The missing Climate Change persona....
It's been a while. An embarrassingly long while since I was at your school for the GIN day and we talked about climate change. Afterwards, I left you with some homework: which persona are you, which one is missing, and when do you feel hope about Climate Change? Here I reflect on your answers and introduce to you Rayowa, the new character that you inspired me to!
When I studied your responses, I noticed that many of the personas described actually already exist, with minor differences, in the ones I already had. But it got me thinking and I decided to plot them across three scales to see if I didn't have a blind spot anyway. The result is on the right.
Making the graph made me realize that the 'green' personas had much more positive values than the 'red' ones. So I played with the graph until it felt more balanced. This graph will help me fine tune the backstories, and your comments made this happen!
In your responses you also missed a 'normal' likable persona. And even though I made my personas extreme on purpose, it made perfect sense! So I introduce you to Rayowa. She's a positive, curious teenager, not knowledgeable yet, but not dismissive either. Learning and kindness are natural to her. And by the way, her name means 'life'.
Hope and inspiration
Many of you felt hope when it's visible that things are changing. When you see people around you 'do stuff', when governments get together and sign important agreements. A few of you also feel hopeful because of you own contributions. All of these are proven ways of feeling more empowered and hopeful. You have to be able to SEE it.
Yet that's also the main thing we struggle with. Being visible about what we believe in the first place. Nobody wants to be the crazy, different one. Being part of your social group and remaining that way is simply the way we're wired to function.
I've spoken to many people about this issue, and for many people having conversations about climate change and environmental destruction with others is hard. Many of them have been doing this for years. They became tired of having arguments with people they care about, with little impact to show for it.
I can say this from personal experience too! I used to be so angry about the world that when I stopped venting my opinions, I magically started having friends again :)
The Quantum Mechanics of Fun
The challenge is then is not to hide yourself, but not be judgmental either. You can be who you are, show what you believe in..... AND be kind and understanding.
I leave you with three tips:
- Invite others to talk about climate change by mostly listening (see video).
- Share your own doubts and fears and mistakes. Show you're not perfect.
- But most importantly: share the fun you're having while meeting new people and being an empowered young citizen! Fun attracts!
The old personas...
Not convinced? Then read their background stories first.