How to Tell Real Stories About Impact
Organisations “tend to share vignettes and profiles, not stories,” but “telling compelling stories and telling stories about impact do not have to be in conflict.” If we craft stories with care, about changing systems collectively as part of an ecosystem, connecting to human experiences, “we avoid contributing to harmful narratives that make it impossible to change systems and cultural narratives.” “Organizations are important collaborators and accomplices in change work. Let’s let our stories show how it’s done.”
Digital Politics 1: First, They Break You Down
“A short series on UK political messaging, social media, and the Culture Wars…The first is about the recent past, and the power of segmentation. The second is about the present, and what happens when complaint gets weaponised. And the third is about what progressives can learn from fandoms.” Also see Sunder Katwala writing for Labour Together.
A New Era in Climate Communications
“Our intention for A New Era in Climate Communications is to facilitate a digital knowledge hub, a place to learn, inspire and support, a place to explore and to break down the communication barriers standing in the way of solving the climate crisis. Working together is not an option, it is an imperative. United, we can bring together the knowledge that bridges the gaps between data and emotion, information and action, and work with each other in new ways to shape the campaigns, messaging and stories that will help determine our future.”
Citizens are Hungry for Change
“The UK public overwhelmingly back state intervention to improve the food system. Citizens see that food is at the crux of many of the issues facing us today. They want government to make sensible policy decisions that protect people and planet, and they want powerful food businesses to be more accountable…UK citizens across all demographic, age and political groups reject ‘nanny state’ concerns and want the government to do more to fix food.”
Transforming Narrative Waters
“How do we change the stories we tell ourselves and each other about ourselves and each other – and our place in the world – into stories of transformation, trust and togetherness?” A conversation inspired by Ruth’s earlier piece, To Unpathed Waters and Undreamed Shores, encouraging us to move beyond silos and imagine “bringing more awe to the world”.
Climate, Security and Migration
“The vast majority connecting climate and security right now are progressive voices, or those of a pro-climate persuasion. They do so because they think it expands the coalition of people concerned about climate change…(we have) some time to ‘inoculate’ public and elite debate if we wish to, and if we have the infrastructure to do it. We find the best narratives for doing this in Europe are focusing on the ‘Bad Guys’ who perpetuate…malign narratives.”
Assembling An Assembly Guide
In case you’re worried that our existing political infrastructure is inadequate, “this 3-stage guide will accompany you through the different steps of designing, running, and acting on the results of a Citizens’ Assembly. It draws on and points to a curated selection of the best available resources. From deciding how to choose and define an issue, to setting the budget, timeline, and which people to involve, this guide aims to make it a simple and clear process.“
The Messaging Handbook: How To Write An Impactful Message
“Whether you are a spokesperson preparing for an interview, a campaigner writing copy or an organiser prepping for the doorstep, you need to think about how your message will be received by the people you want to reach. This Handbook offers guidance on how to write impactful messages, including broad principles, specific examples and full narratives to use.” (Thanks for sharing Funmibi Ogunlesi)
Belonging Design Principles
“The distinct belonging framework developed by the Othering & Belonging Institute (OBI) includes a set of principles and practices that can root out structural inequality and exclusion of all kinds while helping us turn toward, rather than against, each other…If you’re ready to create a more just, impactful, and joyous school, workplace, or society, then join us on this journey of becoming a belonging-builder.” Brings to mind the Jemez Principles For Democratic Organising.
Pride of the Elites: Political Correctness, Identity Politics and Class War
“How Elite Overproduction drives culture wars, and how to move beyond it.” Analysis encouraging us to reflect on what it really takes to achieve “deep systemic change”, at a time the ‘vibe’ is shifting, and the gap between elite “power-holders” and everyone else is widening. “What has happened with social justice ideology is that it has gone through a process of ‘abstractive sublimation’, in which practical concerns by minority groups, which may be dangerous to the status quo, are sublimated into a realm of abstraction that allows elites to reframe and ultimately ignore its calls for a redistribution of power.”
This Barbie Wants Narrative Change
“On the surface, Barbie might appear to be a film championing equality and social justice, packed to the rafters with satire and stirring monologues, but dig a little deeper and you discover a film reinforcing the very values and worldviews underpinning consumer culture and capitalism.”
Mental Health Diagnoses Are Capitalist Constructs
“Moving beyond divisive debates about diagnosis involves acknowledging the extent to which diagnosis is shaped by systems of power. Diagnosis isn’t an adjective (something we are) or a noun (something we have), it is a verb – an active process that is always moving, always serving an end. It can be wielded by the state in ways that are extremely harmful, but we can also break it apart and use it in ways that are liberating for us.”