Blog > Griet Bouwen

Beautiful People Doing a Great Job

Back home in Belgium, I needed a full week to think through our visit to Axiom News over and over again. Not only was seeing Canada a “first in a lifetime,” the greatest surprise was in meeting the Axiom team and feeling the deeper purpose these guys devote to their work.

Generative Journalism. What an invention, with such meaningful contributions to society. Axiom News makes the thought-out choice to dedicate their journalism to build up an economy and society that cares for people and nature. They provide innovative news services to networks, organizations and businesses that want to make a contribution to society. The news they produce connects employees and stakeholders with each other and with the change mission of the organization. It’s journalism as an inspired and practical tool that also lifts up the greater aim of those involved, inspiring them to go even further on the path of hope and change.

And there is more, a lot more. The Axiom News website itself is a virtual place of hope, connectedness and openness for a desired future.  I remember the first time I saw this place. By accident? I don’t believe in accidents like these. I was thrilled, blown out of my shoes, staring at the screen with a feeling of coming home in some way. At that moment, Axiom News gave words and images to a long cherished dream. In a blink it was a certainty for me: these people are soul mates.

For those who know me, I’m not as brave or pushing person I sometimes want to be. But this time, I couldn’t think about anything more than connecting with Axiom News. I wanted to understand their work, their business, the way they see the world evolving and the task they see for their organization to move into the direction they dream of.  I was so curious to understand how they manage to keep this beautiful news website alive.

Meeting Peter, Michelle, Kristian, Jennifer, Yvonne, Deron, Lisa, Ryan and Jeanne was an inspiring adventure. Connecting with Peggy Holman, founder of Journalism that Matters, broadened the insights even more. Because I’m no native English speaker, conversations rippled slowly, always searching for specific words, considering phrases. Thoughtful conversations, close listening.

After this wonderful midweek in Peterborough, my brains are still noisy. Thinking, even more encouraged than I was before, on setting up a Belgian kind of Axiom News. And realizing also, I want to do this together with this bunch of inspiring people. These beautiful people are doing a great job. What I need to learn is there, in the newsroom of Axiom News: specific assemblage of craftsmanship, and a specific colour. The colour that belongs to a team of engaged and connected people. It’s the colour my plans want to be painted in.

Blogger Profile

Griet Bouwen's picture
Griet
Bouwen

During preparations for the 5th Appreciative Inquiry World Conference, held in Belgium in 2012, Griet Bouwen bounced into the work of Axiom News and recognized her mission in its vision, themes and tone of voice.
 
This encounter, and the friendships that came out of it, led her to start up her own generative news agency in Belgium in 2013. Her small organization is called ‘Nieuwmakers’ (new makers) — because working with generative stories creates the capacity to see our world with new eyes, to spark new conversations, to make things new.
 
She experiences every day that asset-based, “appreciatively inquiring” stories do contribute to the development of organizations and the society in the direction we hope for. Since words create worlds, telling stories about peoples' hopes, actions and resources is already making a change, she says.

Latest Blog

How can we, citizens of our community, country and globalised world contribute to safety, peace and a future for people? What does this time, with all the disruptive events and rumors, ask of me? Of you? Of us? No statements here. Questions are the only meaningful contribution I can come up with now.

What do we refer to when we talk about a life of voluntary simplicity? For us, it means shoving away the veils of distractions to experience the greatness of life itself. When we use the word “Life,” we refer to consciousness of the interconnection of the whole. To reach that place, we have to unchain ourselves from ingrained patterns of inattentive consumerism and “time consuming on auto pilot.”

Voluntary simplicity as an act of resistance

As human beings, gifted with a deep sense of morality and the ability to think, it is time to say “no.” No, we don’t want this large-scale, only-profit-driven way of organizing our world anymore. No, we don’t want to sicken Mother Nature any further.

In the region Limburg, Belgium, we now find ourselves in the middle of a loud and busy crossroads. A crossroads to change. The local Ford plant will close down in 2014. More than 10,000 people will lose their jobs, and the economic damage will reach much further. But the people in our region are strong and resilient. Twenty-five years ago, we overcame another economic disaster, the closing of the coal mines.

Not everything we can offer to others needs to be paid for

As a native Dutch speaker, the English language has a lot of secrets for me. I can imagine this also works the other way.

Sparking change by providing stories

Started as an experiment, the media crew succeeded wonderfully in creating a constant stream of news throughout the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC) held in Ghent, Belgium April 25-28.