In this episode of Uprising!!!by Scott Goodson, we interview Danielle Butin, the Head of Afya Foundation, an organization dedicated to making a positive impact on our world. We asked Danielle Butin about the Trump movement. Last week she was literally working on the beaches of southern Greece helping women and children out of rubber rafts in freezing conditions fleeing Syria. For more ideas on Uprising and movements, cultural movements and movement marketing, follow Uprising!!! on Facebook. We’ll continue to publish brand-new columns on a regular basis. Hey, do us a favor and please give Uprising!!! a review on iTunes. Scott Goodson is the author of best-selling book ‘Uprising: how to build a brand and change the world by sparking cultural movements,’ available on Amazon.com. Scott has helped create and build some of the world’s most iconic brands. He is founder of StrawberryFrog the world’s first movement marketing agency.
Uprising Interview transcript
Announcer: Welcome, to Uprising.
Each episode looks inside what it takes to lead the most dynamic and successful cultural movements. Some of them in the business world, some in the social realm. Some in politics, and some in between. To see why people start uprisings. What gives those initiatives the momentum, and keeps them going? And most important, what lessons can you learn from these movements, and how to apply them to your business, and even personal life? Let’s explore the secret to sparking movements that move people into action.
Man Voice 1: Passionate ideas.
Woman Voice 1: Controversial ideas.
Man Voice 1: Uprising ideas.
Woman Voice 1: The power is now in the hands of anyone.
Man Voice 2: To start a cultural movement.
Man Voice 1: Your movement.
All Three Voices: To move the world.
Scott: Hello, I am Scott Goodson. Donald Trump made a decision to do something that is almost as old as the United States of America. He began the quest to become the President. It has been a campaign unlike anything we’ve seen before. He psyched out his opponents. He’s outwitted the GOP. He’s ignited a massive movement of followers across the country that continues to gain steam, feeding off fears and insecurities. At last reckoning, he seems unstoppable. Donald Trump. Love him, hate him. What can we learn from him?
Hundreds of thousands of people, men, women, and children, are landing on sudden shores of Greece in rubber rafts and freezing weather conditions. Danielle Butin, the head of Afya Foundation was on the beach helping these people last week. Danielle, what do you make of the Trump movement?
Danielle: Much of what we are seeing is really driven by a lack of understanding, and just fear Scott. People are scared of what they don’t know and what they don’t understand. And what makes perfect sense when you’re scared, for some of us, is to go seek out that monster, and figure it out, and see whether it’s real or if it’s not. But not to just sit in those ___(2:10)___, and not to just sit in those thoughts, and make them real. So you know, when people have said we’re doing an enormous amount of work now in Lesbos, Greece, helping the Greek-running facilities, helping the coastguard, because not only do they have their own citizens to care for, but they also have thousands of refugees arriving every single day. And when I hear people saying, “These are the next generation of terrorists,” I can’t even believe this is what comes out of people’s mouths. I saw mothers getting off of boats holding three or four of their children. These are suburban women out of __(02:50)__ who have put every dime they got into their bra so that it is in safe keeping, and begin their next iteration of a lifetime. I don’t know what a terrorist really looks like in that scenario. It is an atrocity to me that this what people are labeling this group as and are suspect of.
Scott: Do you think that there is a change going on in our society where we, yes have a lot of really bad things happening, but there is an increasing desire among people to protect themselves first?
Danielle: When people are scared, they can enter a number of different states. And I think one is a hypervigilance, and a false sense and perception of control. So when people are scared, they can lock in. I think this false perception that one can control the chaos is not rational. It’s not real. The best solution for people when they are in that state as opposed to trying to control and build walls to keep people away is to sit in the middle of that circle, take a look at it, and get to know the people in that circle, and ask a lot of questions. Through that process, amazing comfort can be delivered because it’s the truth. So many are responding to what is perceived as real, and I don’t think it is.
Scott: In order to rally people in a movement, you have to create a sense of fear, a sense of urgency, and of course an enemy. And that obviously is what Trump is doing when he comes up with a list of enemies, Mexicans or Muslims. What are the repercussions when you create enemies?
Danielle: It creates an enormous clash because there’s light and dark. There’s hate and love, There’s this ___(04:51)___ of existence that occurs, and we saw it in Greece. We went to Lesbos, and we saw these citizens of Lesbos welcoming every single refugee. Thousands of them every single day with water, with food, with blankets, with love, and with care. And they said “We are one. We are the same. There is no separation here.” And they eat, breathe, and sleep that motto and believe it implicitly. So you juxtapose that against people who are creating huge followings around hate towards this population. False rhetoric,___(5:35)___ that aren’t real. And these refugees are as scared to death of the hate that potentially awaits them as they are of the countries they’ve just fled. So to superimpose the recovery these folks have against them, against this movement of hate and a lack of inclusion is insanity in terms of the challenges that they have ahead. So you have this chaosium. You have this chaosium that’s ultimately created between those who just don’t believe in it and fight the movement because they know there’s a greater truth, versus those who are just spreading hate through false beliefs. It has an impact on the people’s well-being, it has an impact on their ability to look you in the eye. I was so struck by this when I met people getting off the boat. In the beginning, eyes were dropped down, like they had no idea how they were going to be perceived. Until you threw someone in your arms, and you threw a blanket around them, and they smiled, you held their baby, they had no idea what they were about to be entering there. And that’s just heartbreaking.
Scott: Are we going to see the type of “anti-movement”, or “competitive movement” that’s going to stand up to this quite strong phenomenon that’s building?
Danielle: I think here, it can be so extreme. You have to see a consequence in a different direction that could be equally as extreme. I have noticed big, big reactions in women who I work with, and I have personal relationships with, in taking a stand that I haven’t seen them this strong in years. I think once people are in the right scenario and they start asking questions and they start having open discussions, some very interesting pages occur organically. Because it is through that unleashing of a process where people can speak and really uncover the truths is where they really find it. Once you sit with that, and you really imagine what this would feel like for people, you can’t support it!
Scott: It’s almost like the rise of anti-intellectualism, anti-empathy, which to me seems quite like a scary movement.
Danielle: I see the other end of the spectrum. And when I am exposed to those are of the opposite, I am very confused by it.
Scott: But I wonder whether this is in fact this is an evil scourge, or whether it’s actually a collective reflection of where American society is going?
Danielle: There is a calling for control and safety, and I almost see it as this big, heavy blanket to rest under. I think, for people who are frustrated and for people who are desperate to find other like-minded people who live in a place of empathy and compassion, they exist. It’s important to build that community and live in that community.
Scott: That was Danielle Butin, from the AfyaFoundation.org. That’s A-F-Y-A-Foundation.org. Thank you for joining our uprising today, and listening to our show.