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The trouble with the distance is that our brain is structured in a way that disconnects us from that which is not taking place right in front of us.

Things that appear distant play a little role in comparison to events that take place in our close environment or community. From a distance, it is difficult for people from western cultures to put themselves into the boots of a Latin American farmer and imagine how he feels when his livelihood and environment gets destroyed by mining activities.

In order to bridge this distance, we need to search for a powerful way to create awareness on a global scale by engaging those on the other side of the planet from your project.

Digital media is one tool that can help to connect physically and mentally disconnected people by transporting stories onto the screens of millions of people.

Make your project stories personal. Give your audience the opportunity to identify and empathize with the “hero” of your story, his defeats, and successes. Resonating stories create identification and empathy, eventually leading to a deeper personal connection to the project’s mission.

Make it easy to contribute and to participate in your project. Present a simple and accessible call-to-action to initialize collaboration with potential stakeholders who want to support the project.

For example, the story (the project) might invite the recipient to support a certain farmer by sharing his story or by contributing direct monetary support.

However, never underestimate a real-world connection. If there is a chance, invite people to your project. Let them experience the beauty of nature in the real world with all their senses. There is no digital substitute. There is no more powerful way to connect than in the real world.

Take away:

  • Use digital media channels as tools to bridge the distance.
  • Offer stories your reader can empathize with.
  • Give the reader a simple accessible opportunity to engage and become part of the project and story through a simple accessible call to action.
  • Invite your supporters to experience your project in the real world.

If you want to read the full “Story Guide for Landscape Projects” please download it at the following link.


Founder and CEO, OpenForests. Passioned about finding answers to the burning questions of our time. With our tools, we want to connect people and forests.