Society today faces unprecedented climate challenges. Yet many people either do not believe this is a real threat, or they don’t want to do anything about it. Much of the resistance to facing these challenges comes from fear and beliefs that are a result of outdated stories. Therefore, if we begin to update our narratives surrounding climate change, the result may have a tremendous positive impact on the future of businesses, societies, and our planet.
Our guest on this week’s show knows how important story is in regards to the decisions we make and the way we see the world. Dr. George Basile, Biophysicist and Professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, has followed his curiosity and passion for science since he was a boy. Through his work as a biophysicist, professor and marketer, Dr. Basile has discovered just how closely science and story go hand in hand.
Story is like physics, it has an energy and force all its own. ~Dr. George Basile
He leverages his knowledge of the physical world combined with his experience in consumer psychology to help organizations understand how to make more socially- and sustainably-responsible decisions. But this hasn’t been easy. Because most organizations have a story challenge.
“Right now, our organizations have an industrial story where nature is a subset of businesses, which are a subset of society. So, nature is just there for you to use and it actually does not have a ton of value until you use it,” according to Dr. Basile.
While this industrial narrative is antiquated and may well lead our planet to ruin, there are more companies viewing nature as a resource to nurture. Sustainable timber and fisheries, responsible cultivation and rejuvenation of agriculture and the move to solar and other renewable energies show that we can reframe nature from a resource to devour to one that is more important to our balance sheet than all other corporate assets combined.
Topics Discussed in this Episode
- Learn why storytelling as the most powerful organizing force in your business
- Explore the thermodynamics of story
- How Albert Einstein’s thought experiments were little stories that created enormous impacts
- How JFK rallied the nation with a story to land America on the moon
- Examples of companies with successful sustainability stories
Resources & Links
- The Natural Step
- The Executive Masters of Sustainability Leadership
- Moon Shot – JFK and Space Exploration
- Origin Story: A Big History of Everything by David Christian
- Arizona State University School of Sustainability
- 10 Minutes with George Basile
- Dr. George Basile’s Linkedin
- Dr. George Basile’s Twitter