Storytelling is an ancient practice, but it has become a popular word lately.
It seems that everyone — from marketing/branding professionals to leadership trainers, political movers and shakers, academics, techies, and even counter-terrorism agencies — is interested in storytelling and more broadly, the power of narratives. Each group uses storytelling to serve its own interests and further its agenda. Story then serves as a tactical tool.
As someone who taught rhetoric and persuasive writing for years, I recognize this desire to use storytelling as a persuasive tool. Something that is, at the best of times, used to convince people. And at a worst of times, to manipulate or deceive. How do we use emotional story arcs, characters, conflict etc. to make people buy our product/ideology/candidate etc.
But at the end of the day, we cannot talk about story without thinking about power.
For the environmental movement, too, there is also growing awareness of the critical power and factor of narrative. At Greenpeace, the Story Team is interested in building a truly democratic, inclusive and ground-up process for storytelling.