A Future Untold: The power of story to transform the world and ourselves

· Systemic

About this ebook

Why can’t you understand those people who think so differently from you? Why have we failed to meaningfully address climate change despite 40 years of clear climate science? Why are so many of our systems of social support failing us? 

At the root of the answers to these questions lies the extraordinary power of story. The world is built upon stories - stories we believe about ourselves and others, narratives about “the way things are”, and myths that define our relationship to the world around us. Many of the stories and narratives that we subconsciously believe have led us down the dark path to rising inequality, food insecurity, unprecedented levels of polarisation, and ecological instability on a planetary scale. And because it was us - humans - who collectively authored these stories, it is us who have the power to change them. 

An entertaining and inspiring rallying cry, A Future Untold urges us to return to the most fundamental driver of human behaviour and culture setting – story. Drawing heavily from her experience in environmental advocacy, activism, political communications, spoken word, and the entrepreneurial sector, New Zealand National Poetry Slam champion Alina Siegfried (AKA Ali Jacs) translates the fundamentals of narrative change into authentic stories, entertaining anecdotes, new myths for humanity, and a handful of powerful poems to provide a call to action for everyday citizens who believe that we can build a better future together.

About the author

Alina Siegfried is a storyteller, narrative strategist, systems change advocate, TEDx speaker, and award-winning spoken word artist (stage alias Ali Jacs) from Wellington, New Zealand. Alina’s journey in storytelling and communications has taken her through environmental advocacy, political issues campaigning, social enterprise, crowdfunding, arts, and community development. In her role as the founding Communications Lead of New Zealand's Edmund Hillary Fellowship, she has helped bring together a global community of 500 world-leading entrepreneurs, investors, artists, and systems change leaders to develop transformative solutions to pressing global challenges. Alina lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Rockström is an internationally recognized scientist for his work on global sustainability issues. He helped lead the internationally renowned team of scientists that presented the planetary boundaries framework, first published in 2009, with an update in 2015. The nine planetary boundaries presented in the framework are argued to be fundamental in maintaining a “safe operating space for humanity.” This framework has been embraced as an approach to sustainable development, and has been used to help guide governments, international organizations, NGOs, and companies considering sustainable development.

Before focusing on the planetary scale, Rockström’s research aimed to address building resilience in water scarce regions, and is an expert on water resources. After completing a PhD at Stockholm University’s Systems Ecology Department in 1997, he spent nearly two decades working on applied water research in tropical regions. He has also published research on with agriculture systems, land use, and ecosystem services.

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