Sub-Themes > Track 2: Understanding and Fostering Imagination for Responsible Innovation. Foresight, Fiction, Ideas and Narratives and their Influence, Exploitation and Potential

Understanding and Fostering Imagination for Responsible Innovation. Foresight, Fiction, Ideas and Narratives and Their Influence, Exploitation and Potential. 

Convenors/Track chairs:

  • Stefan Hüsig & Julien Bucher, Chair of Innovation Research and Technology Management,
    Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
  • Ziska Fields, College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Sven Schimpf, Fraunhofer Group for Innovation Research, Germany

Affiliated Journal: Seminal and thrilling contributions will be invited to a Special Issue for
International Journal of Technology Management

Description: The progression of human kind has been described as driven by various kinds of innovations and change, focusing on new technology, services, business models, social systems and forms of organization. At the front-end of innovations there is usually an assumed problem to solve or a demand to supply that is creatively approached. Often ignored are the social imaginations, i. e. shared cognitive concepts of fictive developments or inventions like technology, concepts of life and social systems, that inspire and influence innovations. Enabled by the new digital infrastructure these imaginations are spread globally. Humans have always been fascinated by imaginations of alternative and future lifeworlds incorporating fictive social systems and technologies. One of the most well documented forms of imaginations of future innovation and developments is Science Fiction, presented e.g. as fiction in books, movies, series, audio books and pictures, or as inspiration and influence in marketing innovative technology and business ventures (like public space travel) or social systems, new social structures, concepts of life and relations to the environment.  

This track is tackling the nexus of innovation and imagination, with special interest in e.g. (Science) Fiction and retrofutures raising questions on how these imaginations and narratives may be methodologically approached, how they influence and have influenced human societies/progress, and how they may be utilized in a responsible way (via and beyond SciFi Prototyping). 

We encourage contributions that explore the imagination-innovation nexus and offer new insights using theoretical investigations as well as empirical approaches on, but not limited to, the following subjects:

  • Foresight
  • Science Fiction Prototyping
  • Utilizing fiction for the Scenario Technique
  • Retrofutures: dead ends, deviations and manifestations
  • Contemporary and historic cases studies on the nexus of imagination and innovation, e.g. Science and Science Fiction
  • The potential, opportunities and risks exploiting fiction in order to influence the social imaginary 
  • Manifestations of social & individual imagination
  • Methodological approaches
  • Imagination & innovation
  • Utilizing imagination and fiction for creativity and design
  • Inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to conceptualize and understand imagination, innovation and fiction 


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Bucher, J. (2019): The overlooked roots of innovations. Exploring the relevance of imagination on innovation using Science Fiction. In Z. Fields, S. Hüsig (Eds.) Responsible, Sustainable, and Global Aware Management in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

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