letter from enso: tell stories that move
In the old days, telling the story was enough. Today, it no longer is. With new technologies, unprecedented connectivity, and a rising desire for purpose, we are in need of stories that not only move us, but move us to action. Herein lies a new responsibility for storytellers everywhere. Should our story be finished at “The End,” or is that just the beginning? What actions will people take after the stories we tell?
New forms of storytelling are emerging all around us. Virtual reality is bringing audiences into the story. Podcasts and documentary web series, such as Serial and Making a Murderer, are driving people to change the story. Even blockbuster movies and traditional narrative forms are beginning to inspire and move people to action.
But how do we harvest this energy? How do use the personal experience of stories to connect people with one another? At enso, we are inspired by the power of story and its potential to help us shape a brighter future. As we enter 2016, these are the questions that are inspiring us, sparking our curiosity, and driving us to tell impactful stories of our own.
We hosted our fifth Big Table event at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where we convened creative and brand leaders to discuss how film can move people — and move humanity forward. Here’s what we learned.
Storytelling was all around us that week. Our friend and artist Yumi Sakugawa helped visualized the Big Table conversation with a live painting of the discussion in real time. Maiah Wynne, a singer and songwriter who is currently working on social-impact-focused album, played an original score that wove together the stories our guests were sharing. We were moved to tears at the premiere of the stunning climate change documentary How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change.
Art has always held the power to create empathy, and we’ve seen certain mediums — such as music in the ’60s — channel this energy into real change before. But, as impactful stories unfolded around us all month (painting, music, film), it was clear that inspiring audiences to action has become an imperative for artists and storytellers everywhere. As a storyteller, there is no longer an option but to use the power of story as an impetus for change.
The future of storytelling couldn’t be more exciting. But, as enso co-founder Kirk Souder points out, “with that excitement comes also a heightened sense of responsibility. Knowing that the stories we make can do more than fill space — that they can indeed create new space — more beautiful, more healthy, more kind, more unified, and more loving space,
…what stories will we choose to tell?”