About us

Welcome to New Fables

Image: Ilja Tulit via Unsplash
Image: Ilja Tulit via Unsplash

We are a collective of dreamers, deep thinkers and change-makers. We work across a wide range of industries, sectors and disciplines, including (but not limited to) the cultural sector, philanthropy, media, academia, legal and digital.

In coming together, we hope to spot synergies, spark ideas, explore our intuition and build on our energies – discovering new ways to make sense of ourselves as racially-minoritised people, channelling these experiences into helping create a more equitable society.

Since Autumn 2020, we have been exploring the opportunities that arise from having a shared space sensitive to our needs, appetite and passions. We are already seeing the benefits of our collective wisdom and interconnections as we continually surface themes and questions to unpick together, such as:

What does leadership look like when not driven or set through a white lens?
How might we unleash the potential of being relational?
What does it look like to be driven by and survive our personal ethics in our respective fields? When is the right time to move on?

...and many more. Find out more about the themes and questions we are exploring. We’ll keep building this list over the next two years across our envisioning and sense-making sessions (currently online, but hopefully more in real life).

Why ‘New Fables’?

Naming our collective was no small feat. How do we ensure our name continues to remain relevant as we grow and evolve? What makes sense today, may not make sense tomorrow.

Fables are stories featuring moral truths and life lessons, passed down to us through the generations that hold a mirror up to our own behaviours and offer guidance. Ultimately, our collective is  an opportunity to come  together to tell stories – stories about our experiences today, stories about the past, and stories for the future.

As racially-minoritised people, we have inherited moral tales from our elders – stories of travels, collective pain, community spirit, promised lands, resilience and hope. As we navigate the world, making sense of today's ‘truths’, experiences, actions and lessons, we now ask ourselves – what might we pass on to the next generation?

Image: Justin W via Unsplash
Image: Justin W via Unsplash

Why are we doing this and why now?

We think it’s safe to say that everyone has found the last couple of years challenging. For racially-minoritised groups, the pandemic has exacerbated the existing challenges faced by our communities, as well impacting our experience as change-makers within white systems.

Through our conversations over 2020 – 2021, we agree that:

  • It can be lonely trying to create change. There are simply not enough professional-yet-safe spaces that help change-makers of colour to connect, share experiences, learn from and support each other – spaces where we can gain confidence, experiment with ideas, tackle challenges together, and lean into uncertainty without fear.
  • There are limited opportunities to have critical, nuanced conversations around our collective lived experience, on our own terms and for our own purposes. We need a space where we can go deeper when exploring what it means to be a person of colour navigating the world today, and start from our strengths when imagining the positive outcomes we can create, rather than the challenges.
  • Although we welcome the recent awakening and commitment to tackling racism and systemic oppression in our workspaces and sectors, conversations are often starting at a different place, with different levels of ambition for change. We need a space outside of white systems and structures where we can set the ambition and pace, prioritising care and wellbeing.

We wish to take this refreshing opportunity to feel enriched and rejuvenated through the new relationships we build and through the shared wisdom and perspectives from the group. We hope to reach more nuanced, deeper, understandings through the invaluable connections we surface from our collective insight. We also hope to feel inspired and activated by the emerging synergies to create new ideas, provocations for change and opportunities for action.

In the longer term, we hope to see new relationships and connections form beyond the group as our membership changes and our alumni grows. In this way we want the group to act as a catalyst for change, tackling societal challenges by offering alternative stories and solutions.

What next?

Over the next two years, our members will spend time getting to know each other, building trust, deepening our relationships and putting in place the conditions required to create a regenerative and restorative shared space.

We don’t know what we will create together but we are open to the possibilities. We will be driven by our intuition, be sensitive to our emerging needs, interests and energies.  We are excited to be venturing  into the unknown. Excited about the stories we will tell and hear from each other, the conclusions we might come to, the visions of the future we might create.

We also don’t know what we will share publicly yet. We may decide it best to keep some discussions internal. Keep an eye on our Twitter and our website. You can also email us at newfablescollective@gmail.com

Thank you

New Fables has been in the making since July 2020.

We would like to thank our founding members, who stuck with us as we worked through the needs and purpose of New Fables throughout the pandemic and alongside their day jobs:

Ngunan Adamu, Martha Awojobi, Zara Bartels, Fon Browndy, Teresa Cisneros, Richard Fagbolagun, Parris Francis, Siddharth Khajuria, Patrica Kingori, Arike Oke, Jenny Oppenheimer, Ume Pandya and Julian Thompson

We would like to thank our co-founders Salma Begum, Farrah Nazir and Shomari Lewis-Wilson who spearheaded, coordinated and steered the process to define and design New Fables.

We thank the team at Storythings - Emily Bromfield, Hugh Garry, Matt Locke, Lynsey Martenstyn and Anjali Ramachandran, who offered us pro-bono support, advice and guidance, along with thinking through formats of engagement.

We thank John Baptiste Kelly who has helped us designing our website.

Finally, we thank our friends and family who provided support, encouragement and feedback as we turned an idea into a reality over the course of a challenging year.



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