Imagination by Design

At the recent “Imagination by Design” event,

Cassie Robinson.

presented how we can develop imagination infrastructure and we explored various challenges:

Imagination is essential to generate the ridiculous ideas that are the most useful in futures work.

1. Conditions for imagination​

  • What are some of the best examples you’ve seen of projects creating the psychological safety needed to allow people to be imaginative?
  • What is the relationship between imagination and stress? How do we ensure the space to imagine is fairly shared?

2. Imagination and other fields

  • What is the place of serendipity within imagination and how can you design this possibility, within the infrastructure?
  • How do you distinguish between imagination and general problem-solving?
  • What are the things you look for in understanding ideas that transcend solving immediate problems or needs?

3. Engaging people on imagination

  • How do you get people to move past the “it’s never going to change” mindset?
  • How do you reach beyond the “usual suspects” in this work?
  • Where does the mobilising come in? How do you prevent taking people on a redundant journey? Or is the activity sufficient to be transformative?
  • How can we support groups to imagine together?

4. ​From imagination to infrastructure

What’s your thinking about scale? Is this really about replacing existing systems or ‘infecting’ them with new ideas?

5. Recommendations

Here are some recommendations from people at the session on what to read:

6. Suggestions

  • Commission research as resistance held by lived experience, towards the powers of oppression, with an over-arching kindness and ethics of care
  • Concentrate on one place with investments in *many* different and *slightly competing* infrastructures
  • Using dialogues as a powerful opportunity to engage meaningfully, explore collectively and emerge resiliently for sustainable food systems

If you want to get involved in thinking and imagining resourcing, growing and nurturing the conditions for collective and public imagination checks this event out!​

How do/have you stimulated your imagination?

Who’s imagination do you find needs stimulating?



Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese

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Head of Policy Design, Scrutiny & Partnerships @newhamlondon #localgov Co-founder of #systemschange & #servicedesign progs. inspired by @cescaalbanese