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  • Olawale Ogunlana

Changing the World One Story at a Time: The Impact of Storytelling

What do reading books, watching movies, and enjoying excellent communication all have in common?


They tell a great story.


If there is one thing I have learned in the past four years, it is the power of storytelling. Everyone loves a good story, not only for the great feelings but for the impact great stories can have on us to make us better people and do great things. I never understood the true power of telling stories until I ventured into the tech space. In today's newsletter, I want to share three unique personal experiences over the last few months that have made me an unrepentant storyteller.



So about two weeks ago, I wrote a story about the importance of technology in driving social inclusion for all, especially for people with varying degrees of disability. You could imagine my amazement and excitement when I learned that Deep Knowledge Group and Deep Knowledge Philanthropy took that story to heart and will be hosting an event for Assistive Technology at the House of Parliament in the United Kingdom, bringing together industry influencers, tech organizations and thought leaders to discuss the future of assistive technology for all, starting with the United Kingdom. This is happening right now as I write this newsletter. It happened faster than a rocket could shoot me into space—more on this in my following newsletter.



Who says stories can't be powerful instruments of change?

Everyone loves a good story, not only for the great feelings but for the impact great stories can have on us to make us better people and do great things.

Furthermore, anyone who knows about my community-building efforts beyond LinkedIn may have come across some of my short videos where I have a comedic take on health issues using Nigerian comedy parlance to push health advice. In the last six months, I have received many personal messages expressing gratitude for sharing these health tips and how these stories change their health behaviours. In this regard, I also have a friend and colleague (Aproko Doctor) who mentored me in this area and together, we boldly attested to the millions of lives changed. All because we tell health stories.

Who says stories can't be powerful instruments of change?

Finally, a little while ago, I told a documented story about a company and their efforts to provide health access in Africa. I believe they are doing a fantastic job because that was the simple truth. A little while after we told that story, the CEO invited me to a lovely lunch meeting. It was a very fancy lunch. Later during that meeting, I learned about the story of a particular investor that had eluded him for about three years. He finally got an approving nod from him after we told their story. Behold, it was a six-digit investment in US dollars.

Amazing. Right?



Stories are effective instruments for change. A famous proverb says, "You're never going to kill storytelling because it's built in the human plan." Furthermore, as Laura Holloway once said, "Storytelling is our obligation to the next generation." She also says, "Give something of meaning to your audience by inspiring, engaging, and educating them with a story. Stop marketing. Start storytelling."

I have decided I will never stop telling stories of individuals and organizations who are creating an impact in developing countries. It is my little way of making the world better.

If there is anything I want you to take from today's newsletter (other than my storied experiences) - Never be afraid to tell your own story. Somebody somewhere in the world is desperate to hear it. Tell your story, and the world will be better for it.

Never be afraid to tell your own story.
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