2021: The Perfect Year To Make Stone Soup

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

Have you tried Stone Soup?

Yes, there are many recipes with different ingredients to create this meal.

But this isn't about an actual dish. This is about a European folk tale that tells a story of the value of sharing. Maybe even more importantly, the story shows us how to work together towards co-creation. A concept embedded in the framework of Strategic Doing.

Our tale begins when a small group of travelers find themselves on the outskirts of a small town.

As the travelers made their way towards town, the community members took notice.

In the past, this community had a negative experience with individuals like these travelers. They had experienced losing resources, resources they needed to survive.

The travelers find their way to the middle of town and they do in fact, ask the community for resources, but they find that the responses are less than fruitful as they go from person to person. They find that the community doesn't have many resources to share.

Well, that sentence should read "the community didn’t know that they had resources to share".

In the art of storytelling, the tale begins to use a very useful tool in community and coalition building. Our travelers begin to teach the community how to make stone soup. This is done by using adaptive questions and engaging the community to foster co-creation in the process.

The travelers announce in the middle of town that they want to make Stone Soup. A soup that was delicious and bountiful enough to feed the entire community.

The community was intrigued, wouldn't you be?

The travelers asked for a vessel that they can cook in, a member of the community speaks up and says he has a large cooking pot and offers it to the travelers.

The travelers ask about making a fire, another person says they have wood and means to make it ignite.

The travelers ask about water, and several community members bring buckets upon buckets of water.

This story goes on with this pattern until the large empty pot is filled with vegetables, meat, and enough flavor to please any of the picky eaters that surrounded the steaming pot of co-creation.

The travelers helped the community understand that we all can give a little, but by doing so we all can benefit a lot. Another lesson weaved into the tale is of hidden resources.

The travelers helped the community imagine an outcome that they didn't know was possible. The travelers guided the community through the magic question, though here it is unsaid.

Imagine today you are having the best soup you have ever tasted, what would that look like?

Your response may differ from mine but we always have an opportunity to compare our narratives to create an outcome that benefits each of us.

That being said, collectively we can ALL converge our narratives this way.

Just as in the tale of Stone Soup, we all have overarching goals, be it a meal or reducing substance misuse in a community, fighting food insecurity, or providing a meaningful service.

Goals are endless, and we are sure you may have a few of your own

When we can visualize an imaginative question we can start to explore how to make it a reality. Piece by piece we can start to find the missing parts of the puzzle. Once our collective pieces are found, we can start to putting them together to accomplish a common goal.

Small steps lead to giant leaps. All it takes is a small group of people focused on co-creation that is scalable, measurable, and in turn, effective.

We started 2020 like everyone else, writing the wrong date for a few weeks, and trying to stay afloat.

We didn't expect the year to turn into what it did.

2020 was a tough year.

We have an opportunity, an opportunity to reflect, think, learn, and grow.

Have the ways we have been working together been effective? Or are our collaborations well meaning attempts to put band-aids on a dam that’s been cracking since before the majority of us were born?

If your organization, coalition, group, or community needs help to imagine an outcome that is achievable through co-creation contact Mezzo Solutions.

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