Reasons for optimism

Dave Pollard offers 10 Reasons for Optimism:

  1. There are more people writing, articulately and eloquently and with the weight of excellent information and argument behind them, about the need for radical change to our culture than ever before. This is a groundswell of awareness and deep caring, possibly unprecedented in the history of man. Something important is happening here.
  2. The Internet has given us two powerful weapons for change: knowledge exchange and organizing capacity. We’re learning to use them well.
  3. Women are slowly gaining power and influence in our society. Young women are better educated and better informed than any generation in our history.
  4. Not having children is no longer, for the first time in our culture, considered selfish or anti-social.
  5. The Wisdom of Crowds.
  6. In the next decade much of the baby boom generation will be retiring. That means a huge number of people, a generation with a penchant for change, will suddenly have an enormous amount of time to think, to learn, to do things for reasons other than financial gain.
  7. Stories have immense power to change minds. We are learning the process of crafting astonishing stories.
  8. The Power of Community.
  9. In our search for models and leaders and inspirations, we are becoming skeptical of arrogance and glibness and the cult of personality, and looking instead for humility, honesty, flexibility, collaboration.
  10. A World of Ends. There is a large and growing appreciation that small and decentralized just works better. And is smarter and more agile.

I could take issue with a couple of these “reasons” — most importantly the power of retiring baby boomers. No offense, but you baby boomers have pretty much defined an era of greed, consumption, self-involvement that the world is going to be a long time recovering from. And there are just too many of you. Now, about my social security payments….

But the item in this list I’m particulary interested in is the power of storytelling. More on this soon, but I would love to figure out how to help activists learn to be better storytellers. I mean literally. Not better at “message” or at “framing” but better at telling a yarn. I think this may be a critical “missing skill” in our movement. Any ideas on how to structure such a training?

3 thoughts on “Reasons for optimism”

  1. Re: smart storytelling: I like steve denning’s book
    The Springboard
    . he analyses the key elements of stories that are persuasive,
    particularly in organizational settings. There’s a good outline of this at the back of the book.

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