Summary of The Future of Imagination

Aspen Institute, more...

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The Future of Imagination summary
Honing your ability to “predict the past” and “remember the future” can empower you to shape your destiny.


8 Overall

9 Applicability

10 Innovation

6 Style


Strange as it may sound, if you can “remember the future, predict the past” and exhibit “hard empathy,” you will boost your creativity and be inspired to shape the future in which you want to live. In this hour-long presentation, futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal gives a crash course in developing these offbeat abilities. She keeps her listeners engaged by having them execute simple exercises to hone these skills. getAbstract recommends McGonigal’s groundbreaking talk to creatives, innovators and anyone who wants a hands-on role in molding the future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to “predict the past, remember the future” and exhibit “hard empathy”;
  • How practicing these cognitive skills can strengthen your creativity; and
  • How these three abilities can encourage you to work toward a future in which you want to live.


A computer game designer’s ultimate goal is to “transport people to worlds that don’t exist.” Games instill players with a “sense of agency,” a feeling that they have the ability and influence to change and control outcomes. As a result, gamers feel more assertive and hopeful when facing an unknown ...
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About the Speaker

Game designer Jane McGonigal is the director of games research and development for the Institute for the Future.

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