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Our Tomorrows: Be a part of action

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Parents, children, aunts, uncles, partners - all of us have families, and all of us have something important to share about our lives and interactions. We know there's much to be learned from all kinds of stories, with all kinds of outcomes.

Using a story-based research tool called Sensemaker, the KU Center for Public Partnerships and Research will examine the patterns and stories shared by thousands of people across the state of Kansas to gain new understanding of what families NEED to thrive -- not just survive. Through this partnership with KU's CPPR, we hope that the stories collected can be used to shape local policies and programming decisions in our own community and throughout other places across the country.

Stories are still being accepted. By sharing your own story, you can help make OUR TOMORROWS brighter. You'll get the opportunity to share and reflect, and we get to hear your unique perspective. Your contribution to the story collection will make a difference. It doesn't have to take long. Only a couple of sentences are needed.

On Thursday, Aug. 1, the Our Tomorrows Project will host a Community SenseMaking Workshop in Colby to discuss the themes that have emerged from across Kansas, which ultimately will contribute to the Early Childhood Systems Building effort that is happening across the the state in 2019 by the Kansas Children's Cabinet and Trust Fund, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas State Department of Education.

The SenseMaking Workshop in Colby is co-hosted by LiveWell Northwest Kansas. During the workshop, we will review the patterns found in local stories, discuss themes and choose which patterns will be used in KU's Community Action Labs. Findings from the workshop can also be used locally to make decisions about how to best strengthen the early childhood system.

SenseMaking Workshops use Our Tomorrows SenseMaker Date

Our Tomorrows is a process of sensemaking- using family stories to understand what is happening for families in Kansas and using that understanding to take action and make decisions. This process relies on SenseMaker- the technology that Our Tomorrows uses to collect stories about times when families were thriving or just surviving. Community SenseMaking Workshops are an opportunity to interpret Our Tomorrows SenseMaker data and determine which patterns should be prioritized for change.

To RSVP for this upcoming event in Colby, go to this link and scroll to the bottom of the page under the heading, "Join us for a Community Sensemaking Workshop." You'll need to fill out the form and submit it as soon as possible to attend the free workshop. If you have questions, please feel free to contact LiveWell Director Travis Rickford or email the Our Tomorrows team at


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