Sides To a Story

by | Oct 3, 2020 | ShiftHappens

How many times have you heard someone say “there are two sides to every story?”

We are taught to frame our thinking in these dualistic terms, with even our most significant and complex cultural conversations unfolding on this binary framework.

Pro-life versus pro-choice;

Right versus left;

Wall street versus main street.

These narratives serve those who seek power and influence, whose agenda is to convince and convert. They fit easily within our human tendencies toward tribalism, reductiveness, and confirmation bias. We gravitate towards them because they are fast and easy, and because paradox makes us uncomfortable.

Binary thinking works for sales pitches and politicians, but it makes inner growth and bridging differences far more difficult.

The word “nuance” means “shades of difference.” In essence, seeing beyond “black and white” forces us to see the world in far more color. It takes more time, patience, and conversation. It requires us to hold competing truths, our own or someone else’s, even when it is confusing. It means we have to get more comfortable admitting what we don’t yet know. It requires presence and conscious attention, listening and learning.

We may think in binary, but we exist as multidimensional, evolving beings who are hurtling through an equally complex, technicolor universe.

There are infinite sides to each of our individual stories.


Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.