This is the first edition of Uplifting Story. Conceived just before the calamity of Covid-19, it has been dredged into birth after nine months of stewing, much of that in lockdown.
At the beginning of the year before we had any idea of what 2020 had in store for us, I visited Sue Barrett, founder of Barrett Consulting to talk about the role of story in selling.
The fires were raging. Sue, a committed environmentalist asked me what role it could play in persuading people to act positively, or behave differently in relation to climate change. I didn’t have a full answer at the time, but it was a challenge to reflect on.
It called for a model to identify who it was that might be persuaded to change behaviour as a result of storytelling. I called it the Climate Change Spectrum— on the one-side eco-terrorists, on the other flat-earthers and every belief system in between.
It seemed to me that story had a role to play in the section bordered by the climate apathetic, the armchair dweller and the would-be activists. After all these people would number in the millions in Australia, let alone the world. There was work for story to be done here.
Could this approach work for any issue we want to solve today—every aspect of social injustice, modern slavery, re-afforestation, aged care, healthcare, loneliness. . .the list goes on?
. . . time to share the stories that fill us with hope not despair, inspiration not deflation, motivation not apathy.
In addition to 2020 producing enough horror stories all on its own to trammel with our minds and our sleep, we’ve also had to contend with the incendiary, the lies and the conspiracies.
We humans cannot manufacture creativity, innovation and action out of hopelessness, fear and anxiety.
It’s time to change the dynamic and become active in sourcing and sharing the stories that fill us with hope not despair, inspiration not deflation, motivation not apathy. It is these stories that will change how we think, what we believe, and how we act.
What am I doing?
Covid-19 has created the opportunity to put my training online. Previously called Story at Work, with this new thinking in mind, I reworked it to Changing Stories. I’ve run two training and one coaching program under its banner so far.
A small community is growing in Facebook called Changing Stories Clan, and more recently some of us have gathered for informal Friday afternoon events, Uplifting Story. One of our clan has volunteered to facilitate the next free and free-flowing session and I hope this will set a precedent, so that anyone might feel free to volunteer in the role and share with their community. You can book here.
The Great Reset
The World Economic Forum in its groundbreaking initiative The Great Reset, says it is the storytellers that will change the world. ( Highly recommend watching this video. It might make you feel less overwhelmed, that the world is not entirely in the hands of megalomaniacs, and we do have a handle on what must be done to fix what is so badly broken.)
It’s an ardent desire that these initiatives all round the world, together with our storytelling help will unleash a powerful collective of uplifting story voices to impact on the changes we must make for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
Please come in and join us in the Changing Stories Clan and in Uplifting Stories and let’s put our stories to work.
One story shifts the dial. Collective storytelling makes the change.
WASTE IS ONLY WASTE IF YOU WASTE IT
Javier Goyeneche Founder Ecoalf
A Spanish company Ecoalf turns the plastic debris from the ocean into chips which has pioneered a polymer yarn.
It started with an arrangement with fishermen on three boats to separate their fish from the plastic they dredged up out of the Mediterranean.
Now they have 3,000 fishing boats working to do the same. Together they have removed 600,000 tons of plastic from the ocean so far.
Founder, Javier Goyeneche is asking us to think in a different way.
He explains it takes 2,500 litres of water to make a cotton t-shirt. That has seen forests burn to plant the cotton from which it is made. It sells for as little as $3.00 and ends up in landfill in a few years. He says it doesn’t make sense. And it doesn’t.
Having read this, would you embrace the idea of only wearing clothes that you have saved from landfill, up-cycled or are made of recycled plastic from the ocean or other sustainable fabrics? To reduce the trips to the charity bins with bags of clothes?
It’s a challenge. Are you up for it? Let us know what ideas you have to make this work.
ADOPT A MAPLE . . .
I’m become a little obsessed with trees. Our backyard maple has seeded around 20 small maples this year. Like a somewhat dotty person, you might hear me speak with them about the role they have to play in helping to reduce CO2! Soon, I will carefully transplant them into pots to share with anyone prepared to adopt and nurture them into adult life.
Based on research that suggests the average tree absorbs 21 kilos of CO2 a year, if all 20 grow to full size trees they will sequester on average 420 kilos a year, or 1.15 kilo a day. That’s no mean feat for 20 small maples. Expand that out to the Trillion Tree project initiated by the World Economic Forum, and that my friends, is a massive 420 trillion tons of C02 absorbed from the atmosphere every year. Which is why I’m obsessed. So far, we’re at 13,8 billion trees planted, a rather long road to go, but 9 years and counting.
Trees are our allies
According to a United Nations report, although the rate we are losing forest is slowing down—such good news— we’ve lost 502,000 square miles of forest. That’s the size of South Africa. So conserving restoring and growing trees should be everyone’s contribution to reducing the emissions’ reduction target. We need good news stories in this fight to restore the earth’s forests. Here are two.
Land Life Company
Amsterdam company, Land Life Company, has created a recycled cardboard seed cocoon that helps trees grow in harsh climates, by providing 3 months of water and the right nutrients. It is proven to boost their survival from 10 per cent to 90 per cent. It also slashes irrigation from 1,500 to 37 litres per tree, and then delightfully bio-degrades when the job is done.
They have a project right here in Victoria, meant to kick off in 2020.
Worthwhile applauding and supporting, don’t you think?
For those of you who are keen to see your investments working to contribute to regeneration, you might consider which funding bodies are involved in this great initiative.
Terramatch has understood that while people all over the world are growing trees in record numbers, they and the climate only benefit if the right trees thrive in the right places.
They also know that there are many forestry experts who have the local knowledge to grow the trees properly. But there was no central place where these experts could meet those who would fund their work.
TerraMatch is now the global platform that connects these two worlds, helping tree growers and funders grow a trillion trees together.