Dan Lockton - Plural Imaginaries In an Age of Crises

Dan Lockton

TU Eindhoven

From The Conference August 31, 2023

How can we think about institutions differently? In a world of competing fictions, imaginaries are one our most potent resources. Dan Lockton wants to get imaginaries out of people's heads and into a shared space - to do things differently as a result. He has a few ideas about how to do so.

Metaphors are central to our imagination. They have the power to harm, to limit, but also to create. So, in the quest to reimagine institutions, Dan proposes the creation of new metaphors, and has created a toolkit to assist doing so. The prompts aren't guaranteed to provide the perfect answer, but the friction of unexpected combinations prompts us to think, reflect, and create new mental models for many of the issues we encounter in the world today. How could tree bark be a metaphor for our institutions? Or a lamppost, covered in fading A4 pages, their staples rusted from the rain? Other tools available to us include practices of visualisation, modelling, and creative foresight.

In the reimagining of institutions, Dan emphasises the importance of paying attention to whose voice is heard and whose is not, broadening the input, and ensuring that a wider conversation is had about what role our institutions play in our evolving world.

Length 19:39
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Theme 2023