Storytelling Academy Co-Founder Eda Bayraktar, who describes herself as somebody passionate about working on stories, believes that stories are an archaic power that can inspire and navigate people and make a difference in the world when they are used effectively. Thanks to the interdisciplinary storytelling system and methodology they have developed in the Academy, they facilitate entrepreneurs, NGOs, brands, individuals, and organizations to explore and share their stories effectively.
Since becoming intrigued by stories, Storytelling Academy Co-Founder and UK Director Eda Bayraktar, has focused on the art and science of storytelling, so that individuals, organizations, and brands can effectively uncover and share their stories. In 2016, Eda Bayraktar who established Storytelling Academy as Turkey’s first academy of storytelling has continued to work in London as the academy’s UK Director for two years.
Eda Bayraktar calls the work they perform in Storytelling Academy as ‘madness’ since the country they live in uses the phrase of “don’t tell me a story” frequently, is now creating stories through training sessions, consultancy, and projects in Turkey, the United Kingdom and in different cities of Europe. Bayraktar is stating that they have developed Turkey’s first academy-based story creation game namely the Kulenga (Storytelling Game) in order to develop storytelling and story design skills of children and adults. According to her, “We have started to produce and deepen both on the field and academic side of this business. “I have completed my Master’s thesis on ‘Storytelling and the Hero’s Journey Story Design’ which is again related to this expertise”.
“Storytelling is a legacy we have received from our ancestors”
Eda Bayraktar, who argues that storytelling is just as old as human civilization, and is the most ancient and still relevant language of communication and art, tells that: “Storytelling is a magical discipline that encourages, guides, motivates, attracts our attention and can be etched in our minds. During this period, I was also following up on the pieces of training and projects abroad. I met with storytelling during an educational project I took part in Berlin. I caught myself in the story which is told in a language I don’t speak. I had the opportunity to work with a variety of instructors, academics, and narrators focusing on the field of storytelling. While I was learning the performance and story art dimension, I also started researching the scientific and academic dimensions of the work”. She also states that “I was intrigued to see how a story could transform a person, an institution, a life.”
After she quit her job as training coordinator for that time being and founded a joint company with her sibling, Eda Bayraktar continues by explaining that after encountering with storytelling, she has started to explore different worlds and as an instructor, by observing and applying how stories are utilized in countries such as Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Scotland, and England. Based on her observations, she explains:
“There was no framework that focused on how stories could be used as a method in different industries and at the same time integrating this practice with the world of education and business. I have started to develop training and modules for this issue, and share what I know about it. Before this field of interest, I have worked in different sectors and obtained training courses in different disciplines. I wanted to incorporate all these disciplines and professional experience within the area of storytelling and to build an interdisciplinary storytelling system and methodology.
I decided to come to London after receiving a job offer from a company project in England. By becoming entitled to the British Council sponsorship, I have undertaken the consultancy work for the corporate brand story of a company. After observing the creative ecosystem and opportunities in the UK, I decided to continue my next business journey here and launched the Storytelling Academy’s London branch.”
Storytelling can be applied to several different fields
The Storytelling Academy, which delivers services to enterprises, NGOs, entrepreneurs, educators, and employees of the creative industry
, designs and offers tailor-made solutions to fulfill the requirements and expectations of each organization. Eda Bayraktar who discusses training and consultation programs also tells that entrepreneurs have applied storytelling to the marketing of their goods or services with their brand stories while NGOs have applied it to improve their social benefits. Individuals and organizations prefer storytelling to enable presentation, speech, training, and social media content to become more effective for marketing and advertising. She demonstra
tes that digital storytelling would also be required for internet and technology-based brands.
“We leverage the power of the story to bring meaning to life.”
Eda Bayraktar also said that currently, Storytelling has started to become a field of profession for the world’s largest cor
porations, and believes that storytelling facilitates the bonding process with a brand and effectively illustrates the point. According to the Bayraktar, “Stories are the way we understand ourselves, others, and the world. This is why we can observe that storytelling is being utilized in almost every field, from communication and marketing to the arts and education, from leadership and politics to business and product development, from child development to language education. “. And she also adds that “Whether your goal is to communicate, market your product or service, convince others or create a source for your initiative, you need to tell an impressive tale that would excite people. In an era where data is transferred too quickly, we should take advantage of the power of the narrative to draw interest, make a difference, and bring value to our work and life.”.
Storytelling mechanisms are being shifted to the digital environment
Eda Bayraktar points out that today’s narrative forms have largely been transferred to digital, and that the use of storytelling with interdisciplinary models such as neuroscience, gamification, design thinking, user experience, etc. has also been increased. She states that: “The history of storytelling dates back thousands of years. Technology has changed approaches, but the desire to tell and listen to stories has never changed. Irrespective of our generation, no matter how far technology goes, we will always need High-Touch as well as High-Tech. Digitalization and storytelling will be going forward always hand-in-hand. Therefore, we have to create stories that will shape the future”.