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The Challenge of Positive Storytelling for a Future Network Society: better learning and transmedia storytelling can support our strained capacity to absorb the implications of rapidly emerging technologies
Since prehistoric times storytelling has been a fundamental means for human society to cope with the world. The interpretation of phenomena, and it’s impact on individuals and groups, are transformed by it’s representation. If we want to be able to efficiently absorb the implications of technological change, are our current tools for perceiving and learning about the world enough? Or should they be complemented by radical reinterpretations of how stories can be told? Next generation technologies (i.e. energy generation, manufacturing, food production, finance and learning) will rapidly transform society, and set up the foundation for new forms of social organization. If we want to plan for the transformation to be as devoid of conflict as possible, and achieve positive outcomes, then we have to embrace at the widest possible levels of innovative tools such as role-playing, policy-making, forecasting, and, in general, future-oriented storytelling. Our current assumptions of what it means to be a positively contributing member of society, how free we are to act, plan, and dream are going to be quickly upended by the uneven adoption and implementation of the changes around us. An open, transparent, rational dialog about these roles, degrees of freedoms, and opportunities can be achieved and is a fundamental component of what is going to shape our societies, and our lives as individuals.