senior executive vice president | principal
Voice: Shifting Narratives to Create a Just and Sustainable World
Shifting narratives to create a just and sustainable world
Narrative shapes our mindsets, what we see as normative, what we accept without challenge, and what we tolerate (or actively promote and protect) in the systems, policies and practices that surround and impact us.
The narratives we accept—and the narratives we reject—reveal something about ourselves, the world we see, and the change we seek to create or the status quo we strive to protect. For example, depending on the narratives we embrace, the forced migration occurring on an unprecedented global scale is either a humanitarian crisis that requires compassionate help for displaced people as part of a global community, or a slippery slope that invites disruption and violence into our own countries and dilutes our cultural identity. Public health is either the world’s best hope of achieving lasting health improvements for people, or an invitation for government intrusion in our private lives. Global climate change is either a proven fact requiring urgent and sustained action, or an unsound theory pushed by environmental alarmists and anti-business extremists.
In these and countless other instances, narrative is a way of seeing—the world, issues, other people—that is accepted as true by a critical mass of people. And this way of seeing informs what we accept as normative, what we think, what we believe and what we do. The narratives we accept as true also shape our response to our own lived experience, and become narratives that we sustain and advance through our own storytelling.