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Future sustainability leaders to nurture their inner storyteller

(The following article originally ran in Sustainable Brands news)  Park Howell, president of Phoenix-based brand strategy and marketing firm Park&Co, also heads the Communications thread of the Arizona State University School of Sustainability’s Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership (EMSL) program. Under Howell’s direction, the program replaces communications theory with “communications commandos.” We spoke with Howell about tapping into our innate storytelling instinct and how the Story Cycle can be utilized by brands in their marketing efforts and by sustainability executives to enact change…

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How I got myself unceremoniously fired on Basecamp by my self-publisher

I need some help with self-publishing. And apparently at communicating. I was working with a local group to publish my new book, Story Built. But they terminated me. That’s not the half of it. I was fired on Basecamp. Basecamp! Now I know what you’re thinking: “Basecamp is for project management, not a platform for meaningful creative conversation about how to best publish the blood, sweat and tears one puts into writing a book. And especially not a place to…


Patagonia’s Director of Philosophy shares the power of authentic storytelling with students of new Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership program at ASU

I have been in advertising for 30 years, and our agency has celebrated many successes turning creative campaigns into meaningful movements that matter. But the democratization of social media, the onset of the global recession, the growing distrust of authority, and the burgeoning Millennial class have prompted a rapid evolution in the ways newly empowered and emboldened consumers choose to communicate. Therefore, to rise above the cacophony of the attention economy, we have created the Story Cycle to help brands better…


New Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership program launches at ASU

The movie I recommended more than most last year was Finding Joe. It was created by the Joseph Campbell Foundation as an inspirational documentary on how we all travel a hero’s journey: providing we have the guts to follow our bliss. Whether we live an epic life, or a snoozer, is strictly up to us. Campbell, who passed away in 1987, was America’s foremost mythologist who coined the term the hero’s journey. He described a common sequence of events found in stories from…

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Virgin America spins culture out of compliance through storytelling

Southwest Airlines got it first. They turned the compliance exercise of robotically spewing flight safety information to its passengers into funny stand-up routines. Industry folk thought its was alarming. Weary travelers found it disarming. Chief sustainability officers and executives can learn a lot from Southwest, not to mention this new airline safety video from Virgin America, about turning compliance into culture. Let’s face it, if you’re going to spur significant change in the operations of your organization to benefit people,…

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