This past week, I had the fortune to take part in two fascinating and separate discussions about the future. One was a dialogue with poets and writers envisioning our province’s economy in 2030. The other was a conference workshop with teachers and communicators exploring the role of imagination in environmental education. Both involved reflecting on the types of futures we want and identifying potential hurdle to those futures.
These stimulating sessions of “collective dreaming” got me thinking about the role stories can play in the envisioning process. Naturally science fiction, a genre that deals specifically with potential futures, came to mind. To me, writing science fiction is a daunting challenge – worlds have to be constructed, political issues have to be addressed, and technologies have to be incorporated into society in ways that are both fantastical and plausible. I think a science fiction author who can create complex, believable, and captivating stories is one who has thought deeply about the human condition and the future of humanity, and is probably someone worth listening to.
Kim Stanley Robinson is, in my opinion, one of those authors. I’ve only read the first book of his critically acclaimed Mars Trilogy, but I found the breadth of his exploration into science, sociology, politics, and sustainability to be simply staggering. The man does his research! So this week, I thought it would be interesting to share a speech he delivered in 2011 on possible futures, post-capitalism. Take a look and let me know what you think.
As an aside, I apologize for not updating more often with longer posts. It’s been a busy month, but I hope to get back to publishing longer original content in the next while. I actually have a piece ready to go this week, but I’m just waiting on the artist’s permission to use his images as a complement to the text. So please stay tuned, and have a good weekend!
Featured Image from wikipedia.