The power of storytelling for social innovators

Climate change, inequality, unemployment, poverty, fair trade, emissions trading and other challenges are just part of the problems solved by social innovations. Social innovation is the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress.

Despite good intentions many well-meaning social-innovation projects never reach their potential. Do you know what is the reason?

A new study shows that nonprofits need to harness the power of narrative and networks to enhance their reach, resources, and impact.

Successful leaders in business, nonprofits and philanthropy understand the power of storytelling to educate and inspire people.

Why Story Matters

There are 3 types of shareable information: 1) facts, 2) opinions, and 3) stories. Of the 3, stories are the shortest distance to our hearts. A story is a roadmap to another person’s subjective experience. It’s the gateway to empathy. Don’t you think it’s obvious why stories are an essential means of relating for social innovators.

4 steps to mastering the art of storytelling

1.     Storytelling must be strategic. Social innovators often dive into storytelling without articulating clear goals, understanding the interests and motivations of target audiences. Some of them often don’t set measurable objectives. These strategic guidelines are necessary to craft effective content and design an engagement plan. Social innovators should use appropriate platforms to reach the right people and mobilize them for the cause.

2.     Effective storytelling takes skill. The most meaningful stories often come from people with authentic and insightful experiences to share. It’s not necessary they are skilled storytellers. Storytelling professionals with specialized creative and technical skills know how to turn compelling stories into high-quality content. Only few organizations have skilled storytellers on staff or the resources to hire marketing experts to create content for storytelling. While plenty of tools exist, social innovators often don’t know how to use and apply them.

3.     Stories must be meaningful. In today’s hypercompetitive market, people notice and share only the most powerful content. By rethinking the way we use data and understanding our audience, we can create meaningful stories that influence and engage the audience on both an emotional and logical level. Stories for social impact must show people as active agents of change, who play a central role in creating solutions to the problems they face. This preserves their dignity, encourages empathy, and inspires support from others.

4.     There’s no one-size-fits-all tool for storytelling. There are plenty of tools and resources to help storytellers build their digital stories. Some social innovators struggle to understand which to use to most effectively engage the right audiences. Most organizations need guidance on best practices for utilizing common platforms. On the other hand they also need access to data that can help them target the right audiences.

Do you want to know more?

Join our international Advisory Board! Click HERE to read more!

Who are we and why you should join us?

SOCIA brings together five experienced partners from Luxembourg, Greece, Poland, Slovenia and Spain to develop and test the Social Innovation Academy concept.

The Academy will be the first European, fully online management training programe focusing exclusively on social innovation.

Why Social Innovation Academy?

Social Innovation has been increasingly perceived as the answer to the rising number of European societal challenges. While the European authorities, leading academics, policy experts, business people and activists agree that social innovation is the key to better future for Europe and the world, it is extremely difficult for professionals to obtain high quality training on what social innovation actually offers and, more importantly, how it can be done in practice. We aim to change this situation in Europe and beyond.

What are the main benefits if you join us?

  • You can help with the creation of an online training on social innovation.
  • You will meet other social innovators and exchange information with them.
  • You will be invited to meetings of social innovators.
  • You will get many new ideas for the development of social entrepreneurship.