I just finished binge-watching The Queen’s Gambit, and I’m reminded again of the power of good story-telling.
What amazes me about stories is how they deliver an extraordinary amount of rich and nuanced information — which is spontaneously decoded through our own experiences and cultural references.
On a physiological level, studies have documented how engagement with stories activates the regions of the brain responsible for complex information processing. And I can attest to that.
While watching the story’s protagonist, Beth Harmon, navigate life as a nine-year-old boarding school student, my attention was enriched by two layers of context — my own memories and experiences as a student of that age; and my current life experience. All this neural activity was prompted quite naturally as I watched the story unfold from my living room sofa.
When it comes to understanding the power of narrative, there’s a lot to unpack. But in simple terms, narrative is information wrapped in cultural context. And since we are cultural beings, this makes story-telling very potent.
I founded Aegis, a relational design firm. Aegis helps create emotionally-intelligent brands and organisations.