Explaining complex topics in a concise way – simple is not simple minded.
I am quick to dig in new topics (reading and interviewing) to come up with an analysis, policy note or story.
Storytelling with a creative twist that compels people to read on.
Engaging -online- content creation with a call to action.
Sankofa – a Ghanaian symbol – meaning go and learn from your past. Sankofa extends beyond personal experience. New developments bring us back to old insights.
Good stories are scarce. Businesses fall prey to fashionable words – the agile scrum master with the hands-on attitude who is always on for a challenge.
Sustainability news often resonates redemption rhetorics:
Fear men! The ice-bear is drowning, and your children will follow suit!
Sales pitches bulging with benefits, making one loose the forest for the trees.
A convincing text still relies on the rhetoric of Aristotle, conveying knowledge, focusing on the essence, and underpinned by rational arguments. It also touches an emotional string, and shows why anyone should believe you. Story telling is as old as humanity.
SNV international development
Read my content for SNV
– Faecal Attraction
– Global knowledge, local realities in dairy
– Meating Africa’s mega cities
– Healthier food (an interview with Lawrence Haddad
Cow dung and wedding cakes
A place of dignity
In conversation with Gerda Verburg
Nursing the future
She makes shea butter
Urban sanitation in Bangladesh – plus video
Booming biogas business,
Biogas Food Security and Climate Change
Using a digital storytelling platform to create visual stories (mutual effort) ; world water week , annual report
Personal blogs en books
Two motives drive my texts;
– understand things to the core
– put myself in someone else’s shoes.
Second hand clothes
Since 1990, I regularly visit Ghana with my partner who was born and bred there. Gradually I have become a trusted outsider.
I wrote a book about a family of traders in second hand clothes, or ‘Obruni Wawu,’ the local term for scraps from the West, literally meaning “dead Europeans.”
Kofi’s little life
My son is autistic. Professionals describe his behaviour as “difficult to understand”. Yet I try to understand him with all my might. His life is small and shrinking. My blogs introduce him to the world at large.
Read my blog Work!
Writing is like kneading dough; you mix your ingredients, let them rest and knead them again. In this way you achieve inner coherence and make it light.
This video on how meat is eating the planet explains a complex topic in short. You recognize the principles of rhetoric. It makes maximum use of visual persuasiveness.
On storytelling, about the power of the anecdote: start with the action, raise questions and answer them to keep people reading, have a moment of reflection showing the why of a story.
And put in time to look for an interesting story, which means that you kill half of what you find. Be ruthless to the boring parts and get right to what matters.
Everybody is going through a phase where the result falls short to your taste, so just put in a lot of work.
A good story is both about your take on things, and seeing life through the eyes of others, the drama is in the interaction between people.
Short powerful animation about effective habits.
Convey just one main message , bring in an element of surprise, etcetera.
Writing is hard because thinking is hard.
The curse of knowledge: the writer’s inability to put himself in the reader’s shoes or to imagine that the reader might not know all that the writer knows — the jargon, the shorthand, the slang, the received wisdom.