The First Annual Paul McCarthy Speaker event, Change the Story, Change the World by Andy Goodman, will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Sanibel Community Association, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Doors will open at 6:30 and light refreshments will be available. The event is free but preregistration on EventBrite is required by January 30, 2019 (, go to Programs and look for event link).

The lecture series was conceived by the Boler Family Foundation, which provided a grant to cover program costs, as a way to honor a dear family friend, Paul McCarthy, founder of Captiva Cruises and an active presence on the islands for years. Paul’s 67th birthday would have been Feb. 6.

Change the Story, Change the World by Andy Goodman is a chance to learn how the approach to information or call to action can be framed to motivate or engage more people. The art of non-fictional story telling can help engage more people in what may be a particularly challenging situation.

As an example: In Brazil, organ donation was almost considered taboo. There were lots of misconceptions and stigma attached to donation of viable organs for thousands of people whose lives depended upon a transplant. So donation organizations began looking to something Brazilians were passionate about — soccer.

They began working with local soccer clubs to promote donation. This eventually lead to people associating intent for organ donation to be a mark of a super fan. To be a donor began to be imbued with the same passion as support for the local soccer hero or community club. The transformation was remarkable and the wait list for patients hoping for a new heart, liver, kidney was reduced to zero.

It was all about the story: discovering what blocked people from advanced consent, what they cared about deeply and changing the culture to celebrate. Moving people from information to knowledge to action is a skill.

Andy believes stories are the single most powerful communication tool we have, with the power to change the world.