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Moving from Story to Narratives: Insights from John Hagel

2013 South by Southwest Interactive

At the 2013 SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, storytelling was a main theme, with over 100 discussions focused on the topic. John Hagel, director in Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge, provided his own viewpoint, addressing an audience of nearly 600 participants in his session entitled, “Moving from story to narrative.” So, why is story telling such a hot topic? And, what’s the difference between a story and a narrative?  In John’s own words:

Stories are extremely powerful in terms of engaging emotion and creating memorable experiences, so I understand why stories are so intriguing and why there's so much focus on the power of story.  But I want to draw a distinction between stories…and narratives…  One is that narratives are open-ended. They don't have resolution.  There is something that is in the process of unfolding. The end is yet to be determined.  And second, there's an invitation to all of us to participate in that narrative, to help determine what the outcome is going to be.  It's yet to be determined and it's up to you, not up to them, not up to me, up to you as to how this is going to unfold and resolve itself.

At the end of the day, if we get this right, the best way to think about the world is not seven billion mouths to feed, but seven billion minds to unleash.  That's a powerful, powerful opportunity.

Watch the entire session or choose from any of the six individual parts of the presentation.


Media mentions

The rise of the narrative: engaging and participatory storytelling
PulsePoint group
By Jesse Jacks | March 25, 2013

Mobile Fix: SXSW, the future of agencies and proving search works
By Simon Andrews | March 15, 2013

SXSW – Digital’s Dark Side
Expedient MEANS
By Steve A Furman | March 14, 2013

Tackle the Narrative
Waggener Edstrom
By John Haynsworth |March 13, 2013

The Power of Narratives in a Digital World
By Brooke Hovey | March 12, 2013

SXSW: Forget Stories. Your Brand Needs a Narrative
By Sarah Skerik | March 12, 2013

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