Story of Place® Course

The Story of Place® course is a three-month series in which participants are immersed in a guided research process for understanding and working with place as a living system. In 2017 we are organizing two cohorts: one focusing on Fort Collins, Colorado at the base of the Northern Rocky Mountain foothills and the other focusing on Rhinebeck, New York in the Hudson Valley.

Story of Place is a methodology, developed by Regenesis, for understanding the uniqueness and significance of a place as a basis for engaging in regenerative development and planning. The methodology involves cross-disciplinary research and engagement with local knowledge resources to identify key patterns that weave through ecologic and human history. These patterns speak not only to what a community is uniquely – the thing about a place that is what people love about it and are inspired by – but also to what a community can uniquely contribute to the world.

Who this course is for

The Story of Place course is designed for two categories of participant. The first category is people who are rooted and active within a local place, for whom the process of co-creating a Story of Place with their cohort will inform the way that they approach their ongoing work in their own place. The second category is practitioners who work with multiple communities as clients and wish to grow their capability to engage in development and planning efforts in a more place-sourced way. There may be participants who fit into both categories.

Across both of these categories, practitioners who are local to the place on which the cohort is focusing will be working alongside practitioners coming in from elsewhere.

 Additionally, good candidates for this course will identify with some or all of the following statements:

  • You are interested in helping communities discover what makes them unique and significant in the world.
  • You are looking for an approach to community development that goes beyond ready-made formulas and best practices.
  • You are curious about what natural systems can teach us about how to create better social and economic systems, and find yourself frustrated by the lack of synergy between efforts to improve social/economic vs. natural systems.
  • You are tired of the limits that silos and/or narrowly defined professional roles place on the complex requirements of community work.
  • You look for opportunities to use your work life to develop yourself personally, and vice versa.
  • You are looking for a like-minded community of practitioners.

 Course outcomes

The Story of Place series delivers familiarity with a sophisticated approach to understanding places as living systems that enables:

  • Recognition of the invisible dynamics that are shaping the cultural and ecological phenomena we experience
  • Discernment with regard to the likely consequences of design or policy decisions
  • Recognition of potential opportunities that would otherwise be invisible
  • Basis for integrating human/social development with ecological regeneration
  • Greater ability to work across disciplines and specialties to realize whole system understanding and accomplish whole system change
  • Development of the personal and professional capabilities needed to become an agent of evolution for a community.

Course structure

The course structure consists of nine weekly distance-learning sessions conducted over videoconference platform. Each session will have preparatory work (reading and exercises) and follow-up work (research and synthesis), so participants should expect to spend 5+ hours per week on the course during these sessions.

The course will conclude with a 5-day intensive in the place of study to include exploration of the place and region, interviews with local experts, and group charrettes to synthesize information.

Course schedule

 International participants: Please note that the time zones given below are in local time for each cohort, i.e. are not the same.

Colorado Schedule:

  • Meetup: Thursday, June 15 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm MDT
  • Sessions: Thursdays from 1:00 – 3:00 pm MDT: June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13, July 27, August 3, August 10 and August 17. (Note that we take a week off halfway between the eight sessions.)
  • Intensive: September 3 – 8. We’ll meet for a 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm dinner on Sunday September 3, from 9 to 5 with a lunch break Monday – Thursday, and from 9 to 1 on Friday, September 8.
  • Final Session: Thursday, September 28 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm.

 

New York Schedule:

Note: the New York schedule was updated on March 15, 2017

  • Meetup: Thursday, June 15 from noon – 2:00 pm EDT
  • Sessions: Thursdays from noon – 2:00 pm EDT: June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13, July 27, August 3, August 10 and August 17. (Note that we take a week off halfway between the eight sessions.)
  • Intensive: September 10 – 15. We’ll meet for a 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm dinner on Sunday September 10, from 9 to 5 with a lunch break Monday – Thursday, and from 9 to 1 on Friday, September 15.
  • Final Session: Thursday, September 28 from noon – 2:00 pm EDT

 

All videoconference sessions are recorded and available to view or download within 24 hours of the session.

Registration process

The registration deadline for the Story of Place series is Friday, May 19. Space in each cohort is limited, and enrollment will be granted on a first-come, first serve basis. If you are interested in participating, please visit our registration page. You may also contact us with any questions you have.

Course tuition

Tuition for the Story of Place course is $2800 USD, not including travel, meals, or accommodations. Tuition can be paid in full or by 6-month payment plan.

Partial scholarships are available, at our sole discretion, to practitioners who (a) will apply what they learn in the course to nonprofit, volunteer, or non-fee-for-service community development work, (b) are just starting out in their careers, or (c) have to travel internationally to participate and/or are faced with significant unfavorable currency exchange rates. When you fill out the registration form you will be given the option of applying for one of our partial scholarships.

We also offer discounts of 25% for groups of 4 or more practitioners.

Intensive logistics

The Colorado cohort will self-organize around lodging and meals in Fort Collins with the help of recommendations made by local hosts. During the intensive we will meet at a spacious local working space, leaving the space throughout the duration of the intensive engage in community and watershed research tours. We will organize transportation in such a way as to allow those who have flown in to avoid renting a car if desired.

The New York cohort will be hosted at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. Participants will have the option of purchasing a lodging and meals package at a variety of price levels at Omega or of booking lodging separately. During the intensive we will meet in one of Omega’s classrooms, leaving site throughout the duration of the intensive to engage in community and watershed research tours. We will organize transportation in such a way as to allow those who have flown in to avoid renting a car if desired.

Omega’s available lodging and meals packages are described and can be booked on their website. There are other programs at Omega running concurrently with this course, and housing is available on a first come, first serve basis, so we recommend that participants reserve their housing as soon as possible. (Participants will need to check in with registration at Omega Institute between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m on Sunday 9/10, and depart Omega Institute by 3:00 p.m. on Friday 9/15.)

Ready to Sign Up?

Please visit our registration page, where we explain the registration process in detail. You’ll then fill out an online form where you can tell us a bit about your work and, if you wish, apply for a partial scholarship.

If you have questions about whether or not the course is right for you, please feel free to contact us at education@regenesisgroup.com.