July 15, 2013

New Stories Needed

In my new essay, What Will Replace the Hero's Journey, on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, I explore the skepticism generated by reliance on the hero's journey narrative: person goes on journey, is challenged, resolves challenges, and is transformed. I offer several examples of authentic stories that reflect the complexity and messiness of life, and that are currently being publicly shared by organizations.

An excerpt:
Familiarity can be extremely comforting. In a hero’s journey, there are definitive winners, villains, benefactors, and plot twists. It certainly accelerates message comprehension: You too—if you act similarly—can be a hero.
But familiarity can also, ultimately, breed skepticism. And if audiences are becoming skeptical of such pat storylines, what, if anything, might replace the common hero’s journey?

Click here to read the full post.

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