As we start, hopefully, to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately affected older people, many people have experienced an end to their lives that was lonely and traumatic. How different would the world feel if its priorities had changed to being one where the end of life was treated with the same love and reverence as birth? My two guests for this episode are Mike Grenville and Mary Nally.
One of the benefits of the lockdown has been an awful lot less mowing of lawns in public spaces. There are many places I walk regularly where the grass is now several feet tall, and I love it. In the recent blog I co-authored with Rob Shorter, ‘Introducing the Imagination Sundial’, we suggested a number of ‘practices’ that could be used to refire and to nurture the collective imagination. I would like to suggest that leaving lawns uncut should be added to that list. Hear me out.
One of the best things about having written ‘From What Is to What If’ is the messages I get from people talking about how they have used it in their own lives and how it has been a catalyst for very real change. This story is from Rikey Austin (on the right in the picture […]
In our fourth episode, ‘What if doctors’ surgeries became catalysts for Transition?’, we bring together two of the UK’s most pioneering doctors to explore what a very different future for healthcare could be like. What would it be like if doctors’ surgeries were key players in the wider Transition of the community, actively stimulating a reimagining of food, energy, community and much more?
We know it’s only part of the picture, as one could never hope to capture the full unknowing wonder that is the imagination. But it’s often the part, when shown in talks, that people take photos of or ask for afterwards, and so we thought we would introduce it to you and it’s main elements in the hope that it is something you may find useful.
Here is the next installment of my ‘From What If to What Next’ podcast. In this third episode, we’re talking about food. Taking a question from Patreon subscriber Tony Buck, we are asking “What If towns and cities set out to intentionally relocalise their food production?” How would it work? Where would you start? How would you involve the local government? How would you ensure that it is inclusive?
Here is the foreword I wrote for the just published, and utterly brilliant. ‘Artscapers: being and becoming creative’. It is the work of Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination, who you may have read about in ‘From What Is to What If’. The book is amazing, I highly recommend it. Here’s what I wrote…
In ‘From What Is to What If’, I suggest that we are living in a time in which our collective imagination, our ability to, as John Dewey put it, “see things as if they could be otherwise”, is in decline. I also raised the idea, first suggested by Henry Giroux, that we are living in a time of a ‘Disimagination Machine’ that systematically undermines and erodes the capacity of a population to lead lives with active and healthy imaginations. The events of recent months have confirmed for me how dangerous a situation this has created. Those chickens of imagination have come home to roost.
In this podcast, we’re talking about Universal Basic Income with Alexis Frasz, researcher and cultural strategist with Helicon Collaborative, and Phil Teer, author of ‘The Coming Age of Imagination’. What would it be like to live in a world in which UBI was now an integral part of everyday life? How would life, and the world around us feel different? How might we re-frame UBI as a vital strategy for rebuilding our collective imagination? All too often, UBI is discussed as being an economic issue, but might imagination provide a fresh and essential lens through which to explore the idea?
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.