Mar 22 2010

Annie Leonard

We just got back from seeing Annie Leonard (of “The Story of Stuff” fame) at Powells. It was amazing!

She’s on a tour right now for her book on the Story of Stuff content which goes more in depth and provides more example solutions than the short film does. More than the actual life-cycle content though, which, I guess wasn’t really the focus of her talk, I was so impressed by her as a speaker. I think the talk was about avenues for engagement and a little about her personal story and, of course, what’s covered in the book.

As a speaker she’s phenomenal. She speaks very quickly, which I thought would make it difficult to keep everything coherent, focused and high-quality, but it was definitely not the case. Even in the question and answer her responses were genuine, spontaneous and, in my opinion, spot on for the question that was asked.

Many of her solutions were about catalyzing change by getting us to the point of meaningful dialog on important issues. I think that we definitely need meaningful dialog to happen, but I think there are other more direct things that we can be doing as well.

I was intrigued by her positive description of her experiences with the Rockwood Leadership Institute where she felt like she received positive feedback and development from top contemporary social organizers. I have also recently been looking into the Z Media Institute which has a more media focused goal at training progressive leaders.

If you ever have the chance to see Annie Leonard speak, don’t miss it. Also, if you haven’t already you should check out her videos. To date she’s done:

The Story of Stuff
The Story of Cap and Trade
The Story of Bottled Water