17:15 - 17:45
Designing the future – How science fiction can help us change the world

Short thesis

In this session we will explore how science fiction is important for civic society as it is at the forefront of the freedoms of thought and expression. Science Fiction explores the ludicrous, impossible, unthinkable, and by doing so, it expands the possible and eventually, the plausible, probable and real. We will talk about how taking a viewpoint a bit more detached from current events we are able to see different concepts of society that might seem utopic, but which could provide us with new ideas regarding how to handle or at least understand problems in the real world.


In two talks we will present different ideas about how science fiction can provide us with new ideas which we can use to shape our present.

We will show how science fiction in film and literatur can be an inspiration and innovation for designers, tech entrepreneurs and scientists as well as a platform to engage kids with STEM education and to engage the pubic with science. But that's not all of it. Science fiction is also a magnificent tool for political discourse and – we would like to suggest – scenario-building for positive impact and social change, or to put it simply, science fiction can help us change the world, for the better.

We will also discuss how reading science fiction and fantasy literature can help us see the world from a different point of view. Both genres are free to explore concepts of society and technology with all their consequences, something that is a lot harder for fiction set in the real world. Reading realistic novels we will always think about and judge its story within the frames provided by current world affairs, political systems, and our own experiences, beliefs and prejudices. SF/F stories can be taken out of this frame and enable us to look at basic questions of society and culture without running the risk of comparing them to reality or - what is more likely - our perceived reality. We will look at several examples of current and classic SF/F literature to explore what we can take from these stories to understand the world we live in and even make it a better place.