Many social change battles are won or lost at the level of story. The recent hardening of offshore processing shows the persistence of one story about asylum seekers and Australian sovereignty, even in the face of a High Court challenge. Conversely, the impact of a Four Corners expose on livestock export policy shows the way a compelling story can cut through ‘business as usual’.
How can campaigners capture the power of story-telling to intervene in public debate, craft meaningful tactics which resonate in the community, and come up with messages that spread virally?
Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning of smartMeme have worked for many years on precisely these questions. Their book Re:Imagining Change – How to use story-based strategy to win campaigns, build movements, and change the world outlines what they have learnt and how it can be utilised. Two recent reviews give a useful overview of the book: by Jason Harle and Michelle Stewart on Dark Matter, and on the Cultural Organizing blog.
To learn more come along to the Introduction to Story-based Strategy at the first Melbourne Campaigners’ Network event, from 6pm Thursday 6 October at the Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne. Copies of Re:Imagining Change will be available for sale for $15.