As consumer technology evolves at an ever-quickening pace, opportunities for new forms of storytelling are emerging. Experimentation is all well and good, but what do audiences actually want? To answer this question, research group Latitude has interviewed 158 early adopters and compiled a report that forms the first phase of its The Future of Storytelling project.
Unsurprisingly, these early adopters are keen to take advantage of everything that technology has to offer. Their key demands are summarized in Latitude’s report as ‘The 4 I’s': Immersion, Interactivity, Integration and Impact. Essentially, they want to be able to explore a story in greater depth, and have it reach out of the confines of a single medium and play out in ‘the real world’....
"I became an “environmentalist” because of a strong emotional reaction to wild places and the other-than-human world: to beech trees and hedgerows and pounding waterfalls, to songbirds and sunsets, to the flying fish in the Java Sea and the canopy of the rainforest at dusk when the gibbons come to the waterside to feed. From that reaction came a feeling, which became a series of thoughts: that such things are precious for their own sake, that they are food for the human soul, and that they need people to speak for them to, and defend them from, other people, because they cannot speak our language and we have forgotten how to speak theirs. And because we are killing them to feed ourselves and we know it and we care about it, sometimes, but we do it anyway because we are hungry, or we have persuaded ourselves that we are."
Dan McAdams, a narrative psychologist at Northwestern University, studies the personal life stories of people. His research shows that our personal identities do not come from personality traits or the issues that concern us at any particular time in our lives. Our identities come from the stories we tell (often unconsciously) that bring the episodes of life together into a coherent unity. These stories incorporate our concerns and express our interpretations of inherited dispositions (e.g. outgoing and sociable), but do not become an identity until they are brought together into a narrative.
This is where we can begin to think about the cultivation of ‘green’ identity. It has to do with the stories we tell ourselves about how we relate to our communities, purchases, nature, and so on.
A major obstacle to the environmental movement has been the use of stories to discredit environmental concerns. A heavily funded series of campaigns have been waged to paint environmentalists with negative stereotypes.
Daniel Suelo's decision to live without money was conceived on a backpacking trip to Alaska in 1998. He writes,
"Thus began a hypothesis of why wild nature’s economy is balanced while the commercial economy is not and can never be. I saw that nature is a constant free current – a true currency, that is. Money and possession represent our control, our interruption, of nature’s current, both in our minds and in our environment."
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