The O initiative
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The O initiative


Change the story, change the world. That’s the plan.

I believe social change can be affected through storytelling as stories help us pursue agency and create collective identities that enable us to act.

When I first started The O initiative the story centered around creating an attractive fountain as an alternative to bottled water to help address plastic pollution.

Since then the story has expanded from engaging communities to create a shared art project to activating neighbourhoods to create a bold shared vision for the future.

To accelerate 🚀 the O initiative’s impact the story is evolving even further.

In my mind, small place-based missions are much easier to achieve than large national ones. So when we localise the mission and then repeat it over and over again on a national scale we will accelerate the systems transformation.

Rather than suffer from the inertia that comes with social issues that are too far removed from our lives, it’s better to focus on local successes that contribute to the bigger picture.

The O initiative framework is place-based and replicable with a tangible outcome; a local, customised O fountain that functions as a beacon for the shared local vision.

We activate communities to outline their own vision for change so they realise that together they can impact the big social issues — that’s the story that keeps driving me forward.



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Gretha Oost

I’m a product designer, innovator, and environmental advocate dedicated to creating sustainable art projects that are both functional and beautiful.