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Using stories to encourage action

These guidance materials (including a video) show the value of storytelling and provide insights and inspiration for creating motivating narratives for your own situation and audience.
Multiple Authors
Blue sky above a steep rock face, with the word 'story' above.
The power of stories…
  • Level: Introductory
  • Time commitment: 5 minutes
  • Learning product: Guidance (video)
  • Sector: Multi-sector
  • Language: English
  • Certificate available: No

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!

This video has been produced as part of the PLAtform for Climate Adaptation and Risk reDuction (PLACARD) project: Expanding the information and knowledge management framework to support sustainable institutional cooperation in CCA and DRR. PLACARD shares knowledge and enhances collaboration between the climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) research, policy and practice communities. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Framework programme. Grant agreement No. 653255.

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