“We already have tomorrow, it’s today that we want” Marc Downham
You don’t learn anything new if you are told future is scary. In this Black Mirror in which our horizon is blurred, we are presented with a pessimistic future moving at high speed. What if another imaginary one was possible? What if it was up to us to collectively build the future we desire?
The role of arts and sciences in the reconstruction of the imaginaries
Arts have always been the vehicle for the most buried human passions and intuitions. Yet, in their effort to fulfill their function and find order in the chaos of the world, “The arts and scientific theories operate on the same principle. It is always a question of explaining the visible world by invisible forces, of articulating what we observe over what we imagine,” according to François Jacob in Le jeu des possibles.
Far from being two disciplines that progress in a linear and independent way, the arts and sciences feed and intermingle, and it is not uncommon for the arts to surpass the sciences in the anticipation of things to come.
Thereby, science-fiction has always drawn scenarios of possible futures, anticipating even some technological upheavals – whether it be Jules Vernes and the electric submarines imagined a century ahead of time in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Or Star Trek, which inspired not only the creation of the first cell phone, but also, for the first time on American screens, showed an interracial kiss in the 1960s. Science fiction surprises and inspires us beyond the scientific field and even accelerates the evolution of our society.
By drawing up an inventory of possible and desirable futures, science fiction allows us to prototype the present.
Today, in a context where the trajectories of the future are being shaped at lightening speed, the sciences and the arts must be in constant dialogue with society to shape public understanding of possible futures. These disciplines must be reappropriated by citizens so that they can insert their own subjectivity into them and thus participate in the construction of representations of the future.
Some have already understood this. In the United States, for example, the design fiction format has already made its way and acquired its letters of nobility. For example, after the September 11th attacks, the American government asked SIGMA, a consulting firm of leading science fiction authors, to (re)imagine the future of public policy. Similarly, the Obama administration has collaborated with science fiction authors to imagine the colonization of the solar system. Behind these futuristic projects is the same ambition – to write scenarios of desirable futures to prototype the present.
Bright Mirror or the birth of a collaborative scriptwriting of positive imaginaries
It is on these assumptions that Bright Mirror was born. Bright Mirror is a project that relies on the collaborative scripting of positive imaginaries to shape the world we want to create together. Bright Mirror now brings together a community of 2,000 people, both face-to-face and virtual. More than 2,000 stories have been written and 20 of them have been published in Usbek & Rica.
By taking up complex themes, such as AI (in collaboration with The Future Society) or the City of the Future (with the Ministries of Ecological and Solidarity Transition and Territorial Cohesion), Bright Mirror gives shape to imaginaries enriched by multiple subjectivities. By making people who speak a different language communicate around a common and universal object, Bright Mirror demystifies the topics that cause concern and democratizes speaking out. The methodology and format developed by Bright Mirror are suited to corporate seminars on digital trends, HR meetings on the future of work, or team building activities to unleash the creative potential of your teams and nourish your strategic vision.
Does this concept interest you? Do you want to treat it in a creative and collaborative way? Don’t hesitate, go to the other side of/beyond the mirror! Allor your organization to unleash its creative potential and prototype its desirable future. Contact us at email@example.com.
Paper written with Sacha Alanoca
*Black Mirror: a Netflix dystopian anticipation series