Building Narrative Empathy Through Storytelling

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In a recent article published by openDemocracy, literary scholar Scott Slovic writes how storytelling can be used to build common ground in environmental negotiations, such as water rights disputes. Hearing a story creates “narrative empathy,” which is empathy for the character in the story. When the character in the story is the person sitting across form you in the negotiating table, storytelling can build a bridge and open up negotiators to the perspective that we all share in the right to use the environment as well as the obligation of caring for it. Slovic also recommends citizens use storytelling when communicating their concerns about the environment to policy makers so as to better incorporate the will of the people in public policy.

Read Scott Slovic’s article here.