Since launching in March 2021, we have collected dozens of stories, met amazing change leaders and held a Story Jam in honor of Public Service Recognition Week. And we are just getting started!
Our goal is to continue to gather your stories and lessons learned and distill them into learnings and actions that will help our whole community become better at change.
Join us by submitting your stories below or by opting into our initiative mailing list.
Coming in July: Top 5 Stories of Change!
Check back soon as we will be revealing content, videos and big ideas on how to be more effective change leaders.
On May 6th, 2021 during Public Service Recognition Week, we gathered for our first-ever Story Jam to share our Stories of Change, tales of resilience and innovation inspired by the tremendous challenges we’ve all navigated this past year. Our storytellers were six leaders from the government and private sector who enlightened, delighted and enriched us with new perspectives—and hope for the future.
Below is the full video from the 90 minute event, followed by clips of the individual speakers. We strive to communicate in a way that is accessible to everyone. Our Stories of Change video includes an audio description and captions. Here is a full transcript with image descriptions.
Full Event Video
Individual Storyteller Video Clips
Amy Fong, a Statistician at the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy, showed us the power in vulnerability. Her story from her time at the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, where she managed programs that support tribal transit, celebrated the benefits of perseverance and patience in pursuit of racial equality.
End-user experience is the main concern for Anne Shepherd, Associate Chief Information Officer for User and Network Services at the IRS. In her story, Anne introduced us to Winnie the Chatbot, AI technology created for the internal IRS technology helpdesk employees to assist in workload management. Winnie’s dramatic journey from suspect to celebrated team member will leave you inspired.
Our event kicked off with award-winning 3rd generation magician and mentalist Dennis Watkins, who told how he recaptured the wonder of magic for himself and his audiences through his virtual magic shows after COVID made the art of live performances disappear.
COVID’s impact on Judith Zawatsky, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Systems Management within GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, was profound. Her revelations about motivation, collaboration, and output have changed her definition of what it means to lead an effective team.
Larry Goldberg, Head of Accessibility at Verizon Media, told how his company not only talks the diversity, equity and inclusion talk, it walks the walk. We shared Larry’s pride as he explained how Verizon enabled 95% of their employees to work from home, including employees who needed assistive technology and other accommodations. He also gave an exciting sneak peek into the future of immersive technology for people with disabilities.
The story from Richard Crespin, CEO of CollaborateUp and Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies took us into the Southern African Bush to learn how reluctant, distrustful technology adopters warmed up to and embraced modern collaboration tools to prevent wildlife crime and protect the world’s charismatic megafauna.
This past year, we have experienced tremendous challenges and hardship. Yet, we have also seen remarkable stories of resilience and innovation. Our “Stories for Change” initiative helps us learn from our collective experiences and all become better drivers of change.
We are inviting our partners, clients, employees and colleagues to answer these questions: What did you face? What did you learn?