How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready For Anything – Even Things That Seem Impossible Today

A dynamic, optimistic, science-driven work by a futurist and renowned gamer that trains us to see the future as a futurist does — and prepares us to thrive in that future when it arrives (sooner than we think), by the New York Times bestselling writer and designer of alternate reality games.
After living through the massive global shock and trauma of Covid-19, one of the most disruptive events in human history, we need to find a way to face the future with optimism. But how can we plan for a better future when it feels impossible to predict what the world will be like next week, let alone next year or in the next decade? What we need are new tools to help us recover our confidence, creativity, and hope in the face of an uncertain future.
In Imaginable, world-renowned future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our brains to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable. Using gaming strategies and fun, thought-provoking challenges that she designed specifically for this book, she helps us build our collective imagination to dive into the future before we live it and envision, in surprising detail, what our lives will look like ten years out.
She is the perfect person to lead the way: In 2008 and 2010, with teams at the Institute for the Future and the World Bank, she designed two future simulations with nearly 30,000 participants that predicted a devastating respiratory pandemic in 2020 and the surprising human responses to it:
When social distancing would work and when it would fail Where super-spreader events would most likely occur The rise of pods and bubbles The resistance to mask wearing The outbreak of misinformation and conspiracy theories And the complicating effects of climate-change weather events.
Not only were these future forecasts shockingly accurate, those who took part in her exercises felt better prepared for Covid-19 when it did arrive. In Imaginable, McGonigal teaches us to identify the challenges that lie ahead in the next decade — big and small, personal and global; shape a better future that solves for those challenges; and access “urgent optimism,” an unstoppable motivational force that inspires us to be fearless, resilient, and bold in realizing a world we can only imagine.
Spiegel & Grau (March 22, 2022)
Author photo
Jane McGonigal
Jane McGonigal
Book cover picture
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