Storytelling as a Prototype of the Future
In the Design Science Studio, we learned about world building and backcasting as a means of imagining the future and working backwards from that imagined world to think through the steps that we could go through to bring that imagined world into reality.
World building through collective sensemaking, imagination, and speculative fiction
In our second meeting as a team, I introduced the idea of inviting people into a story where they were protagonists in an adventure. I proposed that this could be a way to include everyone in the process of imagining the kind of world that we might want to live in.
I was inspired by a couple podcast episodes that included discussions of the work of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who had made a distinction between allegory and the intention of their work as writers of mythopoetic literature.
I thought about creating a Medium publication called Mythopoeia to invite people to share their ideas of the kind of world that we would all want to live in. In the Design Science Studio, we learned about world building and backcasting as a means of imagining the future and working backwards from that imagined world to think through the steps that we could go through to bring that imagined world into reality.
For more information about world building, refer to The Ezra Klein Show podcast episode with N.K. Jemisin.
Jeremy Lent has written The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity’s Search for Meaning and The Web of Meaning: Integrating Science and Traditional Wisdom to Find Our Place in the Universe. These books can help us to understand our history and our current context to provide us with the tools to use our imaginations to prototype the kinds of future that may still be possible.
The following is a writing prompt or design brief for building a world that we want to live in. You can find the original article on Medium.
Building the world that we want to live in, through imagination
Welcome to Mythopoeia!