CSS unlocks the creative potential for our movements to tell our own stories.

 

We facilitate groups to go even deeper in their understanding of strategy. This includes applying a story-based strategy to organizational and campaign strategies, and bringing folks together from across organizations and networks to build their muscles for co-creating powerful stories that envision a better world.

At the core of this work is our commitment to building the narrative capacity and leadership of the groups we work with. Once you start thinking in terms of narrative strategy, there is no going back. We aim to prepare organizers and change-makers to be life-long narrative strategists. To adapt an old saying, we try to train ourselves out of a job.


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Foundational Analysis

You will learn to determine where you currently are upon the narrative terrain, the landscape of opposing narratives, and the systemic assumptions that keep your stories from reaching beyond the choir.

What you get:

  • An understanding of narrative strategy
  • A preliminary analysis of your organization’s narrative position
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Core
Strategy

Unlock your story-based strategy through creative play. Tell a new story that can challenge systemic assumptions rather than be constrained by them. Choose the scale of your narrative to match your organizing strategy.

What you get:

    • An in-depth analysis of your organization’s narrative position in relation to opposing narratives
    • An understanding of how to create practice spaces that lead to the generation of strategic content

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    Integration
    & Practice

    From actions to slogans to speeches, tell your story throughout your work. Connect personal stories to your organizational narrative and connect your organizational narrative to the movement narrative.

    What you get:

      • Well-developed and implemented content
      • Organizational practices that promote ongoing strategic narrative thinking

      What to expect in partnering with CSS

      • Customized trainings to provide a foundational understanding of narrative analysis & strategy.

      • Strategy sessions in order to build narrative strategy based on that foundation.

      • On-going consultation in-person or virtually in order to support the implementation of that narrative strategy.


      Why Now?

      Stories and their underlying assumptions have always shaped our world. This political moment has brought the destructive power of dominant stories into sharp relief. Stories about who is deserving and who is not, who’s lives matter, what we should be afraid of, what we should ignore, who keeps us safe, and more have life and death impacts every day, and profoundly shape how we are able to wage struggle.

      This moment also brings with it an immense amount of possibility. More and more people are taking action on the right side of history. With every action we take, with every press release, with every conversation, we can and must be transforming these destructive narratives into liberatory ones that can foreshadow a world in which we are all more free. Our imaginations are one of the best tools we have to build power in this moment.

      “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” ― Arundhati Roy

      With our partners, we hope to make that breath louder than ever.


      • We bring fun and imagination into communications, strategy, and cultural intervention design. Our goal is to leave you feeling re-energized, empowered and excited to experiment in your work.

      • CSS works within a Just Transition framework, and prioritizes frontline expertise and decision making. Those most affected by poverty, racism, and pollution are the owners and experts of their own story.

      • CSS is committed to challenging root causes and underlying assumptions, not just surface level moment to moment communication opportunities. When we get to the root, we are able to build much more long-lasting narrative power.

      • We believe that change moves at the speed of trust. We intentionally design participatory processes with our partners and prioritize trust as the foundation for our collaboration.

      • CSS is not a communications firm. We do not create copy or direct content for you. Rather, we offer trainings and facilitated processes that unleash your creative potential and prepare you to do narrative strategy work well after of our collaboration has ended.

      • We want to make sure we are as good of a fit for you as you are for us.

      What's it like to work
      with CSS?


      Interested in exploring
      a partnership?

       

       
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      CSS has taken the time to work deeply and widely throughout our diverse network, always checking to ensure members are well informed and actively participating in the process. CSS does not work top-down but instead supports our staff to co-create opportunities for our network to increase their capacity to imagine and create a new story of the economy, one that is grounded in justice. The result for our network has been a more cohesive group identity, an active practice to “show don’t tell” our strategic analysis, and a growing appetite to stretch and take bolder risks together.
      — Eli Feghali, NEC

      Who do we work with?