#31 Storytelling and Sustainability

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How does storytelling help sustainability?

Ravinol Chambers is an Irish born entrepreneur, film maker and a former monk who helps those making a positive difference in the world bring their stories to life. He is the founder of the multi-award winning Be Inspired Films and a strong believer in the power of business for social change.

Ravinol has been on an eighteen hundred kilometer auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk) journey from Mumbai to Kanyakumari (southernmost tip of India), shooting a documentary along the way. It was a road movie with a purpose to explore the issue of girls’ education in India today through the people he met along the way.

Storytelling and Sustainability

By using stories, sustainability can be removed from the organisational, company line type and be made more personal and real.Storytelling puts sustainability into real life context so that people relate to it more.

Storytelling puts sustainability into real life context so that people relate to it more.

Not enough organisations have embraced it yet, but it is a massive opportunity to make sustainable more mainstream.

Key Advice

Organisations should align to a clear, focused story around sustainability.

The best organisations are ones that don’t just do something to offset or to mitigate what they are doing, but they find something that is truly aligned to their actual purpose.

Questions like ‘does my company actually exist in the world to do anything more than just make money?’ ‘does it have an impact in the world?’ are good to consider while framing a story.

The recent global sustainability goals are good to choose from. It is also important to be real and honest. People connect more with organisations that are honest about their failures, and their future goals.

The story should involve people around, and it should be personal. A good way is to have it told through the narrative of a person who is impacted by the work the organisation is doing.

Implementing Sustainability

On 2015, Be Inspired Films was certified as a B Corp. It gave a benchmark in different areas like:

– how the staff is looked after,
– the company culture,
– how the purchasing was done,
– the kind of organisations Be Inspired Films worked with,
– where the flow of capital went,
– what is the environmental policy,
– how recycling is done.

Committing to a formal, certified system helps in measuring sustainability, and thereby helps your sustainability impact grow.

Impact on Daily Life

In his day to day life, Ravinol feels further committed to sustainability. He has been moving sustainability into more areas of his life – where he spends his money on, the products he buys etc., to be a part of the change.

Ravinol thinks that if each of us just change the way we spend money, businesses would change overnight.

Nature Memory

A walk in the woods one evening when the sun was setting behind a hill and filled the whole place with golden sunlight. Getting in to nature reminds Ravinol of a bigger sense of connection and a feeling of being part of nature.

He thinks when one feels connected to nature, it is much more difficult to commit acts of violence on anyone or anything.

Takeaway from this episode

Be aware of the idea of connection – connection to self, connection with others, connection with nature.

Ravinol most admires

Tribhuvanath – a monk and friend. A daring, brave and wonderful person.
Russell Brand – Comedian
Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla Motors
Jay Shetty – Vlogger
Glen Hansard – Musician and friend

Ravinol admires all of them for the same reason – they are empowered and each of them is utilising it for a higher purpose.

Ravinol’s Favourite Resources 

Business in the Community
Pioneers Post – Online magazine by Matter & Co
B Corporation

People mentioned in the Interview

Mallen Baker – Blogger
Prince EA

If each of us just change the way we spend our money, then business would change overnight.Ravinol Chambers
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