Story Workshop: Greenpeace Mexico

This workshop was an opportunity to help Greenpeace Mexico work through how they can really bring the story to life. Greenpeace Mexico emerged after 13 months of challenges and changes as a stronger team with an appetite for change. The office put itself forward to pilot new initiatives and were keen to run with the story.

Made by Lucy, Amrekha, Laura and friends at Greenpeace.


In terms of the big environmental and social issues that Mexico is facing river pollution, oil, growth, disenfranchisement, reduction of democratic freedom, unrestricted growth and corruption are high up on the agenda. In terms of priority areas for Greenpeace Mexico the focus is on C&E, Toxics, Food for Life.

There are also many reasons to be hopeful. 60% of the forests are managed by communities and 50% of the lands are social property, sustainable Milpa agriculture is gaining traction and there are plans to make Mexico city sustainable Mexico graduates. This workshop was designed to shine a light on hope and help Greenpeace Mexico show how a billion acts of courage is running through their 3 year strategy.

Primary Objectives

The primary aim of the story workshop is to introduce team Mexico to the new Greenpeace Story and the organisational shifts it implies (The Seven Shifts), and work with the group to help them think about what would mean for a new Greenpeace Mexico. What does a new Greenpeace Mexico look like? How might the story be applied to day to day work, and how it might shape new work like the Megacities campaign?

Pre-work for the Workshop

We asked participants to think of one example of a story, a trend, an event, or an anecdote that gives them hope that a better world is possible. We asked them to reach beyond Greenpeace's work into things that are either changing, or have the potential to change, the fabric of the world or which are rerouting our future away from the status quo and toward a more beautiful, sustainable, greener, more peaceful world. We explained that we would be running an exercise in which we may ask participants to pitch their example in a ONE MINUTE, lightning-fast presentation of WHAT the example is and WHY it gives you hope.

How to use this agenda

This page lists the learning objectives and overview of each day. Use the links below to find descriptions for individual exercises. If you get stuck, reach out to Laura Hilliger, the Greenpeace Story Team or come to a community call!

Day 1: Project Buy in and Understanding the Story

Why story? Why now? Aligning the group on where this work has come from and why it’s important. Introducing the narrative and the shifts and ensuring people understand it.

  1. Coffee and Socializing (30 minutes)
  2. Hello, welcome and rules of the road. (30 minutes)
  3. Story of My Name (40 minutes)
  4. Break (20 mins)
  5. Why story? Why now? Set the context for the story project. Where it’s come from and why it’s important. (30 mins)
  6. Discussion What resonates? What doesn't?(30 mins)
  7. Reimagining Greenpeace as an Epic Global Story Presentation (30 mins)
  8. Spectrogram: Initial Reactions (15 mins)
  9. Discussion: 1, 2, 4, ALL (30 mins)
  10. 1 hour Lunch
  11. Introduction to the 5 Keys to Courage (5 minutes)
    • PURPOSE – A bigger story that gives reason to believe my action will matter
    • ROLE MODELS – Examples of courageous heroes – succeeding and failing
    • SOCIAL PROOF – A community to connect to online and through events so people don’t feel alone
    • SKILLS – Practical tools to help build the courage muscle
    • A TRIGGER – Specific calls to courageous action
  12. Story Circles (55 mins)
  13. Break (20 mins)
  14. Telling the Tale (60 mins)
  15. Break (10 mins)
  16. Reasons to Believe Gameshow (60 mins)
  17. Closing circle: What was your "Ah ha!" moment from today? A thought, a phrase, an idea? (15 mins)

Day 2: Playing with and applying the narrative

Giving the group an opportunity to play with the narrative and interpret it in a way that makes sense to them. Bringing the narrative to life and determining what the story looks like in Mexico and how we could use it in the face of the challenges Mexico is facing.

  1. Coffee and Socializing (60 minutes)
  2. Opening Circle: Overnight reflections. Ask participants to use only 5 Words to describe how they're feeling (60 mins)
  3. Break (15 mins)
  4. 7 Shifts Presentation and discussion (45 mins)
  5. Stop, Start, Steroids (30 mins)
  6. Picture Sorting (30 mins)
  7.  1 hour Lunch
  8. Small Group Work (90 mins)
    See the Small Group Work resource for more information.
    • Campaign Focus: Megacities – water and transport
    • Grip activity for Mexico
    • Internal Culture at Greenpeace Mexico
    • Engagement Focus
  9. Break (20 mins)
  10. Report Outs: The team comes back together and groups present back their work to each other (60 mins)
  11.  My Act of Courage (15 mins)
  12. Bonus: Read the Land at the Back of the Moon together (30 mins)

  13. Closing Circle

Assessment and review

Practical tips for assessing learning:
  • Use the discussions in each exercise: Discussion and reflection are important components of learning. Ask questions like:
    • How can your work connect to the 7 Shifts and living the new story?
    • Why is it important to connect to global communities?
    • How does communication online differ from communication offline?
    • What excited you the most about this training? The least?
    • How will we take what we've learned forward?
    • What does it mean to live the story?
    • Where can we go for help?
  • Peer Assessment: Have people look at one another's work and give each other constructive feedback. Hold each other accountable for participation, and encourage open discussion with one another.
  • Share: Have you posted your work somewhere? Did you tweet with the #courageis hashtag? Have you attended a Story Community Call?