Using Storytelling to Drive Innovation from Chaos | Ized Uanikhehi | TEDxUniversityOfBenin | Summary and Q&A

September 28, 2023
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Using Storytelling to Drive Innovation from Chaos | Ized Uanikhehi | TEDxUniversityOfBenin


Chaos can lead to innovation, and storytelling is a powerful tool to navigate chaos, articulate ideas, engage audiences, and drive innovation.

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Key Insights

  • 🥺 Chaos can be disruptive, but it can also lead to innovation and development.
  • 👨‍💼 Businesses like Uber, Alibaba, and Airbnb have found success by creating order in chaotic systems.
  • 🚛 Storytelling helps articulate ideas, engage audiences, and make innovations more relatable and tangible.
  • 🖐️ Storytelling is a universal concept and plays a crucial role in transmitting information and shaping behavior and culture.
  • 😊 The brain responds positively to storytelling, producing dopamine and oxytocin, which aids in engaging audiences and driving pro-social behaviors.
  • 🆘 Chaos can be an opportunity for innovation, and storytelling helps navigate and utilize chaos to create opportunities.
  • 🚛 Articulating ideas through storytelling is essential in gaining support and acceptance for innovations.


for imagining chaos what e skills chaos is defined as complete disorder and confusion you see as humans we have a strong desire or a strong need to control every situation around us and when these things does not go as planned or when there is a change in the order of predictable outcomes they say chaos in the 1680s Newton's fundamental law of phys... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does chaos lead to innovation?

Chaos disrupts predictable systems and allows for new ideas and opportunities to emerge. It challenges the status quo and encourages thinking outside the box, leading to innovative solutions.

Q: How did businesses like Uber and Airbnb bring order to chaotic systems?

Uber created a platform for taxi services without owning any vehicles, while Airbnb provided accommodations without owning any real estate. They utilized technology and innovative business models to bring order to traditional industries.

Q: How does storytelling aid in the innovation process?

Storytelling helps articulate complex ideas in relatable ways, engaging audiences in the innovation process. It builds confidence, aids understanding, and makes innovations more tangible and accessible to others.

Q: Why is storytelling important in driving social change?

Storytelling is crucial in communicating complex issues like climate change or migration. It engages audiences, elicits dopamine and oxytocin production, and drives pro-social and empathetic behaviors, making it an effective tool for driving social change.


In this video, the speaker explores the concept of chaos and its role in driving innovation. They explain how chaos disrupts predictable outcomes and leads to confusion, but also creates opportunities for development and evolution. The speaker highlights examples of successful businesses that have created order within chaotic systems, such as Uber and Airbnb. They emphasize the importance of recognizing the opportunities within chaos and how it can foster innovation. Additionally, the speaker discusses the power of storytelling in the innovation process, explaining how it helps articulate ideas, engage audiences, and make complex information more relatable. They delve into the role of storytelling in shaping behavior and culture, and how it excites the brain to create empathy and pro-social behavior. Overall, the video highlights the importance of embracing chaos and utilizing storytelling to unlock the potential for innovation.

Questions & Answers

Q: How does chaos disrupt predictable outcomes?

Chaos disrupts predictable outcomes by introducing disorder and confusion into a system. Humans have a natural inclination to control every situation around us, and when things don't go as planned or there is a change in the order of predicted outcomes, chaos arises. This can be seen in Newton's laws of physics, which postulated a level of predictability to everything, but failed to explain the complexities of the natural world. Chaos disrupts the processes that we expect, leading to confusion and uncertainty.

Q: What is the Butterfly Effect and how does it relate to chaos?

The Butterfly Effect, also known as the chaotic effect, refers to the idea that small changes or disturbances in a complex system can have profound and far-reaching consequences. It suggests that a seemingly insignificant event, like the flapping of a butterfly's wings, can set off a chain of reactions that ultimately leads to significant changes in the system. This concept highlights the non-linear nature of chaotic systems and how even the tiniest disruptions can have a cascading effect. In the context of chaos, the Butterfly Effect demonstrates how chaos itself can lead to increased development and evolution.

Q: How do businesses create order within chaotic systems?

Businesses can create order within chaotic systems by recognizing the opportunities that chaos presents and implementing innovative solutions. The speaker mentions several examples, such as Uber, Airbnb, Alibaba, and Meta (formerly Facebook), which have achieved success by introducing order into industries that were traditionally chaotic. Uber, for instance, established a reliable system for booking and providing transportation services in an industry known for its unpredictability. Similarly, Airbnb created a platform for people to offer accommodation, bringing structure to an otherwise chaotic market. These businesses were able to identify the potential within chaos and create systems that provided order and efficiency.

Q: How did innovation help during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic created a state of heightened chaos worldwide, but innovation played a crucial role in addressing the challenges and meeting the fundamental needs of individuals. Innovations in healthcare, technology, and various industries helped ensure that people could stay connected, access food, and take care of themselves. From virtual communication tools to online delivery services, innovative solutions emerged to bridge the gaps caused by the chaotic situation. This demonstrates how chaos, although risky, can drive innovation and lead to the creation of new opportunities.

Q: What are the two important things to consider about chaos and opportunities?

The speaker highlights two important factors to consider about chaos and opportunities. Firstly, some of the most significant innovations in the world have been born out of chaotic systems. Innovators who recognized the potential within chaos were able to leverage it and create groundbreaking solutions. Secondly, health and opportunities are not opposites. Instead, chaos can be the environment that stimulates individuals to do more and seize opportunities. By understanding these two aspects, we can better appreciate the potential for innovation in chaotic situations.

Q: How does storytelling contribute to the innovation process?

Storytelling plays a vital role in the innovation process by helping articulate ideas, engage audiences, and make concepts more tangible. Innovation starts with ideas, but unless those ideas are communicated effectively and gain support, they remain unrealized. This is where storytelling comes in. By using relatable stories, innovators can refine and define their ideas, making them more accessible to others. Storytelling builds confidence about innovations in the minds of the audience, as it simplifies complex concepts and aids understanding. It helps draw others towards these ideas and drives innovation forward.

Q: Why is storytelling an effective tool in engaging audiences?

Human beings are hardwired to receive information in the format of storytelling, which makes it an effective tool in engaging audiences. Stories have been a universal concept and are responsible for shaping our behavior, culture, and belief systems. They help us transmit complex information in a way that resonates with listeners and evokes an emotional response. When we hear stories, our brains become excited, with the release of dopamine and oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that conditions us to exhibit pro-social and empathetic behavior. Therefore, storytelling aids in engaging audiences effectively by appealing to their inherent wiring and creating a deeper connection.

Q: How can storytelling help in sharing information on complex issues?

Storytelling is critical in sharing information on complex issues such as climate change or migration. These topics often involve intricate concepts and can be overwhelming for the audience. By using storytelling techniques, innovators and communicators can break down these complex issues into relatable narratives that resonate with the audience. Storytelling helps make information more digestible and accessible, allowing for better understanding and acceptance. It creates an emotional connection with the audience, leading to a greater potential for engagement and action.

Q: What role does storytelling play in shaping behavior and culture?

Storytelling is a powerful tool for shaping behavior and culture. Stories are shared, told, and retold in every aspect of our lives. They help us transmit information about our experiences and ideas, influencing how we perceive the world and influencing our actions. When we listen to stories, they excite the part of our brain that creates dopamine and stimulate the production of oxytocin. This heightened brain activity helps in connecting with the story on a deeper level, making it more memorable and impactful. Through storytelling, we can shape behaviors and cultural norms by instilling values, encouraging empathy, and propagating new ideas.

Q: How can chaos be utilized to create opportunities, and how does storytelling aid in this process?

Chaos can be utilized to create opportunities by recognizing the potential within the disorder and implementing innovative solutions. However, chaos alone is not enough – it needs to be effectively communicated and understood. This is where storytelling comes in. Storytelling helps reimagine chaos, identify opportunities within it, and refine and articulate those opportunities to engage others. It aids in constructing a narrative that makes chaos more relatable, understandable, and accepted. By utilizing storytelling, individuals can make the best use of the chaotic process and transform it into valuable opportunities for innovation.


Chaos, although often seen as disruptive and unpredictable, can serve as a driving force for innovation. By recognizing the opportunities within chaotic systems and implementing innovative solutions, individuals and businesses can create order and drive development. Storytelling plays a crucial role in the innovation process by helping articulate ideas, engage audiences, and make complex information more relatable. Stories have a universal appeal and shape our behavior and culture, making them a powerful tool in conveying information and driving action. Embracing chaos and utilizing storytelling can lead to the creation of opportunities and the successful realization of innovative ideas.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Chaos disrupts predictable outcomes and systems, but it can also lead to increased development and innovation.

  • Businesses like Uber, Airbnb, and Alibaba created order in chaotic systems, leading to groundbreaking innovations.

  • In the midst of chaos, storytelling helps articulate ideas, engage audiences, and make innovation more tangible.

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