Exactly a week ago, my TED Talk about Colour in Faith, a project about countering fear through social practice art was published. The talk is less than twelve minutes long but it took me a lifetime to prepare for it!
Those twelve minutes were prepared over months and days of working with my colleagues at Well Made Strategy, the TED curatorial team and wonderful Broadway choreographer Danny Mefford. I’m going to save you a lot of time and share a few useful tips from my experience.
A lot of think tanks and research organisations end up using a submarine strategy. They don’t do it deliberately. It’s just what happens, by default, in the absence of a communications strategy.
When it comes to advocacy, emotion can be more powerful than logic. At the UNEP Plastic Bag Ban Forum, I heard the horrific statistic that 24 million plastic bags are used monthly in Kenya, and that they take 700 to 1000 years to biodegrade. This means that not a single plastic bag has degraded yet! The fact that plastic is destructive to the environment, our health and other living creatures, is not new information. So, why aren’t we all behaving differently?
Next month Kenya goes to the polls, with national elections across the country. Everyone is hoping for peaceful politics and mass participation. But expectations are, it’s fair to say, cautiously realistic on both counts.
Terrorists use spectacular moments of death and destruction to create division and fracture communities. But can public art create equally spectacular moments of beauty and love, that can heal division and unite communities? That’s the subject of a new book, called ‘Art in the City’. The opening chapter of the book is authored by my colleague at Well Made Strategy, Nabila Alibhai.
Donald Trump believes that climate change was “created for and by the Chinese” and just signed an executive order putting an end to the ‘war on coal‘. Despite the consensus within the global scientific community that climate change is triggered by human activity, many people simply do not buy it. A new book that explores “the myth gap” explains that evidence and arguments (on their own) are not enough. Closer to home, persuasion is not just for salespeople; you may have to persuade donors to fund your amazing intervention, to persuade your boss to take on your brilliant idea or even persuade an entire community to adopt new behaviours.