Subtitle: Imagination taking power

My presentation at ESSEC’s ‘Imagination Week’

A few months before the lockdown, I was honoured to be a guest at the ‘Imagination Week’, part of the ESSEC Business School Programme dedicated to imagination and creativity. ESSEC is a business school on the outskirts of Paris. The presentation was to a packed room (remember those?) with many hundreds of business students. The discussions I had afterwards with students was amazing, how touched and positive they were about it all. I hope you enjoy it.


  1. Caelan MacIntyre
    June 8, 2020

    “In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was condemned by Zeus to endlessly try to push a large rock to the top of a hill, an activity Zeus had rigged so that as it neared the top, the rock would roll away from Sisyphus. The story captures the ultimate in frustration and activities that take all of our energy but with no end in sight. The whole exercise was rigged against Sisyphus from the outset. The poor sod was never going to beat gravity.” ~ Rob Hopkins (from a recent article hereon)

    In a similar sense to what ‘State-captured populations’ refer to as ‘the Law’, Zeus wasn’t gravity, was he?

    Zeus was the status-quo apparently or maybe the frame within which Sisyphus toiled to little effect. (Note the word, ‘rigged’.)

    So maybe the problem was that Sisyphus viewed the world through, and tried to work within, the relatively-artificial constraints that Zeus set for him.

    ‘What if’ Sisyphus challenged/collapsed some or all of his ‘Zeus-made matrix of schemas’ so that, for example, the hill disappeared?

    Monetization, commodification, Patreon, books, corporatization, States, lecture-circuits, state governments, group privilege…

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

    “We can’t destroy a system when we don’t understand its structure and our place in it. It’s impossible to defeat a dominating class if we don’t even perceive them as such.” ~ Stephanie McMillan

    “To empower the powerless and create ‘a million villages’ to replace nation-states is the only safe future for the preservation of the biosphere. Let interdependence and personal responsibility be our aims.” ~ Bill Mollison, ‘Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual, second ed.’

Join the discussion

© Rob Hopkins 2017-2024