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Abstract: Our Greatness Lies in Our Imagination

Published onDec 08, 2018
Abstract: Our Greatness Lies in Our Imagination

Picking up where Joichi Ito left off in his manifesto, my essay will cover the shift from an information economy towards a creative economy. Discussions about alternative economies are very much needed; idealism alone remains powerless against monocultural systems. And while we all teeter-totter on the fine line between perpetrator and victim as present-day consumers and marketers, ultimately, financial incentives trump idealism. Our basic human needs and not-so-basic desires must be met, and our businesses need to grow. In essence, sustainability comes before restoration. As a designer with her wary eyes on the rising tide of automation and crowd sourcing in the creative industry, preparing executable solutions that are “ambitious yet actionable”, as Warren Berger puts it in his book A More Beautiful Question, has become a matter of self-interest for myself and my peers.

The essay will explore three main building blocks of a sustainable creative economy: imagination as human nature, beauty as a basic service, and the case for reasonable growth. The essay will also touch upon a “what if?” scenario—a re-creation of the world, if you will—where responsible technology steps in to penetrate the Layers of Time to restore the most tenacious and patient of all natures: our Mother Nature. We can, and must, agree to disagree on countless things. But we can all agree that without planet Earth, there is no future for mankind.

Reading/viewing materials for the essay include the works of: Michael Crichton, writer; David Eagleman, neuroscientist; Jason Fried, entrepreneur; Theaster Gates, artist; Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist; Walter Isaacson, biographer; W.Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne, economists; Steven Pinker, optimist; Peter Singer, ethicist; Susan Sontag, aesthete; and Edward O. Wilson, biologist.

Soohyen Park:

“As to which question to choose, to some degree the question chooses you. It’s the one that resonates with you for some reason only you can understand. What will make it a beautiful question for you, and one worth staying with, is the passion you feel for it. Look for a question that is “ambitious yet actionable” — or, as the physicist Edward Witten puts it, a question that’s hard enough to be interesting, but realistic enough that you have some hope of answering it.

– from A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger