Frank Rose is the author most recently of The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World, a book that explores the concept of narrative thinking — and why it matters all the more in a world defined by data. He teaches global business executives as faculty director of Columbia University’s executive education seminar Strategic Storytelling and heads the Breakthroughs in Storytelling awards at Columbia’s pioneering Digital Storytelling Lab. His previous book, The Art of Immersion, was a landmark work on technology and the evolution of narrative.

Best-selling Author

The Sea We Swim In

The Sea We Swim In

How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World

BUILDING ON INSIGHTS from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, ‘The Sea We Swim In’ shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told. This is the essence of narrative thinking.

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The Art of Immersion

The Art of Immersion

How the Digital Generation Is Changing Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories

NOT LONG AGO WE WERE passive consumers of mass media. Now we approach television, movies, even advertising as invitations to participate. We are witnessing the emergence of a new form of narrative that is native to the In­ternet.

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Keynote Speaker

“Frank Rose’s talk was spot on. It was fascinating, exciting and amusing. It sparked quite some debate during the following days of the festival and people still talk about it, so it was memorable, too.”

—Mark Atkin, Crossover Summit at Sheffield Doc/Fest

“Frank Rose was the perfect key­note. . . . His expertise, in­sight and thought­ful provo­cation really engaged the audi­ence and brought brilliant con­text to the dis­cus­sions of the day.”

—Anna Higgs, Film4 Innovation Forum (London)

“Frank Rose’s keynote presentation provided the context for what storytelling has been and will become. It was a great demonstration of the impact of digital media in our society and set the stage for a robust discussion on building the industry in Kansas City.”

—Maria Meyers, Kansas City Digital Storytelling Forum

“Frank Rose’s closing keynote for CODAsummit provided insights into people working on the cutting edge of technology to create experiential artworks. It was a sneak peek into the future of immersive art.”

—Toni Sikes, CEO of CODAworx
Frank Rose speaks on “narrative thinking” — what it is, how it works, why it matters.
Narrative thinking means understanding that stories comprise a distinct mode of thought, one that’s as important as logic and reasoning — and that comes far more naturally to us. A mode of thought that plays such a central role in human experience that anyone who wants to sell something, communicate ideas, motivate people, or change their way of thinking needs to know how it works.
Frank has delivered this message at film fes­tivals, mar­keting conferences, academic seminars and industry gath­er­ings world­wide, from Lucasfilm in San Francisco to the Festival della Scienza in Genoa to the Film4 Innovation Forum in London. His overarching point, adapted and expanded from his books The Sea We Swim In and The Art of Immer­sion and applicable to everyone in the business of communicating: How to navigate the mediascape of an ever-changing digital world.

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As a senior fellow at Columbia University School of the Arts, Frank serves as faculty director of the Strategic Storytelling seminar, presented in partnership with Columbia Business School Executive Education, and as awards director of the School of the Arts’ Digital Storytelling Lab, where in 2016 he launched the Breakthroughs in Storytelling awards—the “Digital Dozen.” He also leads private seminars and workshops for corporate and institutional clients.

Strategic Storytelling at Columbia

Strategic Storytelling
Presented by the Digital Storytelling Lab at Columbia University School of the Arts, Strategic Storytelling is a highly intensive, two-day seminar that shows participants how to create immersive experiences across the complex narrative ecosystem that audiences have come to expect in a highly interconnected digital environment.

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“Digital Dozen” Awards

Digital Dozen
The Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab’s annual Breakthroughs in Storytelling Awards—the “Digital Dozen”—celebrate the year’s most innovative approaches to narrative, recognizing achievements across the spectrum of media that rely on digital technologies, including film, video, journalism, advertising, marketing, games, art, theater, mixed reality and experimental narratives.

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Journalist and Critic

After getting his start covering the New York punk scene at CBGB for The Village Voice, Frank became a contributing editor at Esquire, where he profiled subcultures ranging from bureaucrats in the Pentagon to Christian surfers in Southern California.  He was a contributing writer at Premiere, the movie magazine, from 1991 to 1995 and at Fortune from 1997 to 1999. He spent the next decade as a contributing editor at Wired, focusing on developments at the intersection of media and technology. Along the way he wrote for GQ, New York, The New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post Book World, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair. He left Wired in 2009 to write The Art of Immersion and currently contributes to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other publications.
Party Like It’s 1959

Party Like It’s 1959

They were crazy, cramped, messy and threatening — but the Happenings of the early ’60s just might be the missing link between Dada and today’s immersive art.

Telling Ourselves a Good Story

Telling Ourselves a Good Story

Even our most vivid memories are less like photographs than sketches. Between the lines, imagination fills in much of what’s missing. “The Self Delusion,” by Gregory Berns.