The Power of Stories to Inform: Going Beyond Data to Understand Critical Policy Issues
Department:WWS Office of Public Affairs and Communications
Audience:Open to the Public
Arthur Brooks, president of the public policy think tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI), will give a lecture on "The Power of Stories to Inform: Going Beyond Data to Understand Critical Policy Issues." A book sale and signing will follow the discussion: His latest book is The New York Times bestseller “The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America” (Broadside Books, 2015).
An engaging storyteller in his own right, Brooks will focus on the potential for stories to improve understanding of the top policy issues of the day, such as poverty and climate change. Facts and figures are important, but often overlook the human story behind each data point.
“It’s one of the paradoxes of persuasion: Smart people are afraid to tell stories. But while we often resort to facts and figures to get our point across, the truth is that human stories possess the greatest power to convict, persuade, and, most importantly, unite,” Brooks said. “As neuroscientists and behavioral social scientists have demonstrated, the secret to stronger human connection isn’t more data — it’s better stories. By learning to share the narratives of our own lives — and paying closer attention to those of others — we can all become more effective and more unifying leaders in our communities, families, and places of work.”
Brooks has been president of AEI since January 2009 and is also the Beth and Ravenel Curry Scholar in Free Enterprise at AEI.
He is a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and the best-selling author of 11 books on topics including the role of government, economic opportunity, happiness, and the morality of free enterprise.