...we need to make human personal connections. So much of what Rohit talks about here is what I’ve found myself talking about quite a bit recently. Give it a watch, it’s only 8 minutes long.
Rohit makes reference to what has been described as ‘the most unlikely political seduction ever’. He talks about how Nelson Mandela would invite his enemies for tea. Over that tea he would talk to them and listen to them. These moments are widely regarded as the reasons he managed to avoid violent confrontations. I like the idea of the simple act of having a brew with someone as ‘seduction’. Quite powerful when you think of it that way. I know I’ve had many innocent chats with people over a cup of tea that changed my life.
We appear to be living in an increasingly binary world. Just think how much time we spend making judgements on people whilst sat in front of a screen. A piece of glass between us and them. That judgement might be based on big data or small actions on social media. From Facebook ‘Likes’ to the bile you often see in the comments on Youtube, thanks to the new social norms we are encouraged to love or hate based on very little information.
It’s easy to hate someone on the other side of border, whether that border is a screen or an ideology as in the case of Madela. It’s much harder to hate someone when they are sat facing you over a cup of tea having a conversation.
As I said here I worry about over reliance of big data and the disappearance of the ‘human’ behind the numbers. The two worlds need to collide to give us strong insights that will help us tell great stories. Charities get this. They have the data but spend a long time on the ground making human connections. Then when it comes to telling their story they’ve realised that telling the story of an individual gives the audience a greater insight (and therefore more likely to put their hand in their pocket) than just giving big numbers.
Next time Comic Relief comes around take note of how they use those human stories alongside the numbers. The story of a thousand people dying is often less effective than telling the story of an individual. It give the audience a chance to make a personal connection.
Mandela made his ideas stick through human connection. Comic Relief make their ideas stick through human connections To make ideas stick we need to make human personal connections. That means more cups of tea to go with the data, which is fine by me.