AOM’13 Workshop: Exploring Future Technology/Innovation through Creative Science Prototyping


We are pleased to invite you to participate in the Academy of Management  “Exploring Future Technology/Innovation Through Creative Science Prototyping” which will be held in Lake Buena Vista (Orlando), Florida on the 10th August 2013 ((10.00am – 4.00pm).

The aim of this workshop is to explore the use of popular culture and science fiction to motivate and direct technology and innovation management (TIM) research into new business visions for future technology/innovation, smart cities, business models, strategy foresight, high-tech products, environments and lifestyles. The workshop will explore the methodology and its theoretical potential for advancing knowledge and understanding with the aim that this methodology can jump-start theoretical/intellectual advances in TIM scholarship.

Theoretical context

The use of creative fiction in policy and planning contexts, in order to imagine the social aspects of future worlds, has appeared in academic scenarios work involving future transport systems, climatic change and oil depletion. The Science-Fiction Prototyping (SFP) process creates science fiction based on science fact with two main goals. First a SF prototype gives development teams and social scientists a way to envision technological transformation of business landscapes and products through fiction. Second its offers a possible vision for technology that is based both on science and reason. Ultimately SFPs provide  a vision of digital transformation of business and its stakeholders that can be used to build and short-cut the product development and technological evolution process. A supplementary goal is to build mind-bridges. across generations and multicultural ethnic groupings to ensure the peaceful and thoughtful digital transformation of business and industry.


The intention is to provide participants with a creative and imaginative means to express their views on future technology/smartness and its influence on technology and innovation management. To illustrate the process the attendees will be provided with scenarios, visual images and scientific descriptions of future technology/smartness, to enable them to produce a SFP (under the guidance of the organizers). The SFP will focus on imaginative visions for how participants feel future technology will influence their everyday life. These prototypes will be structured and analyzed using the methodology outlined by Johnson utilizing written narrative, observation notes, video recording of group activity and visual diagrams, notes, and pictures. The purpose of the filming will be to enable the participants to have more time to analyze/evaluate their research findings (after the workshop) and to analyze closely the interaction and behavior between group members. The workshop aims to build six prototypes that can be used to engage creatively/share with the TIM academic community. The preliminary programme of the Saturday activity (10.00 – 4.00pm) for the workshop is:

    • 9.30-10.00 – Registration / Coffee and Tea Served
    • 10.00-10.05 – Welcome and Introduction from the PDW Chairs (Dr Gary Graham / Prof Vic Callaghan)
    • 10.05-11.00 – Activity 1
    • Plenary talk on “Creative Prototyping” by David Brian Johnson (Futurist,  Intel Corp)
    • 11.05-12.05 – Activity 2

a) Step-by-step guide through the creative prototyping methodology (Dr Anita Greenhill, Dr Deb Aikat)

b) Case example: Exploring the potential of interdisciplinary research – Schrodinger’s Notebook (Dr Clarisa Ai-Ling Lee, Duke University)

    • 12.30-13.15 LUNCH
    • 13.15-14.45 – Activity 3

a) Video/film/picture stimuli (visual aids) of future technology to facilitate the creative development of fictional visions of future technology/innovation.

b) Group based activities to develop prototypes of future technology, innovation or new product designs.

    • 14.45-15.00 COFFEE BREAK
    • 15.00-16.00 – Activity 4

a) Presentation of prototypes. Book token prizes for the best three

b) Review and discussion of the implications of the workshop for further research, funding applications, journal articles and international collaboration plus TIM call for sub-theme papers in 2014

Creative engagement

The prototyping methodology is inter-disciplinary in nature and open to scholars from other management disciplines such as strategy, marketing, organizational behaviour, operations management and communications and information systems. Creative prototyping explores  possible futures through fact-based, science-based fiction and video conversations between management scholars with scientists and science fiction authors, world renowned experts, passionate advocates and everyday people. Science and creative fictional visions gives all of us a language so that we can have intellectual conversations/discussions about the future and these conversations make dramatic changes.

  • There are several definitions of future technology and from these we have adapted Callaghan et al’s., definition as it fits the scope of this paper [1]. He defines future technology in the following words: “as the strategic and economic possibilities related to long-range technological change and the potential social impact of future transformative technology.”
  • Multiple definitions exists of the term smart city; it is “a developed urban area that creates sustainable economic development and high quality of life by excelling in multiple key areas; economy, mobility, environment, people, living, and government. Excelling in these key areas can be done through strong human and social capital, and/or ICT infrastructure” [2].
  • We use the term ‘creative fiction’ interchangeably with ‘science fiction’ (SF) prototyping (first developed by Brian Johnson at Intel [3]). Creative fiction prototypes relate specifically to the field of technology and innovation management.
  1. Callaghan, V, Johnson, B. D., and Egerton, S. 2011. “Creative Science 2011 (CS’11)”, Workshop Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Intelligent Environments, IOS Press, p. 97.
  2. McCullagh, 2011. “Internet of Mysterious Things”. Workshop Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Intelligent Environments, IOS Press, pp. 255-267
  3. Johnson, B. D., 2011, “Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with SF“, Morgan and Claypool Publishers.
Invited Speaker (plenary talk)


Brian David Johnson
Futurist & Principal Engineer – Interactions and Experience Research
Intel Labs, INTEL, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA

The future is Brian David Johnson’s business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable 10 -15 year vision for the future of technology. His work is called “future casting”—using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Science Fiction Prototyping: Designing the Future with Science Fiction; Screen Future: The Future of Entertainment Computing and the Devices we Love; Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and A Futurist Journey Through Steampunk Into the Future of Technology; Fake Plastic Love; Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories; the forthcoming Wizards and Robots comic book). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.