Makmende's Impact Radar

Launching Makmende’s Impact Radar

This Earth Day, we asked our colleagues to recommend their favorite environmental stories that deserve to be heard, read or watched. And so, we’re excited to introduce Makmende’s Impact Radar, a monthly opportunity to share what inspires us and what we believe can inspire you too.

In a world grappling with environmental crises, the call for positive change is stronger than ever. Every role is crucial, including the often overlooked need for storytelling. As author Jonathan Gottschal famously noted, “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” It’s testament to our inherent love for narratives.

Instead of bombarding audiences with statistics and data, stories are able to offer a humanizing lens. The right story can spark emotions and make the complexity of environmental problems felt. Stories have the power to inspire action and transform attitudes, behaviors, and policies.

Makmende creative Alessia’s pick 

Documentary – The Elephant Whisperers

Alright, grab your tissues because you’re going to need them. “The Elephant Whisperer” (which gained fame as the first Indian documentary to win an Oscar) deserves a spot on this list, in my opinion. It’s a documentary about nature without explicitly focusing on the subject. Instead, it tells an emotional and remarkably unique personal story—a couple’s decision to care for an orphaned elephant as their own child—to convey the importance of wildlife conservation without directly addressing the concept. Plus, the visuals are stunning, and that’s always a plus!

Makmende strategist Niall’s pick

Book – The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson

Part-novel, part-education, it’s a brilliant book for articulating exactly where climate change is taking us, and exactly the kinds of grand plans we will need to avert the worst scenarios. Reading this helped me visualise for the first time what the data has been saying for years, which sounds scary, but was actually encouraging. There are things we can do. The question is, how long will we wait before we do them?

Makmende creative Elise’s pick

Documentary – The Territory

I was very impressed with this amazingly shot documentary thriller that shows both sides of an Amazon conflict: the Brazilian Uru-eu-wau-wau people who are fighting illegal settlers. While you can closely follow the courageous indigenous guardians, it’s a very layered documentary; the touching human stories are brilliantly placed within a context of politics and multinationals – which makes this documentary, shot in such rough conditions, even more impressive to me!

Makmende editor Alda’s pick

Podcast – Conscious Chatter

There is no denying of the environmental impact of fast fashion. This podcast raises awareness about sustainability and ethical issues within the fashion industry. I enjoy listening to this because it opens the door to conversations about our clothing + the layers of stories, meaning and potential impact connected to what we wear. Inspiring us to become more informed and responsible consumers.

Makmende creative Maaike’s pick

Book – A Bigger Picture:  My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis

Living in Amsterdam, the climate activism surrounding me is often quite simplified. This book brings more nuance to that, shedding light on how the climate activism movement can be more inclusive and how we should fight for genuine climate justice.

Makmende producer Wietske’s pick

Documentary – Chasing Coral

What I liked about Chasing Coral is that it does not only dive into the causes and implications of the loss of coral reefs, but also touches on the heartwarming personal stories of the scientist and photographers trying to document this phenomenon, as well as giving us a glimpse into the kitchen of the team’s struggles to capture the footage used in the documentary. 

Makmende marketing Lavinia’s pick

Game – Dave the Diver

I love everything about the ocean and here, I play as Dave, a diver and fisherman that does artisanal fishing (small-scale, low-technology, low-capital, fishing practices) to help his friend run a unique sushi restaurant! I learned about different types of fish, coral, sharks, and complete quests by helping dolphins and whales (and mermaids too!). Throughout Dave’s journey, I also learned about what effects climate change and industrial fishing have on marine life and the ecosystem. So, it’s a win-win situation, you learn and have fun at the same time swimming around in the depths.

Makmende creative Nicole’s pick

Book – The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan

Most people have heard the classic joke:

Q: How do you know if someone is vegan?

A: Don’t worry, they’ll tell you within the first 2 minutes of meeting them.

I’m not vegan or vegetarian, and neither is author Michael Pollan, but in all of his works he makes the often divisive “plant-based diet conversation” non-preachy and genuinely fascinating. I loved how this book explains the massive issues of our food industry and its impact on us and our earth in his always approachable way. He reminds me that simple and reasonable messaging goes a long way. Case in point: he’s known for saying, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 

Makmende creative Paris’ pick

TV Series – Mammals by David Attenborough

Who knew that one -fifth of mammal species are bats? I doubt you. Let us introduce to, arguably – one of wildlife TV’s most impressive contributions to date. Despite filmed nearly exclusively at night (two-thirds of mammals are nocturnal), episode 1 keeps you very much awake. In fact, the depths of night time activity requires the very latest film-making technology to be captured. Despite Attenborough’s experience, there’s nothing dated about this.