TED Conversations

Simone Lackerbauer

Freelancer and Student, ProSiebenSat.1 Games

TEDCRED 100+

This conversation is closed.

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?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 24 2011: "Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions."
    -- Albert Einstein, Physicist

    "Imagination grows by exercise and, contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young."
    -- Paul McCartney, musician

    "A strong imagination begetteth opportunity."
    -- Michel de Montaigne, writer

    "The world is but a canvas to the imagination."
    -- Henry David Thoreau

    "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
    -- Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.