Summary of If a Story Moves You, Act on It

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7 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

7 Style


Humans have long understood the powerful emotive effect of stories. Now, writer and activist Sisonke Msimang questions the effectiveness of stories as a catalyst for action. She explains that some stories resonate so strongly in listeners that the vicarious experience replaces action, and she recommends strategies to help audiences overcome this tendency. getAbstract loves a good story and highly recommends Msimang’s charming, insightful talk.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why well-intentioned stories can inhibit social action,
  • Why stories are becoming more potent and credible than the media, and
  • What actions audiences can take to improve the world.

About the Speaker

Storyteller, writer and human rights activist Sisonke Msimang is head of programs at the Center for Stories.



Storytelling is a powerful tool. It gives voices to people’s personal narratives and acts as a strong counterbalance to ignorance and bias. Anyone with access to the Internet can download stories...

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