Alex Evans

The Myth Gap
  • The Myth Gap

  • Why, with absolutely no idea what Brexit actually meant, did the UK vote for Brexit?
    Why, rather than vote for the best-qualified candidate ever to stand as US President, did voters opt for a reality TV star with no political experience?
    In both cases, the winning side promised change and offered hope. They told a story voters longed to hear. And in the absence of greater, more unifying narratives, then true or not, voters plumped for the best story available.
    Once upon a time our society was rich in stories. They brought us together and helped us to understand the world and ourselves. We called them myths. Today, we have a myth gap – a vacuum that Alex Evans argues powerfully and persuasively is both dangerous and an opportunity.
    In this time of global crisis and transition– mass migration, inequality, resource scarcity, and climate change - It is stories, rather than facts and pie-charts,that will animate us and bring us together. It is by finding new myths, those that speak to us of renewal and restoration, that we will navigate our way to a better future.


    Drawing on his first-hand experience as a political adviser within British government and at the United Nations, and examining the history of climate change campaigning and recent contests such as Brexit and the US presidential election, Alex Evans explores:
    *how tomorrow’s activists are using narratives for change,
    * how modern stories have been used and abused,
    * where we might find the right myths that will take us forward

Alex Evans is a Senior Fellow at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation (CIC), with nearly twenty years’ experience in climate and development policy. He is currently on secondment to the Business Commission on Sustainable Development as its Research Director. Alex has worked as Special Adviser to two UK Secretaries of State for International Development (Hilary Benn and Valerie Amos), as an expert on climate change in the UN Secretary-General’s office, and with think tanks including Chatham House and the Brookings Institution. He has also worked as a consultant on futures and foreign policy for organizations from Oxfam to the US National Intelligence Council. Alex lives in North Yorkshire and is married with two children.