new stories for a different world
Effective strategies for social transformation involve the contest for how we think, how we see, and the stories we tell about our world. New stories, new thinking, help new worlds come into being. This training, designed by the Public Interest Research Centre, aims to help our movements to tell better stories for a different world.
We witness the power of narrative and story on a daily basis. Division and hatred are spread by the rightwing press, and sometimes by politicians. The issues of the day are quickly framed on social media. Historical stories provide deep undercurrents of understanding of our national and global psyches. And, within this ecosystem, our movements are also telling stories of need and despair, hope and change: think Greta and the school strikers, campaigners for marriage equality, or the Movement for Black Lives.
But how can we be sure that the stories we are telling—the way we are communicating the issues we care about—are effective? How do we know that they are catching people’s attention, engaging, motivating, building our movements for change, and ultimately creating change?
The training will focus on the role of framing in work on climate justice and tackling the rise of the far right in Europe. It will draw on PIRC’s work on Framing Equality, Framing the Economy, and their recent Framing Climate Justice research project.
In the training, we’ll explore the process for developing effective narratives. We’ll demystify the terms around story, framing and narrative and take a whistle-stop tour through the theory behind the framework. And we’ll move through developing a vision, understanding the narrative landscape, and creating and testing new routes through this landscape.
In detail, the training will cover:
- Understanding framing as a movement process
- Community-building through vision development
- Building clarity on goals and our core story
Understanding the narrative landscape
- Understanding narrative as popularly and often deeply-held beliefs
- Exploring existing narratives
- Exploring methods for investigating existing narratives
Developing new frames
- How to develop new ways of communicating issues
- Guiding principles for effective communications
- Getting creative
- The importance of testing our communications
- The accessibility of testing
- The multitude of methods of testing
The training will be participatory and practical throughout.
Participants can expect to gain:
- Practical understanding of framing and narrative,
- Skills in participatory narrative development,
- Tools to analyse the narrative landscape around an issue,
- Methodologies for creating and testing communications.
“It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are. They do their work in silence, invisibly. They work with all the internal materials of the mind and self. They become part of you while changing you. Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world.”
—Ben Okri, Author