Power of Nonprofit Storytelling | Greenpeace, Shell & The Arctic: the people versus corporations battle

July 18, 2016


Greenpeace is an environmentally-focused organization with a strong international presence and reach. Through campaigning, they engage in peaceful protest and creative communication as a means to both expose global environmental issues and promote resolutions to these problems. Who Greenpeace is and what they do — the work to which they’re passionately dedicated, and their mission — is heavily rooted in amazing storytelling. This video, a narrative within a clip a few seconds shy of three minutes, is just one example of their storytelling prowess at play.

Special thanks to fundraiser Paul di Gregorio, Head of Mobile for Open Team, for sending this video my way.

The story unfolds like a dramatic cinematic scene, and the accompanying music amplifies its impact, adding an extra emotional note. Titled “How People Power saved the Arctic from Shell,” it’s a story of good versus evil; people versus corporations. People power penetrated the consciousness a formidable hierarchy: an oil company intending to inflict environmental destruction on the Arctic, as well as the sorely misguided backers supporting their plans for their own gains.

The results of the 3.5-year movement Greenpeace spearheaded? Success! In a satisfying conclusion, the people emerge as the victorious heroes of the saga, accomplishing a feat rarely seen in the people versus corporations battle. The heroes were not only in the thick of it all, exerting themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally, but they were on the sidelines, too. Whether you stood atop an oil rig or, with just a few clicks of your mouse, contributed whatever donation you could afford, Greenpeace salutes you.

Paul told me,

“I’m going to watch it every time someone tells me that small acts of solidarity are pointless and are dismissed as Clicktivism.”

The video speaks directly to those who’ve made recent endeavors possible, and the story communicates with so much gratitude that it reads like an earnest thank you letter. Implicitly, we are reminded once again that people, especially when they decide to join forces, have the power to change the course of history through life-changing work.

Last word from Paul:

“I rant a lot about these things 🙂 Organising works. Small acts of solidarity add up. Making a noise is important. Not giving up matters.”

He couldn’t be more right.

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