Storytellers Tackle Modern Woes with Old Tales (UK), May 24, 2007


Ancient stories first told by the Aztecs and Sumerians are helping businesses and people in the age of the Internet to make sense of modern life.

Professional storytellers like Dez Quarrell are using tales culled from cultures around the world to explain the conundrums of modern life for technology companies, marketing executives, education experts and of course, children.

“Stories are fabulous things, they can be used for virtually everything. They can be used in business, in education, in healthcare, in anything really,” Quarrell said.

He told of one technology company which hired a storyteller to help its marketing team understand its firewall computer security product.

“The storyteller made a story likening firewalls to protecting a castle and explained it to the sales teams,” he said. “The company was back in business.”

Quarrell, who taught his severely dyslexic son maths and science through storytelling, has also designed computer programs to tell stories to children in English and French.

Asked to tell a story which encapsulates the world today, white-haired Quarrell told the story of Noah’s Ark, drawing parallels with ancient Sumerian stories from Iraq, Hindu stories from India and Aztec stories from Mexico.

“These are ancient stories which predate any connections between civilisations but they all run to the same recipe,” Quarrell said. “If we were to look back at our stories we would see that in many cases stories are the glue that binds us all together.”

Subjects Covered: business, diversity training, education, medicine

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