What Green Story Are We Going To Tell? And Who Get's To Tell It?


photo: chatirygirl/Creative Commons

Since the theme of the latest TEDxEast, just held at the Times Center in midtown Manhattan, was 'Tinker, Noodle, Obsess' let's do that for a little bit and noodle on a theme that really stood out for me from all the 18-minute talks.

Keep in mind that this wasn't presented explicitly or implicitly with environmental themes, but I think it's there to be found, with just a slight shift in focus.David Binder, referencing his experience putting together the first Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun asks: Who gets to tell the story?

Expand it out a bit and twist it. What stories do we want to tell? And twist it again. What reality do we want to create? Focus that through the lens of environmentalism and sustainability and ask yourself, ask ourselves, what stories are we going to create about the world around us today, as well as how do we want to interpret past actions, and future ones?

Is it going to be a story in which the dominate characters continue to be corporations, persons created out of legal fiction with no ethics save those of narrowly defined profit for shareholders, stakeholders be damned? Is it going to be a tale populated by with a shockingly small amount of winners and a whole cast of losers viz the current income inequality in the United States and the resultant political disenchantment combined with two-party gridlock? Is this story going to continue to be built upon a the impossibly shaky foundational assumption that economies can grow and grow forever, disregarding very real ecological boundaries?

Binder's point is a good one in that it's worth remembering that, though there may be inertia and reluctance to try something new, as well as an element of risk for sure, ultimately through our thoughts and actions (or inaction) we actively create the world around us.

Let's make sure we tell the right story.

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