The Story of Change
Director: Annie Leonard
Review by Christiana Söderberg
Annie Leonard is well known among environmentalists. In 2007 she launched her first animated clip called The Story of Stuff, which highlighted the fundamental flaws of our wasteful consumer society.
She has since produced a series of short animations about more ‘stuff’ (bottled water, cosmetics, etc) and is back with The Story of Change. In this latest offering, Leonard makes a plea for us to stop acting primarily as consumers and to embrace our roles as responsible citizens.
There are three important ingredients for creating tangible change, she says. The first is having a big idea – even if it doesn’t seem doable now, you’re allowed to dream. The second is forming a community around your idea and the third is turning it into action.
Leonard points out we are better equipped than ever to bring about real change, with social media enabling us to connect like never before. She finishes by asking what kind of changemaker the viewer is, reminding us of the many opportunities for us each to make a unique contribution.
This is my favourite presentation from The Story of Stuff Project because it raises some key environmental issues, including the fact that we can’t shop our way to a greener world and that attempting an eco-perfect life in today’s dysfunctional economic system is more or less impossible. In Leonard’s own words: “It’s like trying to swim upstream when the current is pushing us all the other way.”
The overriding message is that we need to create a new story, not only one about practical change but about ourselves and who we want to be – a story which will reach out beyond the green and already converted, to include the whole world in all its beautiful diversity.