Workshop A: The Power of Storytelling: The Story Begins with You

Workshop: The Power of Storytelling: The Story Begins with You

09.00-1200 Friday 


“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Stories serve so many purposes in our lives.  They have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and instilling moral values.  The Story Begins with You is based on the concepts of story and storytelling, with a focus on the personal stories from one’s life and experiences.

This 4-hour workshop, a blend of competency (what you know) and authenticity (who you are) will be interactive with plenty of opportunity for discussion and storytelling.  Participants will:

  • Understand the power and purpose of story and storytelling
  • Share and listen to the “everyday life stories” of others
  • Reflect upon personal identities and the work that’s calling you
  • Draw upon these insights in crafting stories for the work world

About your workshop leader:

Karen L. Gilliam, PhD, is the Agency Chief Learning Officer and Organization Development Lead, for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In this position, she is responsible for development and execution of the Agency’s learning and development strategy.  She has more than 25 years’ experience providing training; management & leadership development; diversity and inclusion programming; and organization development consulting to diverse industries that include manufacturing, insurance, health-care, telecommunications, and higher education. 


Karen obtained the designation of Chief Diversity Executive (CDE) from the Institute for Diversity Certification (IDC) and the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) from the International Coaching Federation.  Over her career, she has been a staff manager, adjunct faculty instructor, business owner, published author, and elected politician, having served 9 years as a council woman.  Additionally, she is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association, a board member of Restore Cleveland Hope, Inc., and has been recognized in Who’s Who in Black Cleveland [Ohio, USA].


Karen obtained her doctorate degree from Antioch University’s Leadership and Change program in April 2006.  The catalyst for her doctoral studies was the story of Joan Evelyn Southgate’s 519-mile Underground Railroad Walk. What caused people to want to join and support her? Was it the story, the storyteller, or the storytelling experience?  These are the questions we will explore in the workshop.