We have to admit we took a small liberty with the quote of film producer David Jammy featured on our newly redesigned Field Guide website. "We" should instead read "transmedia." Despite the liberty, we believe we have preserved Jammy's meaning. We will explain why shortly, but first here are Jammy's exact words in their context:
“By collectivizing ownership of narrative, transmedia breaks down the ‘us’ and ‘them.’
It is no longer 'you' supporting 'our' work to help 'them.' Rather it is all of us working together to meet and overcome a challenge.”
Transmedia, narrowly defined, is a technique for telling a story across a variety of media and media platforms in interactive formats. Transmedia strategies are now a part of the toolkits of every branding agent and corporate marketer of our consumer culture. But the power of transmedia can also be pressed into the higher service of system transformation, because it enables people to work collectively on new system narratives.
Indeed, Jammy’s quote is taken from a much-shared slideshare by the founder of Transmedia Activism, Lina Srivastava. Transmedia Activism is “a framework for strategy to create social impact, influence perception, and build community through fragmented storytelling by decentralized authors who share assets and create entry points into issues and solutions across multiple forms of media,” as Srivastava explains it. It is not so much focused on the "trans" in "media," but on the collaborative storytelling process, that digital media has so empowered, around a shared value system.
As Srivastava says, this brand of activism is "media agnostic," flowing through whatever vessel of communication it finds its way into. To paraphrase Lina, the framework is powerful because it allows us to tell a story of a complex system together, with the story itself being one of the elements of system change.
The digital era is unleashing the human desire to collaborate that is embedded in our biological dna at a moment in our human history when we need it most for our very survival on this planet. As evolution biologist and futurist Elisabet Sahtouris explains in a talk she gave at the San Francisco Presidio in 2000, "Living Systems, the Internet and the Human Future" (hat tip to our friend and mentor Carol Sanford for sharing this brilliant thought piece with us), "All living systems self-organize and maintain themselves by the same biological principles ... among them the empowered participation of all parts."
Please consider the Field Guide a shared asset where we can all be contributors to and participants in the narrative design of the living system that is the regenerative economy.