What is a Story Architect?
When bringing together world-changing technology, research, and
the everyday experiences of people, you need someone to bridge the gap.
The power of story architecting
The world we live in is complex, and we are losing out on brilliant ideas and information because we, as a society, get lost in translation. We have subject-matter experts, but what we need are translators who can organize their insights into stories, architected to resonate with real people.
Whether you're a marketer with the best gadget in the industry, a nonprofit advocate who is passionate about your cause, an author with a brilliant seedling of an idea, or an ambitious entrepreneur ready to disrupt the way we do business, finding cohesive narratives will bring clarity to your mission and will better define the impact you stand to impart on the world.
But finding the right story isn't easy.
When you look at the biggest problems and the brightest futures facing society - from climate change to racial justice, politics, artificial intelligence, and data privacy, or the pursuit of art, leisure, and travel - you often find a significant gap. Everyone has a what; a well-defined product, service, or idea. But not everyone has a "so, what?"
What is your vision? Why should [insert audience here] care?
Chief executives. Vulnerable and marginalized populations. People with diverse language backgrounds. Politicians making decisions that affect millions. New parents raising babies.
Why should they care?
Good entrepreneurs should strive to think like a good writer: what is my thesis, how do I prove it, and what is the best avenue to make my reader cry, or laugh, or act?
How do your stories make people's lives better?
This is where every good story starts, and it's where someone like me thrives. Am I a data scientist? I am not. Can I run massive datasets against algorithms to solve complex data privacy problems being addressed in the healthcare field by companies like Microsoft? Again, I am not. But data storytellers - narrative architects - lead with curiosity, and with a little inquisitive research, a lot of creativity, and by asking the right questions, I can build a bridge between the quantitative and qualitative worlds we live in.
That's the value of a good story.
(If you are interested in reading about data ethics in healthcare,
read chapter 2 of Beyond the Movement, below!)
How did I get here?
In undergrad, I initially pursued a "pre-med" education via a genetics major. Let me spare you the details: I loved the stories about how underlying genetics manifest into different realities for people. But I wasn't inspired by the tactical process - peering through microscopes and studying genetic code didn't motivate me. It's incredible information to have command over. I was not meant to be that commander. I wanted to think bigger.
It's intriguing to apply the knowledge and experience I have today to my educative experience in high school, and even further in the past. I have always had a knack for math and analytical thinking, but my childhood was truly captivated with writing. Authoring tiny little stories in tiny, homemade books bound by notebook paper and staples, I loved language. Math and science were concrete; they helped me understand how the world related to itself, but it scarcely stirred anything within me. Not until I discovered its underlying stories.
When I zoomed out to see the bigger picture, the "so, what?" behind the scientific process, I made connections that brought the quantitative world to life. I knew I needed to incrementally shift the path of my collegiate education to truly do justice to my underlying passions and skills, and in the process, I discovered a stupendously serendipitous mixture of both of these worlds.
Unbeknownst to me, I majored in story architecting.
CHANCELLOR'S ANNUAL FUND
Embodying The Wisconsin Idea
I was fortunate to study at one of the most highly regarded research institutions in the world. Once I commit to a Life Sciences Communications degree I simultaneously became less specialized in a single subject, while arming myself with the tools and foundation to learn them all. My years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison cultivated a deeper curiosity in the world around me. It has unleashed an ability to sort through the complex and distill it into something beautifully simple. More importantly, they empowered me to advance expertise to heights I never thought possible.
Jill of all trades, master of some.
Today, I work with some of the brightest economists, researchers, and thought leaders across industries to bring clarity and simplicity to complex ideas. My work aligns my cultivated fascination with economics, technology, and data with a naturally passionate curiosity and a desire to think big.
Suddenly my dream of being a writer as a child has become a reality, and I am using this foundation to build the bridge between change agents, and the industries they are changing.