Today I was watching a PBS video on ancestry and genealogy. The host shares researched historical data and genetic data with his guests.
How the story is told in each episode depends upon what information was found during the research (of course!).
In this particular episode, the host sat down with a guest and opened the report to the first page. From across the table, in what seemed an intimate conversation, he shared a simple chart – a pie chart.
The chart broke down the results of their genetic profile for their race make-up. The percentage of asian, european, african, and so on.
This simple image was a challenge.
It played the role of the herald (from Joseph Campell’s Monomyth): an invitation to take a journey.
A journey of self discovery.
A journey to ask more questions, to challenge the data.
A journey to determine how to incorporate this new information into their existing identity.
This post isn’t about genetics, ancestry, or race. This post is about how simple data can both tell a story and start a story – start the person on an adventure – a ‘choose your own adventure’ story.
The Challenge: How can your simple data tell a story?