Hi, my name is Hannes Couvreur, and I am the founder and curator of That Reminds Me of A Story.

That Reminds Me of A Story (TRMOAS) is a very easy-to-use story-telling tool that enables people , communities and organisations to instantly share and enrich their wisdom.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

TRMOAS is going global …

Since it was first introduced at a conference in Bad Pyrmont (Germany), people from all over the world have participated in TRMOAS-conversations. People told me they have already hosted TRMOAS conversations in countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Estland, Hungary, Denmark, Italy.

Born under the sea…

TRMOAS was born under the sea, somewhere between London and Brussels. It emerged on the train, in a conversation with friend and colleague Anton Stellamans. The question that lead us to TRMOAS was: What would happen if people would only talk ‘stories’? In other words, what if people could only participate in conversations through stories?

The way to initiate such a conversation had actually already been offered to us that same afternoon. Earlier that day Anton and I had travelled to London to attend a screening of An Ecology of Mind, a beautiful portrait of Gregory Bateson and his legacy, made by his youngest daughter Nora.

For Gregory Bateson, stories were important vehicles for conveying wisdom about the complex nature of the world we are living in. “But as for why I tell a lot of stories, there’s a joke about that. There was once a man who had a computer, and he asked it, ‘Do you compute that you will ever be able to think like a human being?’ And after assorted grindings and beepings, a slip of paper came out of the computer that said, ‘That reminds me of a story . . .’ ” (Gregory Bateson, source.)

A little phrase that works wonders …

As it turned out this little phrase “That Reminds me of a story” has the power to instantly transform every human being into a natural storyteller. If you think this is a bit far-fetched, try it yourself. I have witnessed TRMOAS-conversations with people ranging from 6 to 90 years old, coming from all kinds of different backgrounds.

What’s also stricking is how TRMOAS-conversations can transform groups of people who had never talked to each other into a wisdom sharing community in just a matter of minutes. Maybe because the one simple rule makes it so safe and easy to share and listen to stories. There is no discussion, there are no questions, there is no right or wrong, no obligation to talk or explain. There are just stories.

Our future depends on the biodiversity of our stories …

I have this dream that TRMOAS will spread around the globe, enabling people in a very simple way to uncover their own wisdom and the wisdom of the people surrounding them. And in doing so, that it will help create and foster an ecosystem of ideas and solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s many challenges which we are facing.

I strongly believe that our future depends as much on the biodiversity of our stories, our wisdom, and our thinking, as it depends on the biodiversity of nature in general. The richer our (ecology of) wisdom and stories, the better we’re equipped to face many of life’s challenges.

In that sense, TRMOAS is never about finding the truth. TRMOAS-conversations only offer, or tap into a (never-ending) network of stories, one next to the other. A network of stories out of which a better, more intricate, more complex understanding and relationship with the people and the world around us can emerge.

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