March Media Review Storytelling for 2030

Bar with sign saying 'Idle Hour'

Focus this month on stories that we need to help us move towards net zero. Why stories matter; and some of them. Stories that work with what we know about human behaviour:  we need pulls towards what we want, not just stories of loss.  Stories that are neither naive in their optimism nor overwhelming in their fatalism.  Part of being intentional, rational and at the same time imaginative.


First up:


Rebecca Solnit on why storytelling is so important in the shift to sustainability. What we need to create these stories.  Why we need to be more critical about whose stories we listen to as well.


“In order to do what the climate crisis demands of us, we have to find stories of a liveable future, stories of popular power, stories that motivate people to do what it takes to make the world we need.”


“A historical imagination equips you to understand that change is ceaseless. You only have to look to the past to see such a world, dramatically different half a century ago, stunningly so a century ago.”


Second up:


The Good Life 2030 is an initiative to describe the shift to net zero in ways that are attractive to us, that tap into the lifestyle that we want, away from the lifestyle of unwavering consumption that we have been advertised for eons.


You can watch three agencies’ short adverts to pitch this lifestyle of the future here.  The adverts are based on research on what people in the UK want the good life to be.  The three elements of:  Connection to Self; Connection to Others; Connection to Nature.  Research with a sample of the ‘42%’ of UK population that say they are really concerned about climate change.  You can see that video here:


Huge resonance with this research and the ‘What Works Centre for Wellbeing’ and the Bennett Institute say about ‘Community Wellbeing’.


Third up:


A strategic view from Geoff Mulgan in the RSA magazine on the context for imagination and long-term future planning.  That we’ve done less of it in the UK in the last 10 years.  That there is hope if we do it.  That people want to do it.  But we need to be intentional and rational with it.


“I do a lot of work in Scandinavia, which has a different political culture from the UK, with leaders who are much more comfortable talking 20, 40 years into the future. They have ambitious net zero goals, want to reduce inequality and modernise democracy. We should be thinking about what we can take from those examples, and the key is to be more realistic about what our options are rather than embracing glib rhetoric or a misleading pessimistic fatalism.”