(CC) Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash

Manifest for a Story Revolution (II)

Start writing the stories our planet needs right now!

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew” ~ Marshall McLuhan

The ‘Gentle Revolution’ Manifest for Stories Our Planet Needs Right Now

I. Create narratives that are bedded into reality as a whole.

Show the truth, not calming propaganda. Show interconnectedness between one persons fortune and many other people’s sweat, sickness and exploitation. All wrongs are also systemic wrongs, where one wrong supports other wrongs. Share weavings of interconnectedness, not naive blind bubbles of distraction. Show how individual stories are related to those many others and how our world is one interwoven place. Look more at nature. A forest is an intricate deeply interwoven community of many different life forms more alive than any big city. Big cities are not pinnacles of civilisation, but concrete wastelands too often contributing in destroying our collective nest, earth. And we can only see that, when we understand the whole. So be inclusive to all that lives, other humans, animals, all forms of life. And they all share this one planet.

II. Create narratives that deepen our connectedness with the world around us.

Show that we are part of nature. That we’re all crew of planet earth. Show how all people matter, could matter, not just the ‘leaders’ or main characters. Show that a healthy planet is a fundament for everything else. Tell stories that help deepen the sense of the connection. Tell stories that help your audience find it. And do something with it, for it.

III. Create images of a world you’d love to live in and show how we can get there.

Show lives that put simple loving experiences over hard work for more stuff. Show success not as getting rich, but in building meaningful relationships. Show stories of inspiring changemakers collaborating to make a difference that matters.

IV. Show stories of humans working together to make shift happen, and or solve a huge international crises.

Show the best of humanity successfully facing current day issues, including some stepping stones the narrator believes will bring hope. Create narratives that (start to) help change systemic wrongs, not just individual cases. Show how money in politics and media allowed to lie hurt society as a whole. Show collectives filled with normal people winning the day together. Like, how did slavery end? How did women get the vote? How to get the news honest? How to get money out of politics? How to get the rich to pay taxes?

V. Show how and what we have to resolve within ourselves to make it work.

Show how even many well intended people (not one evil crook) can create mountains of hurt as well. Show how that can happen to all of us, when we don’t have some bigger perspective, no empathy, just follow rules (order is order), or cling to an ideology over effective pragmatism. And I don’t mean soft core Christian movies here, I mean hardcore Charles Dickens for our times. I mean social conscious narratives, or satire of people willing to self reflect and seek answers together that work.

VI. Challenge your audience to rethink, wonder, question their own convictions.

I know, I know your audience often wants more of the same. And or your producers. hey, let’s not change a success formula. And yes, the next Hallmark movie prefers to have no surprise at all. Meanwhile the big productions always claim something is ‘totally new’. Their makers proudly claim, “.. this, what we offer, has never been done before.” Sigh. Start with convention, then move into really new territory, beyond gimmicks. Let players stumble over expected tropes. Like, let players kill all monsters in an action RPG and then discover all nature dies, because the monsters mattered for the whole ecosystem.

VII. Diversify paradigms within your narrative.

Series often put one tension at the core. Is your audience stupid? Do they need to be stupefied with simplified realities? Take Game of Thrones. After series one we already know, it’s all about who ends up in power. All moves are strategic. Same with so many other series, scheme within scheme and everyone vies for ‘our’ heroes to end up on top. In reality some don’t care about power. Some challenge power. Some walk away from power. The whole chess board politics is a saddening game driven by human ape rock addictions. Why not tell how to liberate us from such addicted people? Why not make it a tension between those who want to lead and those with the integrity and wisdom, who deserve to lead?

VIII. Stop protecting what damages. Stop advertising what has destructive sides, hidden in the shadows. Rather expose them.

Not all that glitters is gold. Stop making corporations with great profits, crony capitalists into heroes. Especially when they can’t be honest exactly how and where those profits come from. Who will end up paying the true costs of their extractive behaviour? Don’t protect economic interests, political colours over what is essential and true for all of us. Don’t make corporate games all about growth, add consequences for environmental destruction. Not as a mandatory add on or gimmick (like Civ VI), but into the core of the system. Show steps forward and if you want action, show how to bring down corporations who put greed over our collective future. Show how to change laws that protect polluters into laws that makes them pay. Make narratives that make real criminals, real polluters and profiteers worry, let alone look in the mirror.

Here’s another way to check your story solutions of set up, to see whether the provided answers, advice is inclusive and helps us forward on all levels.



Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

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Floris Koot

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.