The coin of the realm, right? As it turns out, no. Facts—the hallmark of science, the great ender of debate or swayer of jury— do very little to change hearts and minds. “Facts are flaccid”, the facts themselves tell us.
Which explains why we are up at Four in the Morning on a bumpy road to the remote Belizan village of Santa Teresa. We can’t help our visionary clients — Barefoot College, Hogan Lovells — change the world for the better with silly old facts. We have to get the story.
Scientists hate this. A story is the worst possible fact, subject to aggrandizement and bias, colored by the less than reliable narrator, a story is an N of 1 which is, to use a scientific word, unreliable. But scientists call humans “the ghost in the machine” for a reason. In an otherwise predictable world where planets spin on time and most creatures act in habitual ways, humans run amok and do an infinite number of unpredictable things. We gum up the works of this thing called Earth like a crazy ghost with no clear plan.
So just as facts won’t persuade us, stories hold far more power than they should. They slither right past our gatekeeper minds and find a way to our hearts and cause us to think, believe and act in new and changing ways.
And just what needs changing? Well, everything really. Don’t take our word for it. The United Nations said so, going so far to list 17 critical goals for the survival of the planet that include things like poverty alleviation, environmental protections and empowerment of women. Where can you find innovative solutions changing the course of all three and many more of these critical world goals? We’re glad you asked. Right here in the middle of a Belizian village and over there where will be in a few days, a war-torn outpost of Guatemala and out on the lovely beaches of Mexico where the ocean has stopped being able to care for those who love it and live by it. Right where we are headed with one purpose in mind: to bring the story to you.
Can one woman change the word? We know she can. We have the facts to prove it, which we won’t bore you with. Instead we will share with you the story over the course of ten days.