Late last year I wrote about going on a quest to find new stories about climate change and possible future scenarios that might occur because of it.
Somewhere (and I’ve no idea where now) I read that stories that depict dystopian futures turn people off. Rather than galvanizing people into action they tend to lead to paralyzing depressions and feelings of powerlessness.
When I googled a question about finding new stories I discovered many articles about our need for new stories – not just about climate change but new stories about politics, economics, new cultural stories, stories about disability that don’t focus on overcoming disability, stories about sustainable agriculture and industry … the list goes on and on.
I read an article in the Guardian Newspaper about a group of concerned individuals who have created a collection of new fairy stories that deal with current issues such as climate change and refugees here
The article concludes with the statement –
“Most tales, at some level, present a rite of passage through difficulty to maturity, awareness or resolution. Now, more than ever, it feels like we need new tales to lead us through our troubling times.”
I kept searching online and found a comprehensive article about the power of story and why we need new ones using stories to change systems The author, Ella Saltmarshe, writes –
“Systems change can involve painting compelling visions of alternative futures. We can use story to create immersive scenarios of the future that engage people on an emotional and intellectual level. This work can make the possible feel more probable, bring new perspectives that challenge the goals and mindsets of a system, and enable the transformation of rules and processes.”
Further searching led to this article about the role of science fiction in envisioning new, positive futures – https://rethink.earth/can-science-fiction-reimagine-the-future-of-global-development
Reading these and other articles I concluded that the first steps towards creating a better world lie in imagining just what that world would look like.
My quest to find new stories continues but at least now I have defined what I am searching for and why.