I ran this day-long course last year twice, in Oxford and Berlin, and absolutely had a blast. It attracted a fine group of troublemakers from a wide spectrum of world-changing organisations: the Bible Society (“Everyone backs away when I say who I work for…”), ActionAid, Four Paws, Campact, the Transnational Institute, Greenpeace, the World Future Council, Compassion in World Farming, Gyro London, HERA… world changers of every stripe.
There was a magic trick with a bit of rope. There was some amazing, purpose-filled story telling. There was joy. There were tears. And I had the most rewarding experience when one of my students, a fundraising copywriter, wrote to thank me, saying she’d applied her learning at work the next day with unprecedented results.
All of us could use some better stories today. If we look around at the tales being told around our electronic campfires today, it’s obvious that the big overarching narratives that once explained the way the world works are breaking down. Facts are not winning. To reach hearts and minds and change behaviours, all of us working for a more beautiful world need to up our game. The stories we tell need to be epic. Inspiring. Engaging. Compelling. They need to make people crave to be a part of them and act to propel them forward.
On 20 March I’ll be presenting a slightly abbreviated version of the training at Westminster University’s Masters in Media, Campaigning, and Social Change programme — a rare academic programme for young activists. That session is for students only, but the session on 21st of March is open to all. Register today — space is limited, so quick as a fox, jump over that lazy dog.