Four stories of the future

Four stories of the future

This matrix offers four narratives that we can often see or hear in our media, or in debates about how to respond to the climate and ecological emergency. The phrase ‘Rapid Drawdown’ refers to urgent reduction in global warming emissions, but also to other actions to mitigate threats to the biosphere.

Those with strong values or vested interests might prefer one of the stories, and resist the others. The more strongly that groups or media channels emphasise one of the stories, the fewer the possibilities for discussion or for finding solutions.


Either work through each of these stories in turn as a whole group, or allocate one story each to four groups. Bring them to life, or imagine them being promoted. What is the situation? Who is promoting the story? What are their values and interests? Why do they hold onto this story? 

Then, ask, which is the second story they are most likely to accept, if not promote? 

After each story has been brought to life (and shared with the whole group if need be), move on to the final question: 

Which story do we WANT to promote? Why? And how can we do this through our work?