The Creative Science Foundation is a non-profit education organization set up (under the framework of a limited company) to research, support and promote the application of methods that encourage creative thought processes as part of supporting science, engineering, business and sociopolitical innovation through various activities such as organising or sponsoring vacation-schools, workshops, seminars, conferences, journals, publications and projects. Unlike what the name foundation might suggest, the organisation has no big benefactors and is run on a ‘shoe string’ by unpaid volunteers from across the world who give their time freely, motivated by their passion for exploring the link between the creative arts (especially creative writing) and future innovations.
The Organisation’s Aims
- To be the primary affiliation for all people interested in using creative arts for science, engineering, business and sociopolitical and educational innovation.
- To foster Creative Science globally
- To support publication of scholarly works that advance the theory and practice of creative science.
- To arrange a number of learned meetings in the discipline.
- To promote the Creative Science discipline within education (eg to motivate interest in STEM topics)
- To use Creative Science as a means of engaging government, industry, education, society and other relevant bodies in the furtherance of creative thinking and innovation.
- To lobby the relevant agencies in support of the discipline.
The core methodology is the use of creative arts (e.g. writing, films, plays, art etc.) as a means to motivate and direct research into science, engineering, business and sociopolitical innovation. It differs to foresight activities as it doesn’t aim to be predictive (forecasting the future), rather it focuses on innovation (creating new concepts, schemes, services and products). The main (but not exclusive) methodology is the use of science based fiction, grounded in existing knowledge, which is written for the explicit purpose of acting as prototypes for people to explore a wide variety of futures. Such fictions are most frequently classic science-fiction tales, which set story-lines forward in time but, for example, they can also be alternative realities, parallel worlds or fantasy. These ‘prototypes’ can be created by anyone wishing to debate or influence the future work of organizations and companies. Alternatively, ‘templates’ can be extracted from existing fiction. In this way Creative Science acts as a way of involving the widest section of the population to help set the future research agenda, thereby empowering everyone to have a hand in shaping the future.
Opportunities to Get Involved
If you are interested in being part of the Creative Science Foundation, there are numerous ways for doing this, depending on your position, interest and resources. However, before reading on, it is important to note that membership of the foundation is a commitment. Members are expected to engage in activity for the benefit of the foundation. They have the privilege and responsibility to become the voice of the future and of CFf specifically. In more detail the opportunities include:
- On the educational side, we are interested in working with schools and universities in developing curricula or competitions to help develop students creative abilities. We already have some universities using Creative Science methods but we are keen to form new relationships and develop new courseware and activities.
- At a company level, Creative Science methods are useful for product innovation. The Creative Science methodology originated inside Intel as a practical means to explore product innovation and, if your company is interested in exploring the use of these methods we would be keen to talk to you.
- On a more individual level, we also need volunteers to help run aspects of the organisation such as acting as a local contact point, organizing local events, leading (or proposing) new initiatives or helping maintain (or create) areas of the website. If you have an idea for how you might work with us, contact us (we are open to all suggestions).
Finally, our activities, particularly those revolving around education, require funding and we are especially interested in hearing from potential sponsors of the foundation. We have a range of levels to fit all types of sponsor.
For more information on any of these, please contact us.