Working towards a regenerative future? Tell a story that suports the narrative.
The Wave: Storytelling vs. Narrative
I've been pondering this David Hockney collage since I got to see it at the Getty Center in Los Angeles last September. It is an image of an intersection in a desert made up of hundreds of photographs.
It illustrates the difference between stories (the photos) and narrative (the whole picture). You can't have the whole picture without the stories, but no one story captures the whole narrative.
Like each photograph in Hockney's collage, each individual story carries its own perspective on the whole. It may have different emphases and priorities but still contributes to the big picture.
The distinction between stories and narrative has become clearer since we started releasing episodes for the Designers of Paradise podcast (if you haven't subscribed, please do!)
Each episode captures stories from people doing regenerative work. Whether it is Emily Oakley in Oklahoma organizing farmer-to-farmer exchanges or Wanda Stewart helping school kids in Oakland get their hands dirty or Mimi Hillenbrand in Montana working to preserve and strengthen genetic lines of American Bison. By stitching these stories together we begin to see what it will mean to have a truly regenerative future.
As Ann Badillo, et al, explain in their book Narrative Generation "Some narratives are so strong that they change our entire view of the world and make us question ideas we previously considered fact."
In The Wave I've been arguing that to accelerate our movement to a regenerative society we need three pieces:
I want to tweak item one. We need a motivating, shared "narrative" made up of compelling, well-told stories. While we all tell stories from our work, a shared narrative will help link us together - help people and organizations recognize each other and coordinate more easily.
We need a narrative that ties together our individual stories so we can better recognize and co-create our regenerative future.
Ann Badillo, principal author of Narrative Generation, is going to join us for a video conference discussion of narrative for regeneration on Friday April 27 at 9am PT. If you'd like to join the discussion, hit me up and I'll give you the details.
Erik & Mimi discuss a recent wildfire, the critical role using a holistic management system plays on her ranch, genetics of bison, improvements in soil quality, and the commitment (and learning) of her ranch team.
The conversation has a lot packed into it and will give you some idea of the scope and richness that will be Regen18 which Kevin describes as “beyond sustainability, beyond impact” to “coming back to life.”
We are very early in the process of defining what it means to build a regenerative society. While the terminology will continue to evolve, we're convinced the ideas are directionally correct. We are studying, testing, plotting, and building interest, support, and resources.
Thus this newsletter, which will come out every few weeks with information about RASA - narrating our work - along with brief observations and links to related materials exploring innovation and the regenerative economy.
With effort, and a bit of luck, we hope support for these concepts becomes a wave sweeping the world! Check out the archive to see if this newsletter is right for you (or a friend).
If you find this email valuable, please share with a friend. If you don't, please unsubscribe (link at the bottom.) We also much appreciate comments, advice, and suggestions for links to highlight.
PS's: 1. To subscribe to this weekly newsletter please go here > https://the-wave.ongoodbits.com/ 2. Don't call us spam bro! But you can unsubscribe (with the link at the bottom) 3. This newsletter is a service of RASA, the Regenerative Agriculture Sector Accelerator. 4. Please send questions or suggestions to David Witzel
David Witzel · The Window · Oakland CA 94606 · USA