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Members’ Room Event

Frank Rose, The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 6:00 PM | Members' Room | open to the public | $15 per person | registration required

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A practical guide to "narrative thinking," and why it matters in a world defined by data.

In The Sea We Swim In, Frank Rose leads us to a new understanding of stories and their role in our lives. For decades, experts from many fields―psychologists, economists, advertising and marketing executives―failed to register the power of narrative. Scientists thought stories were frivolous. Economists were knee-deep in theory. Marketers just wanted to cut to the sales pitch. Yet stories, not reasoning, are the key to persuasion.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, stories determine how we view the world and our place in it. That means the tools of professional storytellers―character, world, detail, voice―can unlock a way of thinking that’s ideal for an age in which we don’t passively consume media but actively participate in it. Building on insights from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Rose shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told.

Leading brands and top entertainment professionals already understand the vast potential of storytelling. From Warby Parker to Mailchimp to The Walking Dead, Rose explains how they use stories to establish their identity and turn ordinary people into fans―and how you can do the same.

Frank Rose is the author of The Sea We Swim In and The Art of Immersion, a landmark book on tech and narrative. A former contributing editor at Wired and contributing writer at Fortune, he now teaches global business executives as faculty director of Columbia University’s Strategic Storytelling seminar and heads the Digital Dozen awards program at Columbia’s pioneering Digital Storytelling Lab.


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