By Alice Sachrajda and Marzena Zukowska , co-authors of New Brave World, produced with the support of Unbound Philanthropy. With thanks to Shaun Campbell at Studio Scamps for the fantastic design of the New Brave World report and the stunning illustrations!

We all know the feeling: You’re part way through a riveting television series completely captivated by the characters as the story unfolds. Or, controller at the ready, you’re all set to immerse yourself in a fantasy gaming world, which you alone have the ability to direct. Or, popcorn in hand, you’re getting stuck into a recently released film that everyone has been talking about. 

All of these experiences lead us into a captivating lull, an absorbing state of mind that we love to experience. There is tremendous power encapsulated in these moments. Instead of feeling like we’re being directly communicated to through a megaphone, we feel like we’re unwrapping a gift. We experience a heady curiosity that appeals to our imagination and intelligence. Clever creatives weave their storytelling magic in powerful, even addictive ways. They give you two plus two, not four, and we simply cannot get enough of it. 

There is a collective power too. We become part of a community – or a fandom – who are all experiencing the same narrative. Together our minds open up to new scenarios and ideas. Aficionados of Game of Thrones (described as the biggest and most popular show in the world) will be familiar with Tyrion Lannister’s perceptive words in the series finale, which capture this sentiment exactly: 

“What unites people? Armies? Gold? Flags? Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story. Nothing can stop it. No enemy can defeat it.”

Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

So, what does this mean to those of us who are striving for social justice? How can we tap into this tremendous source of collective narrative energy and use it to scale social change? 

Continue reading “Power of Pop: How popular culture drives power, opportunities and potential for social change”