Storytelling can create new worlds, but in this case, it can save ours, too.
Held last September 1, 2018 at the Manila House in Bonifacio Global City, the first Explorer Encounters served as an avenue for advocates, conservationists, and explorers to converge and discuss the power of storytelling as a medium. This collaborative effort of Masungi Georeserve, National Geographic Society-Asia, and Forest Foundation Philippines featured workshops, talks, performances, and a panel discussion. The event showcased how a story in the digital age is not limited to the portrayal of the current and persisting problems that the world is facing. It is also a means to search for the solution by sparking a discourse.
One of the speakers, Prasenjeet Yadav, a molecular biologist turned photographer, mentioned that the conversation on conservation should not begin and end within the walls of an ivory tower. This claim was supported by Sally Snow, the executive director of Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines, during her workshop on visual storytelling. There, she talked about social media as a platform for one’s advocacy, and the possibility of a smartphone as a tool to speak of one’s story.
The modes of storytelling evolve with the progression of time. In every part of the globe, there is a commonality among societies then and now: every culture has a rich history of stories told to and within a community. Even in the age of technology, this commonality still rings true. And there are those who do so with hopes of creating a planet in balance and a healthier future for all. There is only one earth, after all.