A journey into storytelling: THNK at Vancouver Design Week

Oona Eager
Article by: Oona Eager
A journey into storytelling: THNK at Vancouver Design Week

THNK School of Creative Leadership brings A JOURNEY INTO STORYTELLING: MOVE PEOPLE TO ACT to Vancouver Design Week


Vancouver Design Week is almost here! The event is being called a ‘petri dish of design process, practice, and perspectives’. At THNK, we couldn’t be happier to have been brought on board as workshop leaders.


Our focus is STORYTELLING. And yes, we know. In corporate circles, ‘storytelling’ is as hot a word as ‘heirloom’ is to foodies. But how else to sum it up? Igniting social and aesthetic movements, making the case for smarter and more artful products and places—whatever you’re attempting, it’s no longer a monologue about you. You’ve got to ring like-minded bells in the heart and mind of the reader, the user, the buyer. That’s what a good story does.


Our own Robert Wolfe knows that the advantage of a good story begins long before any marketing machine hits the ground. It’s in the ideation, the talking-through. Collaborating, says Wolfe, is all about telling stories that move the listener to act:


“When you have done everything else right: connected with the audience, shown them why you are leading this effort, made the challenge and its urgency understandable – then your call to action is a gift to those that resonate with you or your purpose. Give them that gift.”


He follows it up with a caveat, though. Making a story actionable—in a simple, meaningful way—is far from easy. As Richard Branson said: “Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.


Rather than mastering what’s expected, the leaders at THNK contemplate the virtue of changing business models and outcomes by straying from what we know. This is how action is born—but it’s never done in isolation.


Says Sarah Dickinson, THNK Vancouver Managing Director: “This kind of storytelling is not about messaging or marketing. It’s the blueprint and structure for crafting stories that move people—not to tears, but to action. This is the thinking that has generated some of the most spectacular and iconic movements, corporate and social, that we’ve ever seen in this world.”


For creative leaders, storytelling is a design tool. Our first audience—and perhaps our most important one—is that of our peers. Digging in deep and sharing with those who can help evolve the narrative. It’s when we most need to draw valuable collaborators. The scoop:

Creative leadership is the ability to realize and develop innovative solutions. Storytelling puts the plan in action. Are you telling the right story to accelerate your vision? 


Join design leaders and visionaries in a day-long session to uncover storytelling techniques that harness your passion and purpose. Make new connections to the leaders in the community, practice innovation tactics, and walk away with the story you’ve been trying to tell. 


DATE: Friday, September 19th 2014, 11am - 5pm

LOCATION: SFU Woodwards 


TICKETS: $200. Early bird $150 through September 5th

BUY TICKETS: www.thnk.splashthat.com



Your call to action may be only 10% of the story you tell to further your cause. But perhaps it deserves 90% of your effort and genius to make it the right one. Here is where it begins. See you at VDW!