Playing with Global News Network Dream

Playing with Global News Network Dream

Belgian group asks can we launch generative journalism model in Europe’s Dutch-speaking community?

More than a year ago Axiom News proclaimed its long-held mission in fresh language, to co-create a life-giving news network for renewed and thriving communities, and next week carrying that mission forward will begin to be tinkered with in a new way as a small group of Belgian residents walks into the warm-hued, Ontario newsroom.  

The story of this connection begins several years ago when one of the group-members, Griet Bouwen, attended an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) course and was touched deeply by an understanding of the role media plays in creating the world we live in.

She says she knew then that this was the path she wanted to follow, exploring an alternative to traditional media, which is being held up more and more as a negative if not destructive force.

Fast forward to three months ago. Griet stumbles across Axiom News.

She became so excited she contacted the organization to ask about visiting to learn more about its approach.

“Just like (Axiom), my mission (is to) inspire our Dutch-speaking society with news and stories about how people and organizations are already at this moment changing society in the direction we desire,” says Griet, “a society of appreciating the best of what is, tapping into the values and mission of people and working on a sustainable economy and social structures.”

The people of Europe seem to be ready for this new approach, she adds.

She refers to a recent conversation where she mentioned the term generative journalism, one of Axiom’s descriptors of its work, to a Greek journalist now working in social care for minorities.

His excitement about the approach captures how Europeans are ready for a new and hopeful perspective, says Griet.

Griet will be visiting with her husband Arno Vansichen, who is also a colleague with her in the Belgian personal well-being and business development consultancy firm Evenwicht. Cathy Camertijin, a consultant with Kessels and Smit, will also join them.

Asked how he’s approaching this opportunity, Axiom News founder and CEO and pioneer of organization-based, generative journalism Peter Pula says someone he holds dear, and who knows more about the world than him once told him that other places are different.

“He also taught me that welcoming strangers is just the thing for our own learning and growth,” says Peter.

“The thought of spending a few days with people from a place far away whom we’ve only just met to talk about how we can join together and bring something new to life is epic. So, I’m seeing the time we will share with Griet, Arno, and Cathy as a one for surprises and awakening. I am seeing this as an adventure into new possibilities.”

Honoured and humbled would be words he’d use to describe his feelings on this, Peter adds, as well as a sense of openness, anticipation and readiness for renewal.

Based on the few calls with Griet and Arno to set this up, Peter says he’s also expecting to have a “ton of fun” through it all.

The conversation will begin with the group’s visit to Canada. How it will evolve remains to be seen, of course. Both Axiom and the Belgian group plan to provide updates as new activities and thinking emerge.

Peter will also be holding an open spaces session on co-creating a life-giving news network for renewed and thriving communities at the April 26-28 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Ghent, Belgium.

To learn more about generative journalism or be part of the conversations on this co-creation effort, please contact Peter at 800-294-0051, ext. 28 in Canada, 705-741-4421, ext. 28 outside the country or e-mail peter(at)


Writer Bio

Michelle Strutzenberger's picture
Michelle Strutzenberger

Michelle Strutzenberger has been a Generative Journalist and curator with Axiom News for more than 15 years.

She's most grateful for the incredible people she gets to work with every day at Axiom News, as well as the many other amazing folks she's encountered through this work.

"I have always seen the opportunity to do this work as a gift," she says.

Michelle's writing has also been published by a wide variety of other organizations and publications, including the following:
- Abundant Community, an initiative of authors John McKnight and Peter Block to awaken the power of families and neighbourhoods
- PLAN Institute, a network dedicated to enabling families to create a good life for people with disabilities
-.New Scoop YYC, Calgary's news co-op practicing Generative Journalism
- The Canadian Community Economic Development Network
- Nieuwmakers, a Belgian news agency
- Restore Commons, an initiative of Peter Block and friends
- Academy for Systemic Change

Contact Michelle: 705-741-4421 ext. 27 or michelle(at)

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