As the world confronts the fast catastrophe of COVID and the slow calamity of climate change, we also face a third, less visible emergency: a crisis of imagination. We can easily picture ecological disaster or futures dominated by technology. But we struggle to imagine a world in which people thrive and where we improve our democracy, welfare, neighbourhoods or education. Many are resigned to fatalism – yet they desperately want transformational social change.
Another World Is Possible argues that, although the threats are real, we can use creative imagination to achieve a better future: visualising where we want to go and how to get there. Political and social thinker Geoff Mulgan offers lessons we can learn from the past, and methods we can use now to open up thinking about the future and spark action.
Drawing on social sciences, the arts, philosophy and history, Mulgan shows how we can recharge our collective imagination. From Socrates to Star Wars, he provides a roadmap for the future.
Sir Geoff Mulgan is a Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London. Formerly he was chief executive of Nesta and held government roles (1997-2004), including as the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit director and as Downing Street's head of policy. He is the founder or co-founder of many organisations, from Demos to Action for Happiness, and the author of many books.
"This book is the tonic the world needs, particularly the West. Read it!"
– Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO, New America
"We desperately need to renew our sense of what is possible, and imagine the future in ways that are simultaneously creative, open and practical. This wonderful, eclectic and deeply interesting book is crammed with ideas of just how we might do so. If you care about where we're headed, you must read this."
– Rebecca Henderson, Harvard Business School, author of Reimagining Capitalism in a World on Fire
"A dizzying cornucopia of cases for imagination mattering more than rote learning and political orthodoxy. From deconstructing property rights and promoting universal basic income, to the sharing of intelligence by the state rather than its hoarding, this is an inspiring call for a more imaginative tomorrow."
– Professor Danny Dorling, University of Oxford, author of Slowdown and Peak Inequality
"Geoff Mulgan reminds us that we can imagine and create change, not just fix what is broken. His book offers hope and the power of possibility."
– Sonal Shah, former Director of Social Innovation & Civic Participation, Obama Administration, and Executive Director of the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation, Georgetown University