The art of shared storytelling to invent the future

The art of shared storytelling to invent the future


That’s it, it’s the new year: we’re going to change the world! All the websites will operate in low-tech solar energy, we will retool our smartphones while drinking wild nettle beers in fablabs, black hat SEOs will take up web writing and Laurent Alexandre will retire from end of the year.
What do you mean, are we going to have to wait a little longer? ^^ While waiting for the revolution, here are some thoughts and ideas on the art of sharing the future with others.

But where to start ?

Last summer, while I watched the elected officials of Nouvelle Aquitaine debate the Neo Terra roadmap dedicated to the energy and ecological transition in plenary, I said to myself: “these measures will allow us to look to the future in a much more serene way, things are going in the right direction!” But how to implement such a project on a regional scale? ”

Imagine: eleven ultra-ambitious measures, from agroecological transition to business transformation, including the preservation of biodiversity and the renewal of energy sources! Eleven measures that require a complete rethinking of our infrastructure, our transport, our habits and our businesses in New Aquitaine. When we see the time it takes to ban plastic in a single family (I know what I’m talking about), it gives an idea of ​​the scope of the work to be done to embark almost 6 million inhabitants in a change of unparalleled scale!

Several major difficulties arise for those who want to accelerate the ecological transformation of a region like New Aquitaine, including these three priorities:

1- understanding the issues: studies show that only 15% of French people understand what greenhouse gases are! (source Hervé Le Treut, Acclimaterra). The work of information and popularization of scientific data is crucial, especially in these times of infobesity and fake news in which we read anything and everything. Read on this subject the excellent book by Anne-Sophie Novel published by Actes Sud editions “The media, the world and me. “

For most of us, too busy running to keep pace with our busy lives, climate change and the 6th species extinction boils down to eerie background noise. As the EELV vice president of New Aquitaine, Nicolas Thierry, writes in his book “Reconciling with the living”: “A slight oscillation of the CAC 40 generates more concern and reactions from our institutions than the cry of alarm from thousands of scientists. ”

Nothing will happen until the silent majority is convinced “in its guts” of the need to change its habits. However, the figures and explanations put forward by scientists seem far too distant from our daily lives. Humans don’t move until they are afraid and / or wanting. Sapiens’ brain is made like that, there’s nothing we can do about it.

2- a shared vision on the path to take for the company, the territory, the region, the city: for those who have fully integrated the risks, the question arises of knowing what exactly to do to navigate the murky waters of the future and keep their boat safe storms (which are sure to multiply according to IPCC scientists). And after participating in the joint drafting of a political program AND a professional code of ethics, I can tell you that getting everyone to agree is not easy. At the same time, is it that or China’s dictatorship 4.0.


(This is the cover page of the Code of ethics for content professionals

co-constructed by the members of the Kontnü association and presented at the Kontinüum conference, Le Pouvoir des mots.)

3- the material and human resources to initiate change : once the collective decision has been taken, the hardest part remains to be done! The hardest part is to stop criticizing by pointing fingers at the problems, roll up their sleeves, concretely implement the shared vision and train employees, elected officials and the public with you. In short, launch a positive dynamic capable of triggering real change.

Use the story to make people understand the issues

The first step requires rigor, empathy and pedagogy. You have to mix short and long formats, a classic journalistic approach and storytelling. In terms of video format, the shorter the better if we are to believe the favorite content of Internet users on the web! (At the same time, long videos are bad for our carbon footprint.)

4 minutes of explanation therefore seems like the time we are prepared to devote to understanding such complex subjects as global warming. It is an understatement to say that you have to weigh the words and structure your educational discourse to be able to convey the essential information in a minimum of time.

Understand global warming in less than 4 minutes:

And biodiversity:

Storytelling also appears to be an excellent option for making audiences understand the challenges of ecological transition and possible solutions. Because it makes it possible to speak directly to the part of the brain that makes the link between our emotions and our actions, rather than to the one that reasons.

As Arnaud Hacquin, founder of CATS – Cluster Aquitain du Transmedia Storytelling – writes, “ from our earliest childhood, we experiment to survive. With each experience, our body informs us of the dangerousness of a situation or of its benefits by activating neurotransmitters some of which are already familiar to us (endorphin, serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin). These neurotransmitters, by generating positive emotions (joy), well-being or pleasure, act as organic rewards and thus encourage the person to reproduce his behavior in order to trigger new shoots. Conversely, a dangerous situation or a negative experience can generate cortisone and adrenaline, two substances that the body hates, in order to prevent us from any desire to reproduce the situation. ”

One of the most gifted French narrators of his generation in France, it is the director, poet and writer Cyril Dion, notably with his film Tomorrow (which you have inevitably heard of, unless you have decided to withdraw from society in Sylvain Tesson mode or to live in the forest like the followers of fertile disobedience !) The analysis of his work reveals that he perfectly masters all the cogs of a good story (this will be the occasion of a future post of # Decryption).

Building a collective story in the workshop

One of my most beautiful professional experiences of recent years comes from the collective intelligence workshops. Done well, a day of workshop can move a group forward much more effectively and quickly than weeks and months of reflection. The relevance of the solutions found is often much better, but the biggest advantage lies in the construction of a culture, a vocabulary and common references on which we can rely to launch a collective dynamic or implement a change. strategic.

My best memories of stories shared so far are writing of the Dordogne Valley shared brand book, a portrait of the territory co-constructed with 70 inhabitants from very different departments and backgrounds, and the storytelling workshops “Bordeaux Respire! »Carried out in the municipal EELV campaign in Bordeaux.

EELV storytelling workshop

Putting storytelling at the service of a vision

No storytelling is not a horrible science of mind manipulation. It is a very effective communication technique, often misunderstood and very poorly mastered moreover (but this last point will be the subject of another post) which uses the narrative codes existing in the tale, the story and the mythology. . Well constructed and well used, storytelling allows those who master it to be heard quickly and effectively.

Telling stories from a solid narrative axis makes it possible to engage the members of his company, his institution, his territory in a solid collective project, which makes sense. Storytelling can take many forms, respect the codes of the genre to the letter or take one’s liberties, it works wonders for transmitting values, explaining one’s actions or initiating change. The greatest leaders of the world have used it successfully, whether it be Barack Obama or Steve Jobs, and it is now Carlos Ghosn who holds the palm for the best story of all time!

The shared story is a format particularly suited to the richness of the web media because it allows the story to be broken down into a mosaic of stories, carried by a multitude of characters and available on different channels and formats. Telling a coherent vision, constantly gives meaning to the actions of a company, an institution or a territory as I was able to explain in a dedicated conference meaningful storytelling for the Apacom association.

Storytelling & Interactive PLUME Sense of Eve Demange

I am not sure, as Rob Hopkins assures us, that “The imagination will save us” and the shared narrative alone does not have the power to change our world. But it can help us to see interesting solutions for the future, to think about them together and to realize them.

Best wishes to all for 2020! May imagination, creativity and writing help us invent an inspiring future 😊

For further
Tell your vision
Imagine 2040 by PLUME Interactive
We must adapt digital technology to the challenges of the century, The echoes.



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