Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Being Able To Tell Stories May Help The Economy

I saw this in an article in The Chronicle Of Higher Education. See The Creative Campus: Time for a 'C' Change by Elizabeth Long Lingo and Steven J. Tepper. Here is the exerpt that I found interesting:

"Can administrators afford, amid the pressing demands on their funds, to reorganize their colleges around creativity? Can they afford not to?

First, there is a growing consensus that America's economy will be increasingly based on creativity, or what the writer Daniel H. Pink calls "high touch" and "high concept" skills. Many existing high-tech and white-collar jobs—basic computer programming, accounting, data­­base management, routine scientific work—may be exported abroad in the coming years. To stay competitive, America will need to draw on its ability to tell stories, create visually compelling messages and designs, come up with new ways to organize and synthesize information, and invent programs and businesses to solve complicated social problems or tap emerging markets. Business leaders are demanding those skills. A recent IBM poll of global CEO's ranked creativity as the most important factor for future success. And while there will always be jobs in service industries, many of the highest-paying jobs will be in the creative sector."

This reminded me of a story in the Chronicle from earlier in the year about the famous biologist E. O. Wilson, who had just written his first novel. Why did he write the novel? "He says it came to him as an insight about effective science communication that "people want a story, and you get a much larger audience when you tell a story, and the best way to tell a story is with fiction, a novel." But it was challenging for the life-long scientist to tell one." (See the May 30, 2010 issue, "For E.O. Wilson, a Lifetime of Science Feeds Into Fiction"-you probably need a subscription to read it online)

So stories help the economy and even scientists recognize that people want a story. Maybe evolution somehow shaped us that way.


  1. The economy has always relied on creativity of people.

    The realization that is missing is that all growth occurs from the outside in. You cannot make something out of nothing.

  2. Thanks again for dropping by and commenting. yes, I agree that creativity has always been important. But I don't recall anyone said that telling stories would be important.

    I am not sure what you mean by "all growth occurs from the outside in."

  3. "But I don't recall anyone said that telling stories would be important."

    The obvious need not be stated.

    What kind of stories are we talking about? Myths, legends, tales? Prose or poetry?

    See "The Flight of the Wild Gander"pages 16 &17.

    Think of the universe and all that is in it as a metabolism. Growth of any kind depends on the acquisition of mass.

    Economics is an abstraction of an abstraction and therefore surreal, not subject to the rules of cause&effect,function&form that bind the universe.

    Economics is causality, whereby the rules that come into play ignore the rational and arbitrarily acquire the flow of mass. An example is taxes, it is never the right amount. How is that you say. The lack of synchronicity due to cross hierarchical violations.

    Growth requires a mechanism, the lever, to acquire mass. However this is done hierarchically, rationally. This is real, rational, growth.

    I will have a quote from either Otto Rank or Arthur Danto on the narrative as soon as I can find it.

  4. richard sillikerMay 2, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    "Economics is causality"

    Should read "Economics is a concept"