Common Ground Convention: Fracking Debate in NY State

Storytelling Strategy | 2014 |School of Visual Arts
Role: Strategist & Facilitator | School of Visual Arts MFA Design for Social Innovation | Convening | 2014

Common Ground Convention is a MFA Thesis project designed to address the controversial issue of fracking (oil and gas hydraulic drilling) in New York State. During a time in which the Governor had yet to make a decision on whether to ban fracking, the goal of this project was to facilitate meetings that bring together the pro-fracking and anti-fracking groups within a community so that they can identify their shared concerns and influence the municipal-level decision-making process in their community.

First, stories were researched and collected from people from both sides of the debate, who have been affected by fracking in Susquehanna County, and then these stories served as prompts during the facilitation. In turn, as a result of the faciliation, the community was able to begin drafting Road agreement laws and move forth with an outcome of how they will decide on laws for their community in the Southern-tier town of Vestal, NY.