The Yun Family Foundation announces the Grand Challenge on Stories

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The announcement of the Grand Challenge was made at the TEDxSanFrancisco event at the Herbst Theater on October 3, 2019.

The Yun Family Foundation (the “Foundation”) announces the Grand Challenge on Stories (the “Challenge”), an incentive prize competition designed to reward artistic expressions that serve the world. The announcement of the Challenge was made at the TEDxSanFrancisco event held at the Herbst Theater on October 3, 2019. The first competition will focus on stories that best reflect the subject of Inclusive Stakeholding.

"Inclusive Stakeholding was naturally maintained in the kin-based communities of our primordial past through shared genes,” stated Joon Yun, a Principal of the Foundation. “We were fed, informed, and governed by those who had our best interest at heart. As we became more interconnected and our vested interest in each other declined in global melting pots, stories shifted from serving the interest of the kin hive to serving the interests of the storyteller. People began to sell—instead of tell—stories. Think of every Instagram post ever.”

“In the context of commodification, the natural dynamic of the marketplace for stories is a race to the bottom: whatever sells best at the time,” stated Conrad Yun, Executive Director of the Foundation. “As a result, the storytelling market became dominated by mutated, high-fructose corn syrup versions of stories.”

The first competition’s aim is the decommodification of stories to reflect an awareness of the importance of inclusiveness, interdependence, and responsibility towards others, or the problems that arise when these values are not properly reflected in culture.

“No category better epitomizes the self-expanding nature of commodified stories than the self-help movement,” said Jeremy Yun, a Director of the Foundation. “What if our obsession with our own heroes’ journey is itself a central contributor to our current dystopia? For example, advocacy means speaking up for others, but the market now sells stories about self-advocacy. Yet, the more each person self-advocates, the more everyone has to yell ever louder to be the loudest chick in the nest—that’s a race to the bottom.”

The Challenge will ultimately involve a broad range of art forms including songs, poems, short stories, and videos. The inaugural round of the competition will be announced in the coming weeks.

“It is our belief that our storytelling industry is our best ally to transform our current stories to their decommodified forms,”said Eric Yun, a Director of the Foundation. “We hope to help the world reimagine story templates such as the hero’s journey and the love story through the lens of inclusive stakeholding.”

At the beginning of the submission date, the Foundation will announce the rules for the competition. Artists will be asked to interpret, develop, or reimagine a song or a video in a new way that reflects the values of inclusive stakeholding and serves the best interests of the public.

“Inclusive stakeholding may be a salve for extractive behaviors, but it is inevitable that a new system of victors and victims will arise,” added Joon Yun. “It is with this sobering perspective in mind we leave behind the following thought: let’s leave behind a library of uncommodified foundational stories—fairy tales of tomorrow that serve the interests of the people—that will be just as relevant into the indefinite future as they were to our primordial ancestors a long, long time ago.”

For additional information, see the Grand Challenge on Stories website.

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Conrad Yun