Storytelling. For Change. For Good.

barkada \bär-'kä-dɘ\ — a word in the Filipino language that means best friends.


Barkada Circle® is a Chicago studio working with leaders of foundations, associations and organizations with a mission to improve the human condition. Our approach to storytelling and story-driven strategies make your message more compelling and strengthen your relationship building.

Barkada helps your organization become a better steward for your mission by guiding your communication to be rooted in story. We can show you how to tap into the power of your own narrative to deliver a compelling case with a clear identity and purpose...

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Why Story?

Stories shape our worldview.

Knowledge is handed down from one generation to the next through stories. We try to understand the world around us and how we fit into the scheme of things by listening to the news, reading a novel and watching a movie — cues from our culture that form the narratives in our minds.

Stories engage the whole person.

Science has proven that listening to stories stimulates all parts of the human brain, including the areas responsible for human emotions. This translates to better retention and deeper understanding. The information takes on a uniquely personal effect on each person hearing the story.

Stories spark human connection.

In order for people to solve a common problem, they must first come to a common understanding. This means seeing and hearing each other's perspectives. Communicating facts with emotions creates empathy between participants. The issue—no matter how complex—is brought to a human level for a productive dialog to begin.


Barkada's workshops and learning circles promote dialog between participants in your organization. These conversations spark ideas that can lead to action for affecting change. We create the most value for you when we cultivate a culture of storytelling within your organization through a deep, long term relationship....
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It takes one story... spark other stories. As human beings, we are wired to respond to a story by telling our own story. Participants in our learning circles connect on a deeper level by bridging their individual narratives into a larger narrative.

"It's so important to understand the worldview and biases of the person you seek to influence, to connect with, to delight. And why the semiotics and stories we produce matter so much more than we imagine."
— Seth Godin


Storytellers. Mission drivers. Educators. Designers. Barkada is a team of creative thinkers who believe in the power of seeing the possibilities...

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We believe that positive change begins with cultivating a sense of community between people and organizations to allow varied perspectives to converge. Storytelling is our catalyst for realizing shared values and creating bold, new ideas.