We Are Living In The Imagination Age—And We Can Shape Our Own Future

Futurist Rita J. King says that the goal of future thinking is to cut through the crush of technological change to help people imagine a better future.

Rita J. King, the executive vice president for business development at Science House, says we’re living in a perfect age for people to use their imaginations to form what our future will look like. King, who has written for Co.Exist about how Twitter is changing the future of storytelling, the future of surveillance, and the future of memory in a technological age, spoke at a panel of futurists at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference, as part of our Futurist Forum.

"I view the period that we’re in as the imagination age. Between the industrial era and the intelligence era, we have a chance to imagine the future we want to create together," she says. "I view the role of a futurist as a person who says 'We’re going somewhere,' despite how crushing this rapid rate of change may feel now. … We can create the future that we can imagine together, and then project it, and then live it."

Add New Comment


  • Poil13

    MLK said, "If your mind can conceive it, and your heart can believe it, then you can achieve it."  sounds a lot like gist of the article

  • Balint Szent-Miklosy

    Daring Cross – the next World Wonder


    Daring Cross is proposed as a tourist attraction/bridge from
    Manhattan to Governors
    Island in New York Harbor.  Once completed it would be the tallest
    man-made structure in the world in its full, upright position.


    Daring Cross is two gigantic Teeter Totters carrying a
    gondola to 2,400 feet in the air, higher than  the Freedom
    Tower, before slowly descending to
    the other side. The two forms a large X which scissors back and forth
    between  the islands.


    The fulcrum for the 2,400 foot crossing is an A frame, supported
    by 4 structures, two from each island, which also is the base of a large
    platform at about 1,200 feet in the air, leaving open the shipping channels
    underneath.  This platform, perhaps in
    the shape of the Globe similar to the one used for the World’s Fain in Queens,
    is designed to contain restaurants, viewing platforms and gift shops providing
    spectacular views of the harbor but the view from the gondola at 2,400 feet
    would be even more amazing.


    Tourists would have the opportunity to disembark from the
    gondola half way up from Governor’s Island on their way
    back to Manhattan to dine and spend


    The gondola descending would be gravity assisted and
    generate energy on the way down to lift the structure on the way up.  Well balanced, the system would require
    little additional energy.


    London has Charing
    Cross and the Ferris wheel. New York,
    with Daring Cross, would attract even more tourists from around the world to
    see, and ride on, the Daring Cross. When we realize that people pay $25.00 just
    to ride the elevator to the top of the Empire
    State Building,
    the 5.5 million tourists, and countless native New Yorkers would take the DARE.
    This project would pay for itself and generate extra income to the city and
    provide, much needed employment.





  • Shallie Bey

    Thank you for an interesting post. I love Twitter and find the comment about how Twitter is changing the future of story telling to be fascinating. I'm excited about living in the Imagination Age.

  • Balint Szent-Miklosy




    This is a partial list of inventions by Bálint Szent-Miklósy,
    and each one includes within it a multiple of other patentable inventions.




    NEUTRAX a transportation system of the future saves energy by
    neutralizing weight, in air, on or under water. 

    A number of different inventions for generating energy from
    waves and rivers.

    Capture more of the wind we use for generating energy.

    Solar heat converted directly to mechanical energy saving the
    intermediate step of making electricity.




    Cars that detect and fill earliest signs of potholes as they
    pass over them.

    Cars that get rid of debris from in front of their tires and
    keep the roads clean.

    Cars designed and built with quick repair in mind.

    Away to charge and recharge car batteries much faster.

    A simplified way for people to lift their cars when changing

    A way to capture energy of deceleration and use later for

    A racing wheelchair that is much faster than conventional

    A new way to apply electromagnetic propulsion to autos.

    A way to keep batteries charged while traveling on the

    GPS controlled route programmed into flight plan to prevent
    plane from wandering into restricted areas or obstructions.

    Completely new propeller concept for planes that allows them
    to take off like a helicopter and fly like a plane.

    A new wing design for aircraft that changes from slow to
    fast-moving configurations.

    A new, more efficient, body design for aircraft.

    A safety attachment to motorcycles that protects rider in case
    of an accident.

    A passenger compartment for automobiles to protect passengers
    in case of accident.

    City map that instantly identifies house number location.

    A survival mask for boaters that allows a victim to sleep face
    down in the water.

    A way of fixing a hole in a boat while it is still in the

    A crew capsule designed to save the occupants in case the
    plane is disabled.

    A way of loading freighters with standard containers in
    shallow water ports.  This design would
    also make it possible to extend the use of the Panama Canal and provide greater
    throughput of freight and much larger vessels without the need to rebuild the

    Freight cranes for loading container ships that use much less
    structure and energy.

    A new way of speeding up passenger loading and unloading at
    bus stops.

    Automobile hubcap designed for advertising.

    A way to keep ships from overturning.

    A new hull design to speed ships over water.

    A way of egress from a plane that allows for direction control
    and landing without a parachute.

    A new space vehicle reentry design that is energy efficient
    and safer than those presently used.

    A way to keep lifeboat occupants protected in heavy or
    inclement weather.

    An attachment to the legs of elderly or infirm to make
    standing up easier.  Works even for
    people who just have to do a lot of bending.

    New design of sailboat for maximum energy use.

    Boat hull design to ameliorate rocking motion for passengers.

    A boat designed to save crew in case of an accident.

    A self-cleaning curb.

    A recreational walking device that’s entertaining, fast an

    Bridge design that flips out of the way when there is no
    traffic allowing for boat traffic to pass unhindered.  Usable as footbridge also.

    New design for a bicycle wheel.


    New design to save energy used by escalators.

    Several new propulsion systems for boats.

    New way to build tunnels under water.

    Design highways to protect the vehicles using them.

    A handy device for people to carry to give them a strap to
    hang on in crowded subways.

    Also a simple seat on the subway platform which is easily
    carried by passengers.

    A way to convert oil barrels into a pipeline.

    A system to improve on truck bumpers to reduce damage to small
    vehicles in case of collision.




    A quick way to reinforce dikes and prevent floods.

    A new way to fight forest fires from a distance when road
    access is not available.

    Fire hose attachment to illuminate site at night.

    New off-site construction method for high-rise structures
    along with several inventions for the building trades.

    A way to build with cinder blocks that is much faster and less

    A new way to build housing to order from standard building
    units that most people can manage.

    A new way to evacuate buildings in an emergency, especially
    where windows are barred.

    Making building material from solid waste.




    A new media of advertising where the motion is generated by
    the moving audience on a train looking at still pictures on a tunnel wall.

    A device worn as jewelry but one that scrolls news around




    A better IV portal and a painless way to administer medicine
    and/or rehydrate people.

    A way to eliminate bedsores of elderly patients.

    A number of inventions for the elderly to protect them from
    falls and to protect them from injury in case of a fall.




    Ski suit that inflates in case of an avalanche providing the
    wearer a survivable space.

    A new book design that’s easy to hold open with one hand.
    Works for e-books also.

    A bookshelf that turns into a spiral staircase.

    A way to scramble eggs before breaking them.

    Several child’s loft beds that are interesting and prevents

    Use waste generated in space for constructive purposes.

    A fan driven by a flywheel and weight.

    A roof sweeper that lets you do it from the ground.

    Several ways of getting water from air and soil.

    A device that allows a person to jump, twirl, flip in 3

    Freight containers designed for easy conversion to secondary
    uses, i.e. housing.

    A number of inventions in the sanitation field especially to
    increase efficiency.

    An improved, energy efficient log splitter that even elderly
    can use.

    A bottle cap with a nipple that fits most popular bottles and

    A new disposable razor designed to be shipped flat.

    A champagne opener that’s easy to operate and safe.

    A drink designed to be healthy and intrigue the young to drink


    Contact: Bálint Szent-Miklósy

    305 Madison Avenue, Ste. 1-A, New York,
    NY 10165, 212/297-0502