Pre-Ramble: There is a lot of amazing thought leadership going on out there – no better than the brilliant thinking of Rita J. King. The way she thinks about the world is an art form.
Crowned “The Muse of the New Digital Reality” by Saul Kaplan’s Business Innovation Factory, King swirls across and among diverse content areas, pulling threads of wisdom into new orbits of understanding. She founded Dancing Ink Productions to fathom “a new global economy in the Imagination Age” and serves as the Executive Vice President for Business Development at Science House, a think tank/play ground located in NYC, where “the world’s most strategic business teams” come to bounce around in productive creative collaboration.
I could go on with King’s staggering list of accomplishments, but that would keep you from reading this excerpt from her recent take on the value of imagination:
Imagination is not a “soft skill.” It is the workspace of your brain, the place where connections are made between ideas to create something new. I started to think of my quest in honor of this child’s survival as a bridge, a connection between two eras: the fading Industrial era, which isn’t yet gone, and the approaching Intelligence era, which isn’t yet here. I started to think of the kids and their imaginations as a precious resource, not just because imagination is fun, but because it is absolutely critical in order for us to survive, much less thrive, as a species.
The only thing stronger than your imagination is your imagination connected to the billions of other imaginations all over the world, connected to smart machines that continue to get smarter, faster. In the Imagination Age, understanding the relationship between human imagination and technology is critical as we move forward. Imagination is the key to finding new angles on problems. The ability to solve problems is the number one focus of the entire business world as we move into the intelligence era, which is a combination of technology and imagination.
The full article, “The Creative Adult is the Child Who Has Survived” is totally worth the read and can be found here.
And then there’s “The Solution Revolution” by William E. Eggers and Paul Macmillan for HBR Press, which supports King’s point, suggesting that the internet has opened up a space where wildly diverse actors and data can interact to address gnarly global issues. Eggers and Macmillan describe a “new economy” that takes place in the space between the public and private sectors …. where citizens, corporations and charities come together around “society’s toughest problems.” This perspective is useful for anyone who traffics in creative synergy, social impact or collaborative problem solving.
The Take-Away: As Rita King suggests, the power of imagination coupled with the game-changing reach of technology is a significant development both for the business world and in terms of our greater human trajectory. It is exciting, and ultimately imperative, that we each bring our unique individual imaginative capacities to this party.