Skip to main content
Supporting leaders, organizations and communities to serve their higher purpose

10,000 Girl Scouts Weave Their Stories
2008 Girl Scout National Convention

Ten thousand Girl Scouts from around the world gathered at the 2008 Girl Scout National Convention.  In addition to the traditional business conducted by elected delegates using Parliamentary Procedure, girl and adult members were invited to share their leadership stories and to engage in strategic conversations regarding the future of the Girl Scout Movement.  Think Robert's Rules meets Conversations that Matter.

The StoryWeaving Initiative, described below, is an incubator for culture change.  This change is powered by the passions of hundreds of volunteer Girl Scouts who support the initiative before, during and after the convention. 

The StoryWeaving Team self-organized by using the principles and practices of Appreciative Inquiry, World Café and Open Space Technology to design and implement StoryWeaving.

Cultural change is a form of organizational transformation which involves changing the fundamental assumptions, values, norms, beliefs, and behaviors among members of the organization in order to improve organizational performance. In the Girl Scout transformation, culture change is interwoven into each aspect of the Core Business Strategy.      

Stories are the container of culture that weave the past, present and future into a tapestry that tells a larger story.  The StoryWeaving initiative brought the "story" of Girl Scouting alive throughout the convention. 


Digital StoryWeaving

Throughout the convention, 14-18 year old girls captured video segments of members sharing their leadership stories.



Girl Scouts of all ages brought bits of fibers, yarns, strips of old camp t-shirts, weeds, leaves, bark, feathers and almost anything from nature to place within the fabric of the StoryLoom. They created gifts of friendship together and, as a result, a common call to action for the community of Girl Scouting.


Open Space:  Sharing & Learning

800 members engaged in self-organized conversations to share successful council membership practices.  The conversations helped to identify ways to bring the newly revitalized program to even more girls and ways to promote and expand the reach of Girl Scouting.  A 242 page Book of Proceedings was produced and made available online.


Conversations That Matter

All members were invited to engage in conversations that matter most to them.  From Opening Night through the final morning of the convention, four different methods were on tap to provid opportunities for members to discover, connect and take action.

Swapping Our Stories:  Opening night gave all members a chance to tell their leadership story and share leadership lessons with new and old friends.  What brought you to this moment?  Who has helped you become a leader in this movement?  What leadership lesson do you have to share?  After sharing their personal stories, members engaged in a texting poll to indicate the themes they heard in their partner's story.  Real time results appeared on the big screens in the convention hall

Charting Our Progress: The plan for the first morning of the business meeting was to engage in a World Cafe process following the the Stewardship Report to consider the movement's challenges and opportunities.  The discussion within the Parliamentary process went overtime, requiring the StoryWeaving Team to quickly respond to the change in circumstances.  Within an hour, a Leadership Cafe was in the works for girls and adults to share their thoughts, ideas and wishes regarding Girl Scout Leadership.

Advancing Our Mission:  Prior to the convention and members posted sixty-four topics online they wished to discuss.  The intention on this day was to use an Open Space Technology format to invite members to use their voice to answer the question, "What is essential for the success of our Movement?"  Once again, the Parliamentary process went overtime.  Although the Advancing Our Mission conversation did not take place at the convention, the topics were posted in the interactive member forum so that local groups could take them into consideration.

Committing to Action:  On the final morning of the convention, participants were invited to turn to members from their own Girl Scout Council to discuss the top priorities for the Girl Scout Movement and their own action commitment.  Results of those discussions were texted and bounced on to the big screens.

Take It Forward


After the convention, StoryWeaving volunteers and Girl Scouts of the USA staff continue to steward the impact of StoryWeaving on the Girl Scout culture.  Summary reports from Open Space and Leadership Cafes as well as the digital stories and texting results are available to Girl Scouts online.


By employing the stories and data collected at the convention, measuring the results of StoryWeaving, collecting more stories and embedding the outputs of the convention into the Core Business Strategy, the legacy of StoryWeaving promises to impact the Girl Scouts for years to come. 



Christine Whitney Sanchez, a lifetime Girl Scout, led the StoryWeaving Initiative.


    Christine Whitney Sanchez - Principal - IPI Southwest

    © 2017 Christine Whitney Sanchez 

    Innovation Partners International of the Southwest LLC (IPI Southwest) is a proud member of Innovation Partners International, a social enterprise network.

    Site Powered By
    eDirectHost Website Builder