Reaching that tipping point when sustainability will break into the mainstream
How can awareness of sustainability—even if just among a minority group of people—eventually reach a tipping point when it can then create a ripple effect and break into the mainstream? What does it take to create stories and documentaries that leave people feeling deeply inspired, empowered, and moved to action?
Sharing his wisdom here is Jordan Osmond, documentary filmmaker and Co-Founder of Happen Films. You'll hear about why fear is not an effective motivator for behavioral change for sustainability, how we can learn from localized and indigenous wisdom, what it takes to inspire and activate people through documentary film, and more. Let's dive in!
[2:22] What first inspired Jordan's love for nature.
[5:16] Jordan: "I think what makes a good story is being able to connect to the people that you're seeing on camera."
[6:02] Jordan shares the inspiration behind Happen Films.
[6:30] Jordan: "Individual action has a huge impact. It's that collective individual action that then has large negative effects, as well as the possibility of having beneficial effects."
[6:46] The difference between using cold facts versus using stories when sharing information and motivating others to take action.
[8:29] The problem with trying to motivate change through fear.
[10:31] Jordan: "If we're going to create a sustainable world, we will have to sacrifice some things. But I don't think sacrifice equals hardship or depriving yourself of the pleasures in life. I think it can actually create more of the things that create a better life."
[12:03] Kaméa: "What's been your greatest challenge in getting your message out there?"
[15:58] Kaméa: "What do you think we need in order to break into the mainstream with this information?"
[18:37] Jordan: "We can't avoid climate change; it's already occurring. But we can avoid the worst of it. There's still time to heal the damage that has been done."
[19:45] Why living your example is so much more effective than trying to force someone to change.
[22:46] What first got Jordan interested in regenerative agriculture.
[23:57] Jordan: "We're nothing without plants and animals and insects and microbes and clean air and clean water."
[27:06] Jordan: "There is so much knowledge from indigenous cultures... that is sadly being lost, but is also kind of being relearned. And that's all permaculture is really. It's nothing new."
[29:53] Kaméa: "What can we do as individuals to help preserve and learn from localized knowledge?"
About our Guest
Jordan Osmond is a self-taught documentary director, writer, cinematographer, and editor. While growing up in Australia, he was struck by how documentary films were impacting the way he lived his life, which motivated him to get behind the camera and have a positive impact on the lives of others. His first feature film, A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity, co-directed with Samuel Alexander, has received over a million views on YouTube and continues to be shown at community events and festivals around the world.
In 2016, Jordan joined up with Antoinette Wilson to create Happen Films, a documentary production company that focuses on sharing inspiring stories of sustainable living with the hopes of empowering people to make change in their own lives. This led the pair to live in New Zealand for two and a half years to create their newest film, Living the Change, which explores solutions to the global issues we face today that anyone can be a part of.
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Note to self: "We still have time to make these changes. We're so close, and I think we're on the cusp of something really exciting."
Health practice: "As much as possible, I try to get out in nature."
Sustainability practice: "I'm focusing on reducing the amount of waste I'm creating, and keeping recycling down as well."
Element of hope: "I always feel uplifted after spending time with people in the films."
Closing words: "Follow what excites you and where you feel your gifts and skills are best used. Listen to that internal compass about where to go."