narrative

Insider

How To Engage Others

Especially when the audience is reluctant
Friday, June 22, 2018, 7:58 PM

Executive Summary

  • The power of narrative
  • Data vs Beliefs
  • Best practices for engaging reluctant audiences
  • Common pitfalls to be wary of

If you have not yet read Part 1: The End of Growth available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Talking to people about the ways in which we are killing off life on Earth is not easy.

Better people than I have thrown themselves at it and failed. James Hanson recently got to reflect on his 30-year attempt to use data to persuade governments and the public that climate change is real and dangerous. Looking back, Hansen now says that he regrets not being “able to make this story clear enough for the public.”

I think his shortcoming had nothing to do with making the case clearly enough, but instead was rooted in not appreciating how people don’t change their behavior based on data. We change our actions after our beliefs change.

As Mahatma Gandhi famously said:

(Source)

If we want a different destiny, either individually or collectively, then we have to shift the beliefs. That’s where it all starts.

In our seminars we often call this part “How to talk to a reluctant partner” but you could just as easily swap out “partner” with colleague, friend, neighbor, or family.

The main difficulty in communicating is that many people mistakenly believe... » Read more

Insider

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Life Beyond The Tipping Point

How to avoid the coming painful rendezvous with reality
Friday, May 29, 2015, 10:08 AM

Executive Summary

  • There is not nearly enough net energy to meet our growth expectations in our lifetime
  • We are past the "tipping point". A hard rendezvous with limits to growth will arrive in the next 2 decades
  • What you can do to avoid that pain that the majority undoutedly will face
  • Prepare for the current "mother of all bubbles" to burst soon

If you have not yet read, In Denial: We Pursue Endless Growth At Our Peril available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Energy Denial

It is said that you cannot explain water to a fish and I have nearly as difficult time trying to explain energy to people today. We are surrounded by it so completely it is difficult to properly appreciate.

But it is in every particle of food you eat, every piece of furniture in your house, every item you wear, and every trip you take -- are all 100% dependent on energy that came from somewhere and subsidizes every single item and action.

Fossil fuels are the vast majority of all the energy we use and, it cannot be repeated enough, they visibly and invisibly subsidize the so-called renewables, too. By that I mean solar and wind power cannot be generated until and unless the components are first manufactured and installed. And those activities are nearly 100% driven by fossil fuels today.

To grasp this more fully, watch this time-lapse video of a wind tower being installed and, while marveling at the ingenuity and speed of the team involved, think about where all of the components came from:


How were the cranes, bulldozers and trucks built? What fuels do they run on? How did all those workers get there? Who grew their food and how did they come to eat it? How are the roads they drove on built and maintained? How is concrete made and how did it all get to the job site? What do the factories and foundries run on that built the windmill? How far did each windmill component have to travel before arriving at the site?

The answer to all of those questions is... » Read more

Blog

Getting Our Story Straight is a Matter of Life & Death (Literally)

Good narratives lead to good decision-making
Sunday, May 12, 2013, 11:52 PM

The stories we tell ourselves have great influence over our destiny. These narratives shape our belief system and thus, in turn, the decisions we make.

Find yourself making poor choices? That's likely due to a fallacy in one or more of the beliefs you hold.

Psychology and social science has re-discovered this key learning: We can improve our odds of success in life by improving the stories we tell ourselves. » Read more