Exploring dominant and regenerative narratives and the worldviews they reflect

Organizer: Chris Riedy
Format: Online, Evening

We are surrounded by stories and narratives that influence our behaviour, shape our ideas of what is possible and govern what we perceive as normal. Our dominant narrative is one of separation from nature and each other, valuing growth in measures like Gross Domestic Product over genuine increases in interconnected human and environmental wellbeing. Narratives are representations of underlying worldviews and can both empower and constrain. They evolved in all cultures, traditions and societies across the globe and some have become dominant and others have become silenced. There are many culturally unique beliefs, values and perceptions that significantly influence methods for knowledge-creation, sense-making, decision-making and acting. Some of the silenced worldviews and narratives draw on a sense of deep interconnectedness and relationality between the natural, social and ancestral world over thousands of years. Right now, at a time when humanity is facing unprecedented environmental and social challenges, our dominant stories and narratives are holding us back. This narrative is no longer fit for purpose. It cannot deliver the transformation that is needed if we are to find new ways of living within planetary boundaries while ensuring socio-ecological justice, including the realization of at least basic human rights for all. The intention of this two-hour workshop is to engage conference participants in an exploration of diverse nature-human narratives and worldviews from across the world. We will illustrate how some regenerative narratives and worldviews foster sustainable wellbeing compared to the dominant ‘western’ narratives which fosters division and polarisation. We will share narratives and stories from Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, engaging participants in viewing the world from very different perspectives. We will leave the participants with a community action challenge to take the experience of regenerative narratives back into their lives.

Themes: Sustainable Solutions from the Global South, Integrated Action for the SDGs