The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard

You may already have seen this video, it’s not that new. If you have, you may find, like me, that it is worth reminding oneself once in a while of some of the core messages in the video.

I first saw this a while back (2007), but I think there are some great points in here that are worth sharing. In the end, the video comes across as another ‘rant’ against our laziness and inability to take control of the situation, with little on concrete steps as to how to initiate change, but so long as it helps increase awareness, it is a step in the right direction.

Many of the messages are trying to achieve cultural change – more personal awareness and responsibility for our actions (eg, increasing consumerism) – to that end, I think the video is effective.

The video eventually went ‘viral’ on the internet (likely through a combination of the engaging, energetic style of Annie Leonard, the animated video that accompanies the talk, and the succinct and powerful messages being shared) – over a million views on YouTube alone, but because of the way that the video can be watched on the “Story of stuff” website (not an embedded YouTube video), or downloaded and shared, I suspect that the number of YouTube views vastly under-represents the total actual number of views.

Since the original video, Annie Leonard has launched an entire website on the topic, a twitter account (@storyofstuff), a book, and further videos:

  • The Story of Citizens Utd vs FEC (“Why democracy only works when people are in charge”),
  • The Story of Cap & Trade (“Why you can’t solve a problem with the thinking that created it”),
  • The Story of Electronics,
  • The Story of Bottled Water,
  • The Story of Cosmetics, and
  • with more to follow (eg, ‘The Story of Subsidies’, reported to be coming in the Autumn/Fall of 2011).

I’ve purposely not included links to all of the above additional videos – the best way to reach them is via the ‘Story of Stuff’ homepage. All of the above are available on YouTube also (bizarrely in this case, only some are on Vimeo, and not all uploaded to a central ‘account’ there).

As demonstrated by comments left on YouTube, Vimeo, and Amazon, not everyone will agree with all of the messages in the video, or the confident/certain style in which it is presented (as with everything on the internet, one should always apply some healthy skepticism and challenge).

2 Responses

  1. Great video, thanks for sharing! Tobias saw it first and told me about it !

  2. […] The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard ( […]

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