According to my eight-year-old daughter, Lara, who keeps inspiring me day after day, stories must have happy ending. Cinderella eventually finding her prince, the beauty falling in love with the beast and the bad witch facing a dreadful fate, we grew up to Disney’s fairytales epitomizing happy endings.
Those were Disney’s powerful narratives where storylines misdirected our expectations and eventually fell short of our beliefs . Those happy endings we had long watched on the screen had misguidedly shaped our definitions and confined our ambitions, making us believe that every chapter in our lives must have a good finale. But we, however, have failed to get to the bottom of this or know what defines a “good” finale and what happy endings truly stand for.
Narrative PR Summit cannot have a happy ending
As I embarked on preparing for Narrative’s third edition this year, I frequently got asked skeptical questions about the summit’s efficacy: is it happening again? What is it that it will offer this year? Have any one listened to last year’s recommendations in the first place? I happen to be aware that all of those queries are in fact legitimate and have good intentions. Nevertheless, I had to remind myself as I was booking a ticket for Disneyworld show and preparing my schedule to head to El Gouna Film Festival, that life is not a Disney storyline neither is it a movie. I’m sorry to break it to you that Narrative PR Summit cannot have a happy ending.
How Narrative Define Success?
Narrative has vowed to inspire, promote innovation and share knowledge. It carved out a path to build nation brands, bringing top leaders to the stage to encourage inspiring discussions that offer professionals across various industries a chance to be proud of who they are.
Narrative’s journey would in fact have been held back had the summit realized a conventional happy ending in its first or second round, and its vigorous pursuit of bringing change would have fallen short had all recommendations been put into action right afterwards. That would have been a short-lived success.
Big success is often just an accumulation of small successes and improvements on the path to happy endings. So we need to have a second thought before wishing for a happy ending, afterall do we need our journey abruptly ending?
Every excited speaker setting foot on Narrative stage, every round of applause, every satisfied nod from an established leader, every acknowledgment from a statesman/stateswoman is a happy ending. Every time the light dims, the national anthem plays, the music starts or speakers get on and off stage to shed light on an issue is a step forward on the journey towards a happy ending. Every time speakers scrabble around to get a few extra minutes to speak are glimpses of a happy ending. The enthusiasm, the smiles, the eagerness to inspire, the vast network we create and more importantly coming up with a roadmap for the future is yet another happy ending.
Narrative is an experience on its own, and the third edition promises authentic narrators, the likes of the World Bank’s Mahmoud Moheieldin, minister Ghada Waly, CIB’s Hussein Abaza, Etisalat’s Hatem Dowidar, Sam Werberg of the US embassy, global analyst Michael Bociurkiw, transformational leadership guru Gordon Tredgold, and Nestle’s Moataz El Hout will actually assume the stage.
On the entertainment front, designer Shosha Kamel, Injaz’ Dina El Mofty, PR leader Farzana Baduel, hospitality tycoon Ayman Baky and Gouna Film Festival’s Amr Mansy will open up in a rare public speaking occasion. (Does anyone even remember when the last time they spoke was? Well, yes that would be one of the very rare occasions where those special people will talk to inspire). Those leaders come for a reason and for a cause.
Happy endings are not predefined neither are they boxes to tick. They are journeys that count and learnings that materialize. Narrative is an unrivalled experience for both listeners and storytellers. We choose the journey to our ending; We tell our stories while nobody else does.