We are all just walking each other home. Ram Dass

At our essence is the idea that we are the stories we tell, and the story is the way we belong.

Learn more about our approach in the FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why STORY?

To enhance self-awareness and self-acceptance To build trust and belonging in diverse teams To improve communication skills To learn from the experiences of marginalized communities To have a structured method for transformative change To create a compelling shared vision for the future To incorporate lived experiences in shaping policy 

We get this question a lot (and the follow up question, “how did Gayathri go from being an engineer to a storyteller!?” You’ll have to read her Founder Story). 

The short answer is, we like being creative and courageous in our approaches, and we think the name Campfire Kinship is reflective of our brand.

The longer answer is….At the heart of Campfire Kinship’s vision is the idea that we as human beings carry unique yet universal life experiences. It is through our stories that we can move beyond the labels or categories we assign to people based on their demographics, and see them for the complex, multifaceted individuals that they are. When we listen to someone’s story, we are given a glimpse into their lives, into their struggles, into their triumphs. We can see the world through their eyes, and we can begin to understand what it is like to be them. This creates a space for kinship and belonging, where we can find common ground and shared values that transcend our differences. Further, immersing ourselves in a set of stories allows us to notice patterns and trends affecting equity-deserving communities. We then have an opportunity to harness the wisdom of these lived experiences to strategically shape policy and advocacy. 

We use the term ‘storytelling’ to refer to your true lived and living experiences. Our method includes self-reflection through mindfulness activities, and a guided approach to sharing in circle formats. We simplify the process for you through the use of guided prompts and customized case studies, taking the guesswork out of “but what do I share?” while providing an effective and efficient method for active skills practice. Please note, while we do incorporate creative writing techniques in some of our workshops, we are not focused on fictional storytelling.

We live in a world that is increasingly divided, and traditional EDI learning that are focused on only identity factors (like unconscious bias training) have shown to be ineffective in changing behaviours. Additionally, methods that only focus on cognition have failed to move people from awareness to action.

We believe our approach brings in the often missing piece of SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL skill-building. In practice, this looks like:

– Reflecting and uncovering your own lived experiences that inspire your why. 

– Holding space for others with empathy, regardless of differences, and creating psychological safety to practice allyship

– Applying insights from stories to bring forth broader awareness, advocate for policy change, and develop quantitative AND qualitative progress methods.

We all have a story to tell. We also have the power to listen. At an organizational level, this is about translating strategies into the HOW that ultimately create better attraction and retention outcomes for your staff/community.

Storytelling has been used to bring people together for centuries and across cultures. From the ancient legends that have been passed down through generations to the stories that we tell each other today and everyday, storytelling has always been a way to connect and communicate with others.

There are many documented benefits of storytelling for individuals, such as:

  • To practice self-care as you reflect on life experiences, strengths, and values
  • To receive community care through supportive and positive affirmations from your cohort
  • To build your capacity for empathy and deepen connections across diversity – our workshops are an amazing way of doing this (even in a complete group of strangers)!
  • To preserve your story in a creative form (as many of our participants have done so for our bestselling anthology, podcast, and video stories)
  • To have a structured format to provide/receive mentorship
  • To actively practice inclusive mindsets and behaviours

We primarily utilize an innovative and evidence-based method called guided autobiography. At the heart of this philosophy is reflecting on select themes, sharing lived experiences, and providing supportive feedback within a group setting. 

We also incorporate trauma-informed guidelines which infuses how we teach, what we share, and how we help participants to apply these guidelines in their own storytelling. 

Lastly, we follow the broader principles of human-centered design, which is about putting ourselves in the shoes of those who are impacted by inequities, because their lived experiences from the bridge to vision and strategy. This is distinct from top-down methods which is typically disconnected from true needs or wants. 

Our participants repeatedly tell us this approach helps puts their EDI learning into action, moving from theory to skill, and creating safe spaces for brave conversations.

We’ve got lots of them – a few of which are listed on the bottom of this page, and a few video tesitmonials on your Youtube channel. Contact us if you’d like additional references. 

We find that our client engagements are most effective when it is not just about attending a one-off workshop, but a thoughtful process of assessing needs, strategy, and customizing solutions in addition to training. Story has a place in all of these areas. We work with organizations of all sizes and sectors. While our scope is wide, our design principles are focused: to create spaces where everyone is equal and everyone belongs. The more diverse the group, the richer the experience!

We get it! It’s always good to try out services (especially for solutions as novel-sounding as ours)! Here are a few low-risk ways you can “taste-test” our work:

– To get started: Check out our free resources. If you sign up for our mailing list, you’ll be added to the Campfire Kinship Insiders community where you’ll be first to hear about free public events & specials.

– If you’re looking for a workshop, we suggest our most popular entry-level storytelling workshop (60-90 minutes), Building Confidence To Tell Your Story, OR Discovering Empathy.

– Explore booking Gayathri for a panel, keynote or consultation (minimum 4-hours required for consultations).

– Get our book Landed to get a sense for the process and product of guided autobiography. It is available on Amazon/Indigo and Calgary Public Library.

Transform Your Culture

Assess

Assessment and strategic advisory that integrates your stakeholder voices.

Learn

Training to help you build a competencies in EDIB and storytelling.

Activate

Events and projects to raise awareness and implement actions.

Our Impact

Stories
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Workshops & Keynotes
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Campfire Kinship Logo that says "Campfire Kinship" with fire on top and "storyrelling hearth 2 heart" tagline underneath.
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