I recently joined MarketingKind, a membership community that regularly gathers to explore how the experience and capabilities of like-minded marketers, business leaders and change makers can contribute to creating a better world.

The meetings to date have been nourishing and energetic. And timely. Emerging from a pandemic only to face a polycrisis is debilitating to say the least. As a result, we are all carrying world-weariness and anxiety into the season of goodwill and, as I have previously observed, if we lack both hope and agency then the future will terrify rather than tantalise.

As if by magic, the guest of the latest MarketingKind Zoom call was author and founder of the Positive Nature Network, Richard Wain. Apart from dropping mind-boggling stats on the vast number of atoms in our bodies and how many of them we share with everyone who has ever lived, Richard also introduced me to the concept of a Thrutopia.

The word originates from a 2017 blog in HuffPost UK by academic Rupert Read. In considering climate change, Read expressed the view that we were past the point of being able to portray human survival in utopian terms. In his words, and as I suspect we all now know, “climate chaos is going to reap untold devastation across the planet before we get through it…”

Conversely, he argued, a dystopian view was also useless. Paralysing, de-motivating and dangerous. So how to address this enormous challenge in the months and years ahead?

Quoting Read sparingly: “What are desperately needed…are what I term thrutopias…how to get from here to there…ways of seeing, understanding, inhabiting, creating what will be needed for the very long haul.”

In the years since his blog, the idea has grown beyond climate change to embrace wider issues that can generate feelings of powerlessness and disbelief when we reflect on the world around us. Check out the work of author, podcaster, and teacher Manda Scott.

In practice, thrutopias emerge from the collaboration between experts at the leading edge of change, visionary thinkers in positions of influence and creative artists to write the stories that present “a truly realistic way forward.”

So, marketers, turn your talents to thrutopianism. Like never before we need a narrative to help us believe in and strive for something better.

More immediately, on the subject of storytelling, my friend and successful marketer Mark Sherrington, has just launched a card game called Tenets. Each card contains a point of view expressed as a famous (or not) quote, music lyric, line from a movie. An hour or two playing Tenets will help you explore views on life and connect more deeply with friends, family, and colleagues. https://tenets.life/

Wherever we find it, in Manda Scott’s words, what will get us through the current storms is “a sense of a future we could reach if we all worked together.”