Introducing: A Future Untold

Three mockups on a book on a white background. They are on a tablet, a paperback and a phone. The book is called “A Future Untold: The power of story to transform the world and ourselves” by Alina Siegfried
A Future Untold: The power of story to transform the world and ourselves — By Alina Siegfried

To solve these problems, I believe that we have to focus on telling new stories and shifting predominant social narratives about our relationships between ourselves, others, and the natural world around us. We need new guiding myths that comfort us, reassure us of our purpose, and act as a beacon of hope towards a better future.

Spiderman sitting in a brick archway, with a blurred city background, reading a book called “A Future Untold”
Why yes, that IS Spiderman reading A Future Untold!
  • The human functioning of our societies, communities, nations and world is underpinned by systems (Think: our economic systems of trade and financial exchange; our systems of eduction; the global, mostly industrial food system; government systems). These systems are all interconnected. To change harmful systems that aren’t working for us, we need to a) first recognise that a problem we are trying to solve is part of a wider system; and b) change the stories that lie beneath these systems.
  • Storytelling and story-listening as a yin & yang. We can’t do one without the other, and most of us are pretty bad at authentic, genuine, non-judgmental listening.
  • Coming to terms with how our stories of self and ancestral stories influence the way we see ourselves, and have come to shape our understanding of our place in the world — and what happens when we find our subconscious stories of self have actually been perpetuating harm through systemic racism and privilege.
  • Understanding when a story is ours to tell, and when we should step aside and let someone else tell their own story.
  • How the key to addressing rising polarisation is in understanding each others’ stories, and understanding how the power of story can be manipulated (intentionally or less so) to drive us apart.
  • The importance of collaborating with “strange bedfellows” — that is people who think differently from us who can bring unique perspectives to solving problems.
  • The story of my first epiphany about power of story, from a stage in the Canadian prairies 12 years ago… (yes, that’s a teaser. The epiphany I refer to in this article is #2).
  • A reclaiming of the word “myth” as a force for good, followed by ten new guiding myths for humanity that can shepherd us towards a future that is more regenerative, equitable, and just. These myths include shifting from the narrative of individualism to one of collectivism (“from me to we”); redefining our relationship with the natural world (“from tree to me”); facilitating the inclusion of indigenous knowledge and world views to solve systemic problems (“from west to the rest”); and thinking in much longer time frames than we have become accustomed to (“from now to forevermore”)

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