Monica Rosenfeld, the 346th person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, is building an incredible movement that I’m convinced will go global.

Last year, Monica launched an event series called Stories that Stir, where six people are each given 10 minutes to share their stories. These stories are not only fascinating, but often deeply personal and moving as well.

Hearing from someone who comes from a completely different background gives spectators the chance to learn and empathise, Monica says, while listening to somehow describe a personal experience that you’ve also been through can be validating and cathartic.

Stories that Stir was launched only 18 months ago, its in-person events and professionally recorded podcast have already developed strong momentum. Monica regularly receives storyteller recommendations, which has allowed her to attract a high-quality storyteller list. She’s also had people ask if they can licence the event.

As a result, Stories That Stir has recently expanded to Queensland and northern New South Wales. In the not-too-distant future, Monica wants to award licences to people in other states and regional Australia. After that, she also wants to take the event global. Her idea is to grow it like TEDx, except instead of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, the mission of Stories that Stir is ‘Humans Connecting and Healing through Storytelling’.

Monica began her career as a TV producer, before starting a PR agency that she ran for more than 20 years before recently exiting the business. She also does keynote speaking and runs storytelling workshops.

One reason I’m convinced Stories that Stir will become an international movement is because it’s such a compelling idea. Another reason is Monica herself: she’s a warm, curious person who delights in human connection and learning from others. Furthermore, Monica passionately believes in the concept behind Stories that Stir and will, I’m sure, attract others who share her vision.

I can’t wait to attend my first Stories that Stir event and expect to become a regular spectator.