BYOS began in 2015 with a simple question we kept asking each other in business school: If we are surrounded by smart, thoughtful people, why is small talk so common and meaningful conversation so rare?

So we decided to host a dinner party with a unique twist. Instead of asking guests to bring a bottle of wine, we requested they bring a true, personal story inspired by a theme such as journey, clueless, or transition. Something magical happened; we didn’t dwell on the surface-level topics of jobs, hometowns and the week’s weather. Instead, we took turns sharing stories rife with emotion that were full of meaning and rooted in authenticity.

Today, BYOS is expanding rapidly. We’ve held over 250 dinners with 50 trained hosts in dozens of cities around the world. And we’ve built an online platform to enable continuous expansion into new cities. Increasingly, we’re also producing larger events to bind our communities together over meaningful meals and creative collaborations.

Together, our community is doing much more than just hosting dinner parties. Our mission is to actively cultivate a global community of people living story-worthy lives, and in the process, create a world with more listening.

That’s our story. What’s yours?


Our Founding Beliefs:

Everyone has a story.
We are the stories we tell. Both to others and ourselves. Crafting our own personal narratives is empowering and essential.

A listening world is a better world.
Deep listening is one of the best ways to create a world with more tolerance, compassion, and collaboration.

Adventure finds curious minds.
Live courageously - by taking risks and connecting authentically we create our own story-worthy lives.


The Main Characters:

BYOS is made possible by a community of organizers, hosts and storytellers. Behind the scenes, our team leads the charge: coordinating volunteers, building tools to serve local communities and hustling to keep up with demand.

The passionate team working behind the scenes to support our hosts (from left to right): Christina Herbach, Graham Garvie, Dana Pollock, Denise Ellison. Give us a shout at team@bringyourownstory.com with any questions, suggestions or ideas. We look forward to hearing your story!