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Simone Lackerbauer

Product Manager, M.A., Creator, ProSiebenSat.1 Games

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Change Through Imagination and Fiction: we need to communicate our ideas & visions to make them real.

I have been fascinated by the way how ideas and visions, especially related to new technologies, are communicated in real life (TED Talks, scientific conferences, academe) and in fiction (science fiction, cyberculture). I want to explore certain aspects of creativity, fiction, and technological utopia -- visions of the future, fuelled by innovation, new technologies, gadgets, visions, dreams, rumors related to high-tech and small-scale technologies.

One of my hypotheses is that we need imagination and fiction to communicate our visions in order to foster change; for better or worse. Every innvoation starts as pure fiction, so the more we imagine and envision, the more we will be able to innovate and to channel our imagination for positive change.

A commercial example: Steve Jobs had a very particular idea about personal computers and gadgets; the systems he built (as opposed to the ones Steve Wozniak favored) were (and are) "closed" systems, communicating a vision of completedness and a certain digital lifestyle.

A cultural example: TED Speakers use the TED platform -- and bend to the TED rules -- to communicate their ideas. Many Speakers have had special presentation training, many of them have stunning visualizations of their ideas -- impressive slides, fascinating computer animations to communicate their ideas and partly their fiction of what might be possible -- to share their visions and to help them become reality one day.

A scientific example: scientists come up with theories based on observations, then they try to make them real by experimenting, by observing, by comparing, by publishing papers, by talking to peers and eventually by finding evidence (at least in most cases).

Do you think fiction has the power to provoke change? Do you think we need fiction to give our visions more substance and to push them towards reality? Is fiction in everyday life settings powerful? Is fiction dangerous? Can fiction foster innovation and change?

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  • Oct 18 2011: Science definitely has a trickle down effect, yes we built the A-Bomb first and now we have nuclear medicine and power generation. Germany built the first Jet engine in its 'Messerschnmitt' fighterplanes, still today Scvience has advanced to Passenger jets. In revrse we have learned to desalinate water and today we have drinking water from the sea, Saudi Arabia has grown because of it. It is not science that is disadvantaging the poorer nations, it is the love with power their dictators find more important. I look at science as the forefront of medicin, we beat Ebola, the Influenca, most deseases with our ability to advance the science of today to the future, we also will beat Aids. Science is saving the lives of millions in AFRICA, but it cannot overcome the brutality of the land.Science may be technical, Physics or mechanical, medicinal, nuiclear orecological, science is what has served us well if we used it without malice, it also can destroy us if we dont. Oppenheimer once said,"we have created a monster with science, now we have to use shackles to control it!" of course he talked of the Atomic bomb. Still I rather advance science and conrol the men using it, rather then remain stagnant! We learned about 'Fission' now it is time to learn about 'Fusion' . Lets just keep the good things from it.
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      Oct 24 2011: I strongly agree with your statement that the strive for power is the one dangerous element in human behavior leading to an abuse of the power of imagination, incarnated by scientific innovation. But I'd also advance and create rather than stop. I think after all, humanity is able to learn from its mistakes... and I still think fiction is a means to convey norms, values, and morale... although it is certain that it is not possible to apply such paradigms on a global scale due to the cultural differences.

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