Storytelling drives change

Facts don't drive change

Facts are of course very important to making the right decisions in regards to environmental problems and potential solutions. But facts alone, don't engage people and drive change on a larger scale. For that to happen a wider cultural conversation is needed. Telling a story is a more effective way to send a complex message and start a dialogue. It goes through emotions and connects with logic, giving real examples of change.
Source: Story of stuff
Storytelling and adapting messages to specific target groups
Psychology plays an important role in how we humans view information and act based upon new facts. Environmental communication needs to understand this and focus on how to inspire people, rather than scare them. In this case, storytelling can be a successful way of communicating sustainability concerns and visions to the broader public or a specific target group. Communicating a coherent story is something many companies are good at but environmental organizations have only just begun using this strategy for outreach. Creative initiatives like the Story of Stuff have started to do this by helping to shift the conversation from the buying of more stuff to having less, but better, stuff. 

What makes a good story?

To help friends, colleagues and your community become more aware of environmental issues and sustainable development, use stories. The model suggested below can be applied as much to articles (e.g. blogs, newspapers) as to videos, podcasts, oral presentations or other media. Key ingredients for a good story include:
- It gets noticed!
- It tells a story of real people and/or real situations
- It gives a living example of the broader, more abstract message you wish to convey
- It expresses a single, main idea
- It adopts a tone (e.g. sad, happy, excited) to go with the issue
- It touches emotions by speaking to universal values (e.g. love, fear, bravery)
- It uses rational arguments, appealing to logic (e.g. using numbers and placing the issue within a broader context)

Nature is speaking

Another interesting example of attractive storytelling can be found in the project by Conservation International (CI). In this collaboration between companies (Virgin, Radical media, hp etc.) and CI, famous actors and actresses take on the voices of different parts of nature such as the oceans, the soil, and the rainforests. With stunning images, nature sounds and famous narrators this campaign makes for a compelling story about the human-nature relationship and our dependence on nature. 
Source: Nature is speaking


Out of the ashes into the fire

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