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The Story of Solutions

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A Wall of Fame dedication goes to the Story of Stuff Project* for their recent Story of Solutions video.

In this short 10-minute cartoon narrated by Annie Leonard, instead of just giving the listener the depressing facts about impact of our current consumer addiction, she introduces the concept of being "the game changer."

“…what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet? Shouldn’t that be what winning means?”

Taking it quite literally, this video displays the outdated game of consumerism as illustrated by game characters crazily building with symbolic puzzle game pieces labeled with overgrowth markers like "malls" and "model homes" all leading to the end prize: "MORE". Annie then points to a different game outcome: "Better." Now, all the game characters have puzzle pieces leading toward the new prize with more community based aspects like "car sharing" and "food cooperatives."

It's time to stop trying to go against the current system, and take actions that not only transform the current system we’re in, but actually create a totally new game.

What if we didn't view existing profit based and damaging systems as obstacles that we had to "combat"?  Game changing actions start with a game-changing paradigm. From a space of infinite possibilities, communities have created amazing solutions. From tool sharing programs at local libraries, and online bartering and sharing systems-people are finding ways to build momentum such that we can impact profit margins of mega companies.

Finally, we must transform our language about ourselves. I intend that we can call ourselves "conservers" rather than “consumers” within the new game. It's asking bold questions that will get us there. It's not always about having the supreme solution immediately, rather, the inquiry and inclusive community that are most crucial.

*"The Story of Stuff" is an honest and understandable 20-minute cartoon narrated by Annie Leonard found at  www.storyofstuff.org. These engaging and visually dynamic shorts, brought to you by Free Range Studios and Funders Workgroup for Sustainable Production and Consumption, also showcase other mini movies about the behind-the-scenes detailed stories of cosmetics, electronics, bottled water, and more

Please vote to reflect applause for this Annie Leonard video. Scroll down to comment. And if you appreciate our work, please support it here.

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  • Dave Gardner
    Dave Gardner Thursday, 02 January 2014

    Today we welcome Meral Sarper to our Truth Squad. Meral is young, smart and enthusiastic about moving the world into sustainable equilibrium. I'm glad she chose to celebrate Annie Leonard's Story of Stuff project today. Annie is doing great work that reaches many hearts and minds. Maybe she'll even do the Story of Overpopulation one day!

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  • Meral Sarper
    Meral Sarper Saturday, 04 January 2014

    Thanks Dave . I am clear my contribution is powerful, thank you for requesting me to join !

  • Guest
    piyush Thursday, 02 January 2014

    This is one of the best animation from Annie and crew. It is more fundamental in nature than her previous ones. All of the animations are amazing and that have reached a lot of the world. As Dave mentioned, a story on overpopulation would be nice, it is kind of implicit in her animation because "more" to "better" would imply a steady state human population.

    I have this fantasy where future generations will start to incorporate "better" for those outside of the human species, not as an implied requirement of making ourselves better but seeing them directly at parity with us, that we share this planet with them and see those who we have to kill for our survival as a part of us in the cycle of life and death and cultivate respect for them (which many ancient cultures like Native Americans ritualized), to always struggle to find what is our fair share and learn to live within that share, to demand justice, equity and respect for those from whom we have taken so much for so long but who do not have the means of human expression, who cannot cast their vote in our elections.

    It is nice to see younger folks like Meral understand the reality and generate fitting responses to it. The younger generation has the energy, passion and more stake in the future. The more this crowd gets into decision making at all levels driven by a strong focus and vision of a sustainable, just and equitable society, the better.

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  • Meral Sarper
    Meral Sarper Saturday, 04 January 2014

    Piyush, I couldn't agree more. We are on the same wavelength here . Native cultures' philosophy , in harmony with necessary modern societal aspects , will be our future .

  • Mike Hanauer
    Mike Hanauer Saturday, 04 January 2014

    Hi Meral, welcome aboard, and thanks for helping us and civilization out of our bind!

    Would love to talk to you at some point about "sustainable development" as defined by your courses. I'm guessing there is a disconnect between the "smart growth" attitude and what really needs to be done, at least IMHO. We so need to get colleges into thinking about honest sustainability. Hopefully you agree and have some ideas.



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  • Meral Sarper
    Meral Sarper Saturday, 04 January 2014

    Totally true ! The term sustainable is thrown around as a pretty word and needs to be taken seriously . Please email me at [email protected] would love to speak !

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