Hieroglyph at The National Academy of Sciences

Can We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future?

A conference sponsored by The New America Foundation, Slate's Future Tense, and Arizona State University's Center for Science & the Imagination.

October 2, 2014

It’s 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today’s science and technology less than dazzling? Inspired by Neal Stephenson’s 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” in which he argues that science fiction is failing to supply our scientists and engineers with inspiration, and the new anthology Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future, this event will explore a more ambitious narrative about what’s coming. From the tales we tell about robots and drones, to the narratives on the cutting edge of neuroscience, to society’s view of its most intractable problems, we need to begin telling a new set of stories about ourselves and the future.

Join the conversation online using #abetterfuture and by following @FutureTenseNow.

Can We Imagine Our Way to a Better Future?
Video posted on YouTube by New America

Neal Stephenson Author, "Atmosphæra Incognita," Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future Author, Snow Crash and The Diamond Age It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

 

Delivery Drones and Robot Babysitters
Video posted on YouTube by New America

It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

Neuroscience and the Future of Ethics
Video posted on YouTube by New America

It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

Who and What Will Get to Think the Future?
Video posted on YouTube by New America

It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

Reimagining the Future of the Internet, Surveillance, and Privacy
Video posted on YouTube by New America

It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

Visions of an Alternative Internet

Video posted on YouTube by New America

It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

Can Stories Solve Wicked Problems that are Bigger than our Imagination?
Video posted on YouTube by New America

It's 2014 and we have no flying cars, no Mars colonies, no needle-less injections, and yet plenty of smartphone dating apps. Is our science fiction to blame if we find today's science and technology less than dazzling?

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