Whenever scientists need assistance for imagining new possibilities, they turn to science fiction writing because this genre of speculative fiction helps them envision the possible futures. You know why? Because new ideas cannot come without a base. Scientists, with the help of science fiction, envision what can be possible by looking at the disconnected areas for insights. And because science writers are not tied to reality, they go wherever their imagination takes them to and create new visions of the future. So, they are the scientists who very often use those visions to go into that direction and that is how new discoveries are made — because they are able to capture a theory of possibility and make it possible. In other words, scientists like to take a ride on the imagination of fiction writers just to come up with new ideas. This is why most of the incredible things that we possess today have roots in science fiction — the wild imagination of human beings can take any random route and lead towards ideas of new and revolutionary things. According to Nesta researchers, everything from “Mars to flying cars to digital drugs, robot friends to teleportation, GPS to mobile communicators, smart food to mitochondrial reproduction techniques,” has roots in science fiction.
The ability to envision the future that has an important role in science fiction writing relies on a discipline known as World Building. The principles of World Building are now adapted by innovators and changemakers to help them imagine possibilities outside of their immediate reality, and to develop ideas and experiences. With the help of worldbuilding, they look forward to anticipating the future and look for less obvious and disconnected areas.
The worldbuilding process is truly a story-generating tool that has long played a role in popular media like video games or cinematic universes. And when the same principle is extended to business, this is called ‘sci-fi prototyping’ or ‘future casting’. The famous brands like Boeing, Ford motors, and Nike are turning towards these principles of worldbuilding to speculate their futures, trends, and possible advances in technology. Because they believe that unlike conventional ways of forecasting, worldbuilding involves an element of fiction that opens the door for infinite possibilities. Worldbuilding allows businesses to imagine and invent beyond the present limitations and realities. Unlike the traditional way of forecasting, world building brings diverse minds from diverse fields of knowledge together to contribute towards a collective vision of the future. When different professionals from different fields of knowledge help to shape a vision, they empower each other to form a shared vision and connect the dots from future worlds back to our present reality via policies, prototypes, narratives, and representations. Thus, it’s all about collaboration that allows worldbuilding to yield unexpected results.
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