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27. April 2023
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Podcast Episode 7: A new narrative for a grand transition

#NWASUST Episode 7: A new narrative for a grand transition

This is the seventh episode of the podcast: New Work and Sustainability

Our topic – A new narrative for a grand transition

#NWASUST 🎙️𝐏𝐨𝐝𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐝𝐞 7 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐮𝐭🎉: A new narrative for a grand transition with Guido Palazzo. How do you include a dolphin as a stakeholder in your business?

“What if we understand the multiple crises, the world is facing as a storytelling crisis? What if the ecological transition depends not only on new technologies, but also and maybe in particular on our ability to craft a new narrative?” Guido Palazzo

About the podcast episode

Join the podcast episode on “a new narrative for a grand transition” to find out, how you as a business leader or an employee:

  • can be part of this positive narrative
  • actively shape the grand transition through collaboration, connectedness, and giving agency to nature and animals
  • and consequently give representation to the dolphin as a stakeholder in your business.

We discuss:

  • Why we should care as business leaders and employees about multiple crisis of the world and change our behavior to embark on the grand transition.
  • Why positive narratives are so powerful narratives to shape the transition and tackle our climate crisis.
  • What are practical steps for leaders, to shape and bring to life positive narratives for their sustainable business transition
  • Why we should ultimately think about having a representative of animals and nature in boards of our companies.

My guest: Giudo Palazzo

Guido Palazzo is Professor of Business Ethics at HEC Lausanne. He has studied business and philosophy and did his PhD in political philosophy at the University of Marburg in Germany. In his current research he examines, how societies and organizations construct imaginaries that guide behavior.


👉🏻 🎙️🎧 Join the podcast “New Work and Sustainability” with Guido Palazzo and find out why dolphins need representation in boards and how you can really change behavior to navigate the grand transition.

My podcast website:

Our conversation in some more detail:

#why storytelling matters

  • 2:27- 3:45  “We do not act on the scientific facts researchers provide. We are hard wired for story telling we are not processing scientific facts and acting on those facts. We act upon stories. So if we do not package facts into stories we are not touching peoples‘ hearts. If do not touch peoples’ hearts they do not move we are acting on stories and we do not tell the right story.” Guido Palazzo
  • A doomsday narrative is less powerful than a positive narrative. Positivity makes us move if the new narrative is connected to reality and has functional value for organizations and the society at large. Guido is critical about AI control mechanisms which are guided by the belief of exercising control in complex systems and efficiency. Instead, he suggests the importance of collaboration, connectedness and giving agency to nature to navigate in the grand transition, achieve a mindset shift and a personal emotional connection with the transition.

#permacrisis – let’s face it

  • 3:45-4:40 The new world is one that is out of equilibrium. It will be permanently out of equilibrium and we are facing multiple crsisi that are not going away This is permacrisis.

#respair – without hope we do not change

  • 4:40-5:30 Respair is on old English word that is the opposite of despair. Respir: regain hope after a long period of desperation. I am sceptical about doom predictions and doom scenarios. We need hope. Without hope we will not act. Stories touch us and change our behavior that give us hope so that we can respair.
  • 5:30- 8:45 What is a narrative and what does this have to do with the lion man 30.000 years ago, why we are wrong with the Maslow pyramid, and why story telling is as important as food.

What is the neoliberal narrative and why does it lose force?

  • 8:45 Why the current dominant narrative neoliberalism comes to an end (current economic, ecologic, and societal situation). The disruption of this system due to the climate crisis etc What does this mean for organizations and business leaders?

Quo vadis? A new narrative is emerging

  • 16:16 new stories and new metaphors enable us to see the world from a radically different perspective
  • 16:16 elements of new narratives
  • 16:44 who is challenging the narrative?
  • The narrative is currently challenged from the margins by climate activists, scientists, Fridays for future kids. They are offering alternative ideas about how we could interpretate the world differently.
  • From within our current neoliberal story, we will not solve our ecological problems. Our crisis is a narrative. The crisis will not be solved by new technologies, but by new stories and new metaphors that enable us to see the world from a radically different perspective
  • 17:00 There are emergent metaphors and three core elements for a new narrative:
    • ELEMENT 1: Collaboration
    • ELEMENT 2: Connectedness
    • ELEMENT 3: Agency not only to humans but to nature and animals (not see this as material and being used as resources of being exploited). This is not just about us. Move the human of the the center of human thinking. Give natural agent a space in boards and stakeholder dialogues.
  • We talk about the books: Bruno Latour: Gaia and Gilles Hutchins and Laura Storm regenerative leadership and how can we embrace collaboration and connectedness?
  • This challenges radically our current agency concept stemming from enlightenment: we are agents, and the rest is just material. A new narrative should give actor rights and agency to nature. There are companies starting to consider nature as a stakeholder and in stakeholder dialogues.

What does this mean for companies and organizations?

  • 27:00 Ask a manager: who are your stakeholders and how can you bring the dolphin into your boards. Companies need to change, how they interact with the world and ask themselves: how do you include a dolphin as a stakeholder and how do you organize representations of actors that are not human?

How do you need to redesign your supply chain?

  • We cannot think in corporations anymore but instead we need to think in networks of actors.
  • Look at the connections and in betweenness. Think in networks of actors. Rethink supply chains as a network of actors that are connected. Change the unfair distribution of value in supply chains. Stop the highly fragile relationships in supply chains and reduce the pressure on suppliers. Currently, organizations in the supply chain are just covering their costs because everything is squeezed out. If you like to give back more than you take you cannot do this by squeezing, you have to collaborate. For example, if you really like to reduce the CO2 emittance of coffee and coco you depend on the farmers and their willingness to collaborate. There is a revolution in supply chain management necessary.
  • The price we need to pay in this transition is a lower level of efficiency. There is a need to balance efficiency with resilience. In supply chains we have 20 years of experience with a failure of control. There is an explosion of cheating in the apparel industry. Control is not the answer to human right issues. AI in supply chains is currently seen as a new control mechanism. Companies belief that they can now better control the supply chain because it is digital. This does not enhance the transition. This does not address the permacrisis because to address the permacrisis, you depend on the collaboration of the actors in your network.
  • 39:00 Our takeaways

Resources we mention:

Get in touch with me:

  • Let us continue the discussion and connect on LinkedIn and dive deeper into today’s topic with my blog articles.
  • Want to work with me? Write me an email: info[a] or a LinkedIn DM.


👉🏻 🎙️🎧 Join the podcast “New Work and Sustainability” with Guido Palazzo and find out why dolphins need representation in boards and how you can really change behavior to navigate the grand transition.

My podcast website:

What are your thoughts on how to shape the grand transition and how we best change our behavior to address the multiple crisis? Let us discuss in the discussion in the comments of my Linked in Post.

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