“I feel connected to the growing movement of people trying to put the humanizing power of stories into practice in the dehumanizing contexts of top-down controlled organizations. I cherish the transforming power of story-telling and story-listening and love to share and discuss this with other inspired people.
Stories have always been a part of my life. I wrote my first stories on my father’s typewriter when I was seven years old. Later I was trained in storytelling, and practiced the art and craft since the age of 16. More recently, I initiated a year-long project (‘A Town full of Stories’ / Dorp vol verhalen, 2012-2013) that aims to connect and inspire the people in my town by different kinds of storytelling, and I published a storybook for children (‘The Wind is Searching for a Voice’ / De wind zoekt een stem, Eelde 2012).
Driven by an infinite curiosity for people’s life stories and the way these are connected to their actions and motivation, I studied theology (Universities of Groningen and Leiden, 1998 – 2006). Both my Master’s theses deliberated on the connection between material witnesses of faith and the context of beliefs and motivations that helped shape them. I started as a minister in 2007 (Protestant Church of the Netherlands) in a parish in the North of the Netherlands, listening to people and connecting and inspiring them through storytelling.”
Kaj can also be found on Twitter: @kajvanderplas.
Title: Storylistening: Unleash.. the Human