Subtitle: Imagination taking power

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Special podcast: ‘A 2030 to long for’. And a theory to share.

I have a theory. It is rooted in a lot of experience with many different groups. I have an exercise I call the ‘Time Machine’. I tell people that I have a Time Machine, and that I am inviting them to travel with me to 2030. The 2030 we travel to, and this is very […]

April 12, 2021
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When was the last time you read a book cover to cover? And if you are still able to do this, do you feel you read in the same way you did, say, 20 years ago? How is the decline in our collective attention span affecting our ability to read and, by extension, our collective capacity for knowledge, wisdom and art? What do we lose when we lose our ability to focus? This was such a fascinating conversation, with two people who have given this question a great deal of thought.


April 5, 2021
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Here is Episode Two of the videos I’ve been working on with Temujen Gunawardena and Badj Whipple animating some of the best bits from guests’ 2030 imaginings in Episodes 1-9 of ‘From What If to What Next’. This episode features Ariane Conrad, Marie Godard, Marieke van Dooninck, David Holmgren and Masum Momaya. I hope you love it. 


March 29, 2021
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Welcome to Episode 23 of our journey together into the imagination and into the powers of What If. Today we are looking at street art. Street art has stood alongside the fight for climate justice, the Black Lives Matter revolution, and pretty much every mass uprising for change through history. But is it just decoration? Or does it have the power to deeply shift a culture? To fire the collective imagination? And what if it was everywhere?


March 17, 2021
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Welcome to Episode 22 of ‘From What If to What Next’. This week we are exploring failure. More precisely, what if we were able to create a culture in which failure is embraced, celebrated even, rather than feared, avoided or ridiculed? What would society look like if we embraced failure in politics, education, economics and everyday life, indeed if we learned from a young age that failure was just as important as success? There’s a great What If question to stretch your imagination.


March 17, 2021
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I am very happy to be able to share this with you. For the last few months I have been working with animators Temujen Gunawardena and Badj Whipple to create three short videos, of which this is the first. They take excerpts from my ‘From What If to What Next’ podcast, in this case from Kate […]


March 1, 2021
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It was recently announced that Chuck Feeney, the Irish American former airport duty free shopping entrepreneur who was worth $8bn, had, at the age of 89, succeeded in his goal of giving away all of his money to initiatives working to make the world a better place. Every cent. He suggested that to give away a huge fortune was far more fun than holding onto it. He once wrote “to those wondering about giving while living .. try it, you’ll like it”.


February 15, 2021
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Welcome to Episode 20 of From What If to What Next. This feels like a bit of a landmark for us, our twentieth episode! Thank you for joining me on this journey. Do tell your friends to come join us… Any reflections on how you’re finding the journey so far are most welcome. Seems like a good moment for that. The good news is that we have saved one of the very finest episodes to mark this moment.


February 11, 2021
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For obvious reasons, my proposed tour of France, organised by the wonderful Sans Transition magazine for the last week of January and the first week of February was unable to go ahead. Gone were my long days on trains and dashing from place to place of previous tours, my sampling of exquisite local French beers, and meeting Transitioners and other activists from there. But instead, within the limits imposed by our inability to do it in person, it all shifted online, and it worked amazingly well.


February 4, 2021
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I thought you might like enjoy the talk I gave recently at ORFC, an event I’ve always wanted to get along to but never managed. My talk was called ‘From What If to What Next: Why We Need to Cultivate Imagination Alongside Agricultural Produce’. I hope you enjoy it.


February 3, 2021
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I recently read a brilliant article by Drucilla Cornell and Stephen D. Seely, called ‘What has happened to the public imagination, and why?’. I found it so insightful, and such a powerful take on what the public imagination is and why it matters, that I wrote to Drucilla to ask if we might be able to have a chat about it, and she agreed. Drucilla is a professor of law, women’s studies and political science at Rutgers University. Our conversation covered so much ground, and was so rich and delightful, that I publish it here in its entirety.


© Rob Hopkins 2017-2021