Thinking about the future can be difficult. How do we move beyond thinking about the issues, and potential solutions, to imagining a transformed vision?
At the BIG Science Communications Summit (by Science Rewired, #bigsci13), we facilitated conversations about the future using Futures Boards, large canvases for participants to use as a base to sketch out their visions of the future, and filmed the results.
The main challenges participants faced were being ‘stuck’ in the present, thinking about the issues from within the same power constraints, or as an extrapolation of the present rather than expanding into new possibilities. At first being asked to draw was outside the comfort zone for many (as science is for many of our audiences), and the images were often more about the issues rather than the future vision. However we saw participants building on ideas, thinking about things more deeply overnight, working on articulating what they were imagining and even some excitement and joy at seeing these ideas as tangible scenes.
The strong themes from these facilitated conversations about the future of science engagement were the need for:
- life-long curiosity
- serious fun
- real-time access
- discernment & good decision-making
Another approach to thinking about the future for science engagement was Kristin in conversation with Dr Will Grant, Vice-President of the Australian Science Communicators, discussing future signposts. The session posed questions such as where is science communication in Australia headed and how do we propose to get there, especially with regards to the conference themes.
For more, see this short clip of the BIG Science Communication Summit and visit the Science Rewired website.