A friend of mine started a new job recently and when I saw her last Thursday for our first community choir rehearsal of the year, I asked her how it was going. ‘I like the job, but the problem is, there just aren’t enough people to communicate change.’ She works in the public sector in enterprise education and her insight got me thinking.
The evidence is all around us, most of us know the changes we need to make in order to rebuild our world; to change the linear economy into a circular one where resources and responsibility are shared; to relinquish our consumerist lifestyles for healthier sustainable ones and by being part of connected, inclusive communities bring meaning and happiness to our lives. Given the enormity of these changes, perhaps our biggest practical challenge is needing enough people to communicate change? I wonder, can public speaking, or positive communication change the world?
I have spent the last three years working on a coffee-table book called Generation Share. Part social commentary, part documentary, part visual story, Generation Share brings the stories of the change-makers building the Sharing Economy to world attention for the first time. With over 200 people on all continents, interviewed for Generation Share, what has become apparent to Sophie Sheinwald (photographer and book co-creator) and myself is that for every jaw-dropping change-maker story we feature, there are many, many more out there to tell.
On my travels as a public speaker, I give keynotes to audiences ranging from artists and bankers to social entrepreneurs and zoologists. As a public speaker, I have the opportunity to inform, influence and educate. I talk about change-makers, social innovation and the Sharing Economy. I offer insights and inspiration, reveal human stories, new business models and how each of us has the power to accumulatively change the world by making meaningful changes to the way we think, live and do business. I have long believed that positive communication is the key to a better world.
Each of us has the power to communicate change every day. It’s not about being on a stage, though of course that’s an opportunity. It’s about communicating positively with our colleagues, leading by example, making those small changes to our every day lives that will help sustain the planet and sharing positive stories of change-makers to our friends, families and communities.
If you are looking for some inspiration, check out these 11 TED talks to inspire world change. But you don’t have to be a public speaker to bring about change; we can all communicate positive stories and actions. As my friend said, given the challenges we face today, we need more people to communicate change.
Generation Share will be published by Policy Press on June 17th for Global Sharing Week. If you are interested in behaviour change and want to take part in my #CHANGE! project email me firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation on Twitter #CHANGE! @benitamatofska and if you haven’t already, take my 1-minute survey and find out if answering a survey can change the world.