Using stories to encourage action

Submitted by Stephanie Ferguson | published 21st Apr 2020 | last updated 27th Jan 2022

Climate Adaptation Training Annotation

  • Level: Introductory
  • Time commitment: 5 minutes
  • Learning product: Guidance (video)
  • Sector: Multi-sector
  • Language: English
  • Certificate available: No
The power of stories…

Why stories?

Encouraging people to prepare for the consequences of extreme weather events or the climate crisis can be difficult – the scale of the issue is daunting. Awareness of the impacts is increasing, but how can we spark action from that knowledge? Through stories…

A strand of work from the Horizon 2020 PLACARD project focuses on using stories and narratives in the context of climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR). Through a series of workshops and discussions, the project developed material to explain the value of storytelling, and guidance on how to create motivating narratives for your own situation and audience. This video on Using stories to encourage action is part of this material, together with the following:

Listening to stories produces chemical changes in our brains, which release oxytocin, the hormone that causes us to care about the people involved. This chemical stimulation is why sharing personal stories is the fastest way to bond with people, and why storytelling can encourage behavioural change.

Through the emotional connections created within a story, we can inspire people to think differently and more positively about difficult subjects, helping them to be better prepared for whatever the future climate brings.

Discover more about PLACARD’s work on stories and narratives – or cook up your own story with the help of the story recipe book!

Further resources