From fiction to innovation


    From fiction to innovation. Star Trek, Back to the Future, Minority Report, Black Mirror, just a few science fiction titles with some out of this world technology. Correction out of this world technology at the time of their release. Mobile translators, fingerprint scanning and facial recognition are examples of technology first seen in sci-fi movies that we now have in our pockets. These are a few examples of the popular quote “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it.”  

    One might argue that fiction is what drives innovation. I am sure you can think of at least one form of tech seen in movies, cartoons or in books which you would love for it to be reality. Some within the generation that grew up watching The Jetsons and Back to the Future are astonished with how much of those fictional ideas are now a reality. Others are astonished that some of those fictional ideas are not yet part of our current technological landscape. Innovation comes when someone sees a problem that needs to be fixed or someone has an idea for something “cool”. Sci-fi media is filled with “cool” stuff. Some stuff seem crazy at the time of the release but it implants a seed in the mind of the watcher/consumer. Some water this seed and work toward making it a tree. Which leads to devices such as an Apple Vison Pro. 

    When we think on innovation, technology is what first comes to mind. But innovation is broader than that. The tree that grows from the seed could also be a change in our societal system. Science Fiction gives us a vision of what the future can be. Sometimes utopian and sometimes dystopian. This leads to various visions and questions pertaining to the ethical  aspects of that which is portrayed. For example in a society where humans robots live side by side are they equal. Or how far can we go in preventing crime, do we condemn someone on what they might do if they keep following old patterns? Ethics are at the centre of discussions pertaining to societal change. Those who focus on the ethics of the future, are actually focussing on a fictional society and working towards preventing or realising that future. This fictional society can be inspired by a movie but also by a random thought someone voiced.

    The pathway from fiction to innovation also applies to personal development. The vision we have of our future self is what we tend to work towards. We see ourselves in certain roles. We see ourselves achieving certain goals. We see a certain future. But the future we see is a personal work of fiction. And this future drives our decisions, it drives the personal innovation needed to make that fiction a reality. It could mean we have to innovate in how we train our bodies, or maybe innovate in how we train our minds. Innovation at its core is doing something different, doing something in a different way, doing something with a different tool and maybe even doing something with different people. 

    So what are you going to be doing different today to turn your fictional goal into reality?