How to Transform a True Story Into an Urban Movement?

How to Transform a True Story Into an Urban Movement?

How to Transform a True Story Into an Urban Movement? 370 218 Shlomi Ron


It’s 8 AM in September, you are enjoying your coffee with your partner and your dogs outside your usual spot at La Provence on Flagler near the busy corner of NE 3rd Avenue in Downtown Miami.

The street is packed with people on their way to work. All of sudden, a clearly mentally disturbed homeless man is starting to yell curses at everyone who passed him.



What will you do?

Ignore the man as you see a ton of them every day or since you have a good heart and also like to improve the neighborhood vibes, try to see how you could help?

Two years ago, Thomas Lang chose the latter option that turned out fatal. This tragic incident that could have happened to anybody led his spouse, Steve Dutton to investigate WHY nobody was seeking to get the homeless attacker help for his mental illness.

Sometimes it so happens that you get to work on such an inspirational story with such incredible stakes that the whole process writes itself organically; from story making, story visualizing and the ensuing storytelling strategy.

Such was the case with our client, Avenue 3 Miami.

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Einstein was right. Indeed, “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

And so, Steve is asking: What if you could transform the urban homelessness problem in Miami from a multi-million dollar a year cost center into a lucrative profit center?

Avenue 3 Miami is a pioneering organization comprised of passionate Miami residents dedicated to reducing the number of unsheltered persons by 20% on city streets by leveraging human-centric technology solutions that empower the homeless to proactively improve their lives, and this way transforming homeless-stricken NE 3rd Avenue into a cultural destination, with the potential to catalyze further transformation in the Downtown Core.

This short brand-documentary-style film is a true story of how a tragedy and death can turn into a positive movement that can help Downtown Miami address some of the challenges it is facing. A Visual Storytelling Institute production, with the help of Steve Dutton, Shlomi Ron and all the supporters of the Avenue 3 Miami movement. English audio, Spanish subtitles. Directors: Ville Ailio, and Daniela Verona.

We met Steve Dutton as he was attending one of our Visual Storytelling Masterclasses at the Idea Center, Miami-Dade College. We typically break our audience into groups where each group applies a specific product to our 9-step My Visual Story Framework and close with each team presenting their final outputs.

His story, jovial personality and above all, his grand vision for his non-profit organization – Avenue 3 Miami – moved us into a fantastic collaboration.

Developing Avenue 3’s business narrative revealed the core elements of a true hero’s journey with a clear value exchange to move the story forward. In this case, from despair to hope.

His journey has just begun, but what a nice onramp to making a significant life-changing impact in his immediate community.

An exciting and quite emotional premiere for our short film
– AVENUE 3 – URBAN INITIATIVE at Indie Pasion Film Festival last Sunday.

The reality is that we’re all battling to clear out variable degrees of fog with stories we tell ourselves that will hopefully reveal the right path forward. It’s true for you as a business leader who is looking to grow and make an impact.

And it’s even more important for your customer – on the other side – that is struggling to solve the exact problem your widget happens to solve.

Until next time, don’t let the market write your story for you. Take control of your narrative! Schedule a FREE conversation to learn more about our Visual Storytelling Workshop.

Shlomi Ron

Co-founder, CEO at Visual Storytelling Institute. After 20 years of well-rounded digital marketing experience, having worked both on the agency and brand sides for Fortune 100/500 brands such as American Express, Nokia and IBM, Shlomi has co-founded the Visual Storytelling Institute (VSI) to help business leaders rise above the noise through the power of storytelling and the effectiveness of visual media. Shlomi's new book: Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals To Help You Create Richer, Visual Brand Stories.

All stories by: Shlomi Ron

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