The art of storytelling together to invent the future

That’s it, it’s the new year: we’re going to change the world! All websites will be low-tech, solar-powered, we’ll be retyping our smartphones while sipping wild nettle beer in fablabs, black-hat SEOs will start writing web content, and Laurent Alexandre will enter the retire.
What do you mean we have to wait a little longer? ^^ While we wait for the revolution, here are some thoughts and tips on the art of telling the future to others.

But where to start?

As I watched the elected representatives of Nouvelle Aquitaine discuss the Neo-Terra roadmap for the energy and green transition in plenary last summer, I said to myself: “These measures will allow us to look to the future with much more composure, that going.” in the right direction! But how can such a project be implemented regionally? »

Imagine: eleven extremely ambitious actions, from the agroecological transition to the transformation of companies, to the preservation of biodiversity and the renewal of energy sources! Eleven actions that require a total rethinking of our infrastructure, our means of transport, our habits and our trades in New Aquitaine. If you look at the time it takes to ban plastic in a single family (I know what I’m talking about), you get an idea of ​​the magnitude of the work that needs to be done to save nearly 6 million people move to a change unprecedented size!

Several major difficulties arise for those who want to accelerate the ecological transformation of a region like New-Aquitaine, including these three priorities:

1- Understand the problems: Studies show that only 15% of the French understand what greenhouse gases are! (Source Hervé Le Treut, Acclimaterra). The work of informing and popularizing scientific data is vital, especially in these times of infobesity and fake news where we read everything and everyone. On this subject, read the excellent work by Anne-Sophie Novel published by Actes Sud Editions “The Media, the World and I. »

For most of us, too much walking to keep up with our busy lives, climate change and the sixth species extinction is distracting background noise. As New Aquitaine EELV Vice-President Nicolas Thierry writes in his book Reconciling with the Living, “A slight fluctuation in the CAC 40 elicits more concern and response from our institutions than the alarm bells of thousands” of scientists. »

Nothing will happen until the silent majority is “at heart” convinced of the need to change their habits. However, the numbers and explanations provided by scientists seem far too distant from our daily lives. People don’t move until they’re scared and/or envious. Sapiens brains are built that way, we can’t change that.

2- a shared vision for the path to be taken For the company, the territory, the region, the city: for those who have properly integrated the risks, the question is what exactly needs to be done to face the choppy waters of the future and protect their boat from storms ( which will be safe). increase according to IPCC scientists). And having helped co-design a policy agenda AND a code of professional ethics, I can tell you that getting everyone to agree is not easy. At the same time, it’s either that or China’s dictatorship 4.0.

KONTNÜ Code of Ethics
(This is the cover of the Code of Ethics for Content Professionals, co-authored by members of the Kontnü Association and presented at the Kontnüum Colloquium, The Power of Words.)

3- the material and human means to initiate change : Once the collective decision is made, the hardest part remains to be done! The hardest thing is to stop criticizing by pointing out the problems, roll up your sleeves, concretely implement the shared vision and take staff, elected officials and the public with you. In short: start a positive dynamic capable of initiating real change.

Use the story to convey the themes

The first step requires rigor, empathy and pedagogy. It is important to mix short and long formats, classic journalistic approaches and storytelling. As for the video format, the shorter the better if we are to believe the internet users’ favorite content on the web! (At the same time, long videos are bad for our carbon footprint.)

4 minutes of explanation therefore seems to be the time we are willing to devote to understanding such complex issues as global warming. It is an understatement to say that one must weigh the words and structure one’s pedagogical discourse well in order to convey the essential information in the shortest amount of time.

Understand global warming in less than 4 minutes:

And biodiversity:

Storytelling also seems to be an excellent way to help audiences understand the challenges of ecological transition and possible solutions. Because it allows us to directly target the part of the brain that makes the connection between our emotions and our actions, rather than the part that justifies them.

Arnaud Hacquin, founder of CATS – Aquitain Cluster of Transmedia Storytelling – writes: “From our earliest childhood we experiment to survive. With every experience, our body informs us of the danger or benefit of a situation by activating neurotransmitters, some of which we are already familiar with (endorphin, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin). By generating positive emotions (joy), well-being, or pleasure, these neurotransmitters act as organic rewards, thus encouraging the person to reproduce their behavior to trigger new shots. Conversely, a dangerous situation or negative experience can produce cortisone and adrenaline, two substances that the body hates to take away the desire to reproduce the situation. »

One of the most gifted French storytellers of his generation in France is the director, poet and writer Cyril Dion, most notably with his film Demain (which you’ve probably heard of, unless you’ve decided to take Sylvain Tesson’s fashion from the withdraw from or live in society). the forest like the followers of Fertile Disobedience!) Analysis of his work shows that he has mastered all the cogs of a good story perfectly (this will be the occasion for a future post of #Decryption).

Building a collective narrative in the workshop

One of my most beautiful professional experiments of the last few years comes from the workshops on collective intelligence. Done well, a one-day workshop can move a group much more effectively and quickly than weeks or months of reflection. The relevance of the solutions found is often much better, but the greatest benefit lies in building a culture, vocabulary and shared references that we can rely on to trigger a collective dynamic or implement change. strategically.

My best memories of shared stories to date are writing the shared brand book Dordogne Valley, a portrait of the territory made together with 70 residents from very different departments and backgrounds and the storytelling workshops “Bordeaux Atme!” carried out as part of the EELV community campaign in Bordeaux.

Atelier Storytelling EELV

Putting storytelling at the service of a vision

No, storytelling is not a terrible science of mind manipulation. It is a very effective communication technique, often misunderstood and, moreover, very poorly mastered (but this last point will be the subject of another post), which uses the existing narrative codes in narrative, history and mythology. Well constructed and well used, storytelling allows those who master it to be heard quickly and effectively.

Telling stories on a solid storyline allows you to engage the members of your company, your institution, your territory in a solid, meaningful community project. Storytelling can take many forms, respecting genre codes to the letter or taking liberties. It works wonders in conveying values, explaining actions, or initiating change. The world’s greatest leaders have used it successfully, whether it’s Barack Obama or Steve Jobs, and now it’s Carlos Ghosn who holds the award for Best Story Ever!

The shared story is proving to be a format particularly suited to the diversity of web media, as it allows the narrative to be broken down into a mosaic of stories carried by a variety of characters and available on different channels and formats . The continuous telling of a coherent vision gives meaning to the actions of a company, institution or territory, as I was able to explain at a conference on meaningful storytelling for the Apacom association.

Storytelling & Sens PLUME interactive from Eve Demange

I’m not sure that, as Rob Hopkins assures us, “imagination will save us” and that shared storytelling alone doesn’t have the power to transform our world. But it can help us to foresee interesting solutions for the future, to think about them together and to implement them.

All the best wishes for 2020! May imagination, creativity and writing help us create an inspiring future😊

For further
Tell your vision
Imagine 2040 from PLUME Interactive
Digitization must be adapted to the challenges of the century, Les Echos.

The article “The art of shared storytelling to invent the future” appeared first on PlumeInteractive.

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