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Why we need new narratives and strategies to save the environment

The fatalist-gloomy-future narrative around climate change hasn’t been compelling to mobilise enough individuals and communities for change. In response, new organisations are emerging with positive narratives and more complex strategies to tackle ‘the problem’ of our generation.

We asked Cacau Araujo for the details behind this change in environmental discourse and strategy. She is part of Alana –a Brazilian socio-environmental NGO– and Believe.Earth –a global Movement born in Rock in Rio in 2017, that promotes positive stories of individuals and their environmental revolutions. Their goal is to inspire and show that a better world is possible if we all believe in it.

Cacau was one of our speakers at FutureFest, an event where we ran explorative discussions on the future of work in July 2018.

What is the key to building better narratives around climate change without falling into wishful thinking?

We discuss this a lot because it is the most common feedback we receive when presenting our optimistic approach. We try to convey positive narrative as a strategy. Nonetheless, to avoid falling into a wishful thinking trap, we continuously acknowledge the problem and back it up with science. Every time we talk about building solutions, creating narratives and addressing social and environmental issues, we use science as an ally.

We focus on an optimistic discourse because we need a new breath of fresh air; otherwise we wouldn’t be able to keep going. Negative discourses are a slippery slope towards cynicism, where people would stop trying to enforce change because they can’t see the point.

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