We don’t want to be preachy or boring but this blog is where we share our values and experiences and write about the issues shaping the future of our businesses and our society. Catch a glimpse into our lives and find out what’s new in our world...

Friday, 5 December 2008

A Concerned Penguin

Charly is a penguin who goes to the United Nations to ask people to stop destroying the planet and particularly his home, the continent of Antarctica.  But Antarctica isn't a nation state and therefore is not a member of the UN.  The penguin then embarks on registering his continent as a member. 

Or so it goes according to the novel 'All the ice of Africa' by Silent Creek, aka German journalist Ralph T Niemeyer, a long-time commentator on EU policy and the wicked ways of the world.  I attended a book reading and was captivated by this way of combining a strong message (ice is melting, change is needed, goodwill is out there etc etc) with wild imagination (the penguin turning up in New York). 

In communications terms, this combination makes for a positive tool and lasting impression.  And it reinforces the message that sustainability is better communicated in a positive way, helping people see that they can make a difference rather than the doom and gloom favoured by much of the mainstream media at present.

In the debate that followed, it was suggested that writing a ‘fairytale’ with a strong political message on climate change was somehow unethical.  Obviously, brainwashing kids is not smart but engaging young people in debate and encouraging learning and independent thought cannot be a bad thing for the future of society and penguins (we're sticking with the penguin theme here).  The author himself showed journalistic potential interviewing German Chancellors Schmidt and Kohl aged 13.

Young people are a driving force for change.  Many parents say their kids are the strongest advocates of environmental responsibility, nagging them to turn off the lights, the TV, not to leave the car running...  I haven't read the book from cover to cover yet so I can't really vouch for it but anything which gets young people and their families talking about sustainability issues is good in my book.