Story as Theory of Change: Hacking Society's operating system
Everyone loves a good story. But sometimes it's hard to see the stories that invisibly govern our lives and the lives of the audiences we want to inspire. Some of those stories form the very operating system of society: what if we could hack that operating system?
This session will be a call to adventure: we'll look at some of the stories that function as modern mythologies -- the explanations of the invisible forces that make the world as it is. We'll look at the possibility of cracking them open, and replacing them with better stories.
In the afternoon, we'll do some practical exercises in mapping a campaign or project's story elements and explore some tips and tricks for using story as a communication tool..
What you'll learn: How to parse a campaign or project into story elements and be aware of the role your organisation plays in that story: the archetype you fill, the gift you give, the monster you want to slay -- and how the monster might tell the story of your efforts. I'll share the process and results by which the Story Team at Greenpeace International created not only a unifying organisational story, but a 7-point culture change agenda to match it. We'll examine some of the stories that are holding back a more beautiful world, and consider how we can crack them open, replace them with better stories.
This is learning by having fun: we'll unlock your creative eye with some exercises, a magic trick or two, then plunge down the rabbit hole of story. You'll come out of this session with a new pair of eyes for looking at how to reach an audience and how to inspire them to action, and with your appetite whetted for much bigger mythological game than most activists are currently stalking.
Brian Fitzgerald worked for 35 years with Greenpeace doing odd jobs as an activist, deck hand, technologist, hot air balloon pilot, communications director, and digital explorer. He and a small pirate team of storytellers crafted a new organisational story for Greenpeace, and a culture change agenda to match. Together with Tommy Crawford, he founded Dancing Fox in 2016, a creative agency dedicated to story hacking and "mischief, magic, and mind bombs."