Interview: Nadia Khastagir on training for Story-based Strategy


Describe yourself in three words.

Reflective. Dependable. Wry.

Tell us about yourself.

I am one of the founding members of Design Action Collective, a worker-owned cooperative in Oakland, CA,  which creates visual communications for the movement for social and environmental justice. We have been doing this work for 15 years and contribute to the movement for social change through strategic graphic and web design and development. Design Action grew up alongside CSS (then SmartMeme) and after I finally went to a CSS advanced training in 2015, we have been working towards more strategic partnerships with CSS and internally becoming practitioners of the story-based strategy tools.

I also am a network member of the Ruckus Society in the Creative Resistance (and what I am now calling Creative Resilience) core. The intersection of my involvement with Design Action, Ruckus and CSS is one which I believe can only enhance the way we communicate and create actions to change the story and demand change.

Tell us about the work that you are doing with CSS.

Currently I am working with CSS on developing a training practice for the newly re-implemented regional trainings. CSS is bringing back the 1-day regional trainings to bring together organizers and communicators to learn the basics of story-based strategy (SBS). This protocol will support the network trainers who will be deployed for the regional trainings, by standardizing the training and providing the resources and the curriculum.  

We have kicked off these trainings already in 2018, one in Oakland and one in Eastern Kentucky focussing on Just Transition.

This practice is enhancing the work I do at Design Action for the intake and discovery for creating visual designs, and informing the strategy for the larger communications aspect of the graphic design work.

Explain to us why you are doing this work.

More and more people are understanding the power of narrative and the need to increase their skills to harness it. There is a high demand for the trainings, and we aim to meet those demands by providing the core concepts and tools for SBS through these regional trainings. As we share these tools we hope to fractalize the learnings so there are exponential practitioners of SBS. Those with a keen interest and potential can also go on to the Advanced Training to further explore how to utilize SBS.

Share how folks can get involved with your work or see your work’s final product.

You will be seeing this work as we bring trainings to your region through 2018 and 2019. Stay tuned for announcements for upcoming trainings!