Good Storytelling: John Maeda’s Visit to Atlanta

As I head to Boston tomorrow for the NAIS Annual Conference, I am looking forward to hearing John Maeda again. I am re-posting this three year old blog entry as his book, REDESIGNING LEADERSHIP: DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY, BUSINESS, LIFE remains relevant in my thinking about school leadership. Maeda will be speaking at the Opening Session of the conference.

Ross All Over the Map

Monday night I had the pleasure of hearing John Maeda, President of The Rhode Island School of Design, speak at the High Museum in Atlanta. A partnership between the High, The Westminster Schools, and Lovett School made his visit possible. Having just finished his excellent short book, Redesigning Leadership: Design, Technology, Business, Life, I was excited to have the chance to hear him speak.

Maeda has the kind of extraordinary intellect that is able to render complexity understandable without ever speaking pejoratively. During his talk, I thought of something he said in the book: “Although data can make a compelling case for something, data rarely create the emotions needed to spur people into action.” Maeda goes on to write about not only the need for storytelling but indeed the primacy of storytelling over statistics. He argues that artists are uniquely suited for this task as they…

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