Narratives of Tomorrow: Merging AI with the Art of Storytelling

Are You Leveraging AI to Tell Your Leadership Stories?

In our Executive AI Bootcamp, a cohort of twenty-five CEOs has gathered weekly every Thursday in February for a fast-paced hour of learning, featuring guest speakers and interactive Q&A. In last week’s session, we delved into “AI for Teams,” uncovering strategies to enhance productivity and the quality of work among top leadership teams. We explored a four-step process designed to optimize both functional and cross-functional teamwork, as well as to streamline processes using Generative AI to augment team workflows. The key takeaway was the importance of blending technology with a human touch to achieve the desired outcomes and experiences.

Our focus in Executive AI Bootcamp has predominantly been on practical, actionable use cases within the C-suite. However, we’ve also explored how Gen AI is being innovatively applied in ways that could indirectly benefit this group of high-powered leaders. This exploration was enriched last week by a visit from Erich Archer, an Emmy-award winning creative executive and content strategist, known for his exceptional storytelling skills.


The power of storytelling, an art as old as time, is undeniable. Storytelling is baked into our DNA. Our ancestors were weaving tales 30,000 years ago, capturing hearts and minds to influence and persuade. Think of the best CEOs you know. They are likely skilled storytellers.

Erich Archer stands out as a master storyteller.  As the executive director for 1623 Studios, a nonprofit community media center in Gloucester, Massachusetts, storytelling is at the core of Erich’s profession. Recently, he has been merging his passion for storytelling with Gen AI. He introduced us to great-great-great-great grandfather, Rufus Archer, who lived in nearby Salem from 1812-1909. Rufus was a cooper (a barrel maker) and volunteer fire fighter.

Using a few old pictures his father passed along of Rufus, Erich combined his storyteller’s imagination with the technology of Gen AI to create a documentary in the style of Ken Burns. This project included:

  • Writing the script with ChatGPT4.
  • Researching historical events with Perplexity.
  • Generating lifelike images from the photographs with Midjourney.
  • Producing a video from these images with RunwayML.

This innovative blend of Ai technology and storytelling crafted a captivating two-minute video, which transported us back in time, making Rufus Archer’s story come alive. Erich showed us what is possible when we combine AI technology with a good story. He created his production in about twenty hours for less than $200 on his laptop.

Will Gen AI eliminate the need for human storytelling? Absolutely not. The essence of leadership often lies in sharing a compelling vision of the future, sometimes by drawing on our past and the timeless values of our ancestors. Erich’s project serves as a profound example of how we can marry humanity with technology to engage and inspire. To experience the Rufus Archer story and learn more about how Erich crafted his remarkable piece, visit his LinkedIn page.  ​Watch the full video and read how Erich made it here.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *