“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Doc, Back to the Future II
Science fiction stories often get it wrong, but sometimes they can inspire the future and even your digital marketing strategy.
Back in 1964, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke made the following prediction: “It will be possible, in that age, perhaps only 50 years from now, for a man to conduct his business from Tahiti or Bali just as well as he could from London.”
So here we are, 50 years later, living in the digital age during exponential times. As a digital marketer, I am always looking for future trends. Recently, I attended a digital marketing conference focused on storytelling. Our keynote speaker was Ari Popper, Founder and CEO of SciFutures, a foresight and innovation agency that uses sci-fi prototyping to help their clients create meaningful change that is relevant for the Exponential Age. SciFutures works in a wide variety of industries with fortune 500 clients such as Hershey, Ford and Pepsi. They also partnered with Lowe’s to develop a Holoroom, which allows customers to create virtual renovation projects.
What if you could look 50 years into the future of your business, Ari asked?
While attending a sci-fi writing course at UCLA, Ari realized that the power of sci-fi story telling could be used to help businesses radically disrupt their thinking and more importantly- inspire the creation of visceral and engaging stories that can then be transformed into winning business strategies.
Using the basic elements of a story: character, setting, quest, challenge and resolution- Ari asked us to write a sci-fi story that disrupts our companies’ future – so that we go out of business. Most of us were all able to easily come up with a story in a matter of minutes. Then Ari asked us to write a sci-fi story that disrupts our companies’ future – so that we become dominant and thrive. This proved to be much more challenging and required much more time. It was definitely interesting to see that it was easier for most us to imagine a more dystopian ending to our stories. Maybe it’s just in our nature to easily see the negative or the fault of all the apocalyptic shows we watch, but my key take away was that it was really up to each of us to positively fulfill our own destiny both personally and professionally.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
Science Fiction Prototyping is a powerful tool for unleashing your imagination. It can inspire your digital marketing strategy so you can take actions in the present that will help write your companies future success story. Are you an analog brain living in a digital world too? I would love to hear your thoughts.