Subtitle: Imagination taking power

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 important, is not perfect, is not a utopia, BUT it is a world which is the result of everything that could possibly have been done being done. Those 9 years were a revolution of the imagination. And I invite them to step into that world, to take a walk and to come back and describe it. It is often very moving.

My theory is that when we remove the immediate lens of how different everyone’s perspective are, when you put a timeline out just far enough that it takes us beyond our immediate desires and needs, when you hold a space that feels safe for people to feel into what a future of contentment and happiness might feel like, then most people, actually, largely long for the same things. There is far more common ground there than the media, and our culture, might allow you to believe.

In my ‘From What If to What Next’ podcast, I start every episode by asking my guests to travel with me to 2030 in the context of whatever the What If question is that we’re exploring. It is often deeply moving and illuminating. Working with the brilliant Ben Addicott and Rosie Issitt, we’ve created this beautiful compilation of the best bits of 2030 from Episodes 10-19, with music and sound.

I find it deeply powerful and beautiful. I would love to do this exercise with more and more diverse groups of people, as I think that when we hold a safe space for people to do this kindof time travelling, our common humanity is revealed. In fact I think this particular podcast is one of the most beautiful things I have ever had a hand in creating. My deepest thanks to Kwame Boateng, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Brian Eno, Scilla Elworthy, Robert Philips, Zach Norris, Andrea J. Ritchie, Roman Krznaric, Jane Davidson, Hilary Powell, Daniel Edelstyn, Sophie Leguil, Ash Perrin, Ben Tawil, Jane Perrone, Sherri Mitchell Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset, Josina Calliste, Chris Smaje, Tyson Yunkaporta, Lusi Alderslowe and Matt Willer for being the guests who make this episode what it is.

Do have a listen, and then let me know what I think of my theory. Thanks.


  1. Sarah Macbeth
    April 13, 2021

    Oh wow Rob, this made me cry. Beautiful. thank you

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