Imagination, innovation and the art of the possible

What role does the creative, the imaginary play in technological and scientific development? Can imagination help us navigate disruption?

As we struggle to reconcile the new realities of our hyper-connected world, the futures invoked by Orwell and Huxley loom large. But literary imaginings go way beyond utopias and dystopias to foreshadow breakthrough inventions and their potential impacts on humanity. Mary Shelley animated Frankenstein’s monster with bioelectrical currents that foreshadowed the defibrillator, and Jules Verne imagined a world powered by hydrogen almost 150 years before we reached the threshold of making this most commonplace element into a vital fuel-source. More recently, Orson Scott Card forecast the future of humanity would be dependent on global communication systems, hand-held computer tablets and intellectual avatars to influence political debates.

How does innovation spring from an idea? Can creative thinking help us shape and negotiate this ever-evolving world?

In Griffith Review‘s latest ‘In conversation’, Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel joins Secretary of the NSW Department of Education Mark Scott (On Us, MUP), Alice Gorman (Dr Space Junk vs The Universe, NewSouth), and Julianne Schultz, Publisher of Griffith Review and Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at Griffith University, to discuss the nexus between imagination and scientific and technological invention, and how we can prefigure the best possible future for all. Hosted by Paul Barclay of ABC RN’s Big Ideas.

When: Thurs 13 June, 6.30–8 pm
Where: Ian Hanger Recital Hall, Queensland Conservatorium, South Brisbane
Tickets: From $18 – available online now