A lot of people have differing opinions about who rules the new digital era. Some think it is those with capital (a high proportion of whom are the ones with capital). Some think it will be the engineers who shape and structure logic so that it, tamed, can no longer hurt us.
There are a few voices in the wild who say it is storytellers who rule with them.
There should be more. A good story delivered in the digital realm can now reach hundreds of thousands of people within a day. It can resonate with people from around the world—and pass through physical borders as though they have never existed at all.
Stories can spark dialogue and thought that lead to the world of tomorrow. Stories can start revolutions that change the world of today.
The self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi sparked the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.
Technology was not responsible for the power that singular act of utter defiance conveyed, but with every tweet and status update, the story grew stronger—until regimes that had lasted for decades buckled under the power of storytelling.
In this new digital age, that will become the rule rather than the exception.
Through our online connections, a story becomes chopped up and distributed in a million different ways. It has never been easier to have an opinion, and to share it with complete strangers.
Storytellers have never had to deal with such entropy, but they have also never been so liberated as to express themselves as plainly and as genuinely as they can: and watch the power of the crowd carry their story forward.
We rely on stories to root us to our humanity: our deepest fears and aspirations—to make the future make sense. Engineers will build the future. Financiers will fund it. Storytellers will define it.
Storytelling is power.