Arguing with another adult is one thing - but how would you fare when faced with the impassioned pleas of a child?
It’s said that by the age of 35, our opinions on most social issues are fixed. We are holding fast to deeply set values concerning race, gender, politics and religion. Our daily existence is shaped by a lifetime of habits and immovable boundaries.
But what if you met a child with the power to change your mind?
The lives of 8 ordinary adults will be turned upside down for 48 hours and perhaps forever as they are asked to challenge a preconceived notion by a child/teen activist (8-16).
We will watch as deeply imbedded beliefs are torn apart by some of the youngest but most passionate people in the world and we will join them as they learn more about their cause through the eyes of adults.
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
Change My Mind is a television series that will tackle a different social issue each episode.
The program will take one adult and one child with opposing opinions on a social issue and throw them together for 48 hours to see if the enthusiastic voice of a child can change the mind of a resolute adult. Each participant will be given 24 hours to plead their case or enact their campaign to change the others mind.
The current landscape sees the older and younger generations polarised like never before - this show gives us an opportunity to bridge that gap and create a bit more tolerance and understanding on both sides.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
The main impact of our project is to bridge the divide between the current generations. With such polarising opinions between people across a range of social issues, the goal of the program is to unite people and show where are how opinions have come from depending on any one individual’s life experiences. The first part of implementing change is by curating empathy and this series hopes to accomplish this both within the show through its participants and to the audience watching it.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
Short term, we hope that just watching the participants in the show go on their journey that people may re-think their particular stand point on that particular issue. Putting faces to stories always has an impact on how people see an issue and if they are able to really relate to the people in the series, it could be enough to change an attitude or an action that they are currently doing in their lives.
Medium term we would hope to see more dialogues between generations taking place about a whole raft of issues: Climate change, racism, gender inequality, immigration etc. Exchanges of ideas and experiences will be encouraged as part of the shows social media channels.
Long term ideally we would build a new global level of tolerance between people of all ages. Change can happen very quickly and very slowly, but it cannot happen without a discussion because ultimately someone has to change someone else’s mind to implement a change in any scenario where there was once polarising views.
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
After winning the Mip International Format Pitch we were able to partner with a large international production company to co-produce this series with us. Our partners have great experience in the factual television arena and are assisting in solidifying the format with us. This reach gives us access to a larger audience than just Australia as well as resources outside of Australia. We also have relationships with many organisations that have huge access to young people across the world that are interested in activism and global issues.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
We hope that after people watch an episode of the show they will walk away and rethink their approach to how they interact with people that have differing opinions than they do. It’s easy to dig in and stick firm to ideas and beliefs that you have always held to, but it takes a lot of reflection and bravery to re-examine those ideals. We want people to go and join a Facebook group they wouldn’t normally engage with, spark up conversations with people they wouldn’t normally converse with. Essentially, we want to create new dialogues. Change My Mind provides a platform for discussion of issues affecting all of us. The characters and their strongly held views will at times provide laughter and at times move us to tears but moreover will surely be powerful and entertaining viewing for audiences worldwide.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Our indicators for success will be if we actually change some minds of the participants in the show. If we can have two people with polar opposite opinions take part in the series and walk away with a new understand then that is a real measure of success. Secondary to that is what the audience walks away with. Do they now understand the other side of an argument more clearly, have they also now changed a belief that they have held as truth before watching?
The next indicator for success will be for the format of the show to get replicated in other regions. Each country has it’s own unique set of issues and it would be great to be able to see a variety of versions of the show come to fruition after the initial series run.