Happy Birthday Sir Arthur! Countdown to Centenary
Arthur C. Clarke was born December 16, 1917. From his early days in England he demonstrated a keen intelligence, an insatiable curiosity and a rich imagination that distinguishes him as a 20th century visionary, scientist and writer. Moreover, his legacy continues today as a clarion of the power of imagination intelligently applied to benefit humanity. In honor of Sir Arthur, the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation will celebrate this, his centenary year, by launching a major inter-generational initiative to help unleash the power of imagination and promote imaginative leadership today and in the future.
One of our favorite quotes by Arthur C. Clarke is “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is by venturing a little way past them into the impossible.” Thank you, Arthur. It takes imagination to see into the future and make the impossible possible. It also takes expertise and resources, optimism, determination and often a dose of courage.
We know that children have rich imaginations but have yet to acquire expertise and experience. We also know that adults have expertise but often leave their imaginations to their dream-lives. We witness our educational systems, our institutions, and our companies too often squeezing imagination out of childrens’ formulae for decision-making. Yet big challenges – and today we have many – demand big ideas that can be made actionable. Big ideas require making room for the power of imagination. Wouldn’t it be nice to help create clear lifetime running room for imagination?
The timing of the Centenary is prime for the Foundation to launch new inter-generational initiatives designed to create a global community more attuned to ways in which we can understand our most urgent challenges and think constructively and imaginatively about shaping our future. These initiatives, a Movement for Imagination, will be comprised of three connected streams:
- The Clarke Young Leaders Initiatives will aim to unleash young imagination through STEAM education, or I-STEAM, linked to service, and empower creative young leadership today and strong, imaginative leadership for our future. We will hold youth challenges, offer toolkits for I-STEAM projects, and build opportunities for peer-to-peer and inter-generational mentoring and programs. Our programmatic partner for our youth program is Youth Service America, the organization behind, among other things, Global Youth Service Day.
- The Arthur C. Clarke Conversations on Imagination: Reimagining the Future, will be an on-going series of live and live-streamed, curated conversations between highly imaginative solution finders. The Conversations will seek to open new pathways for addressing the kinds of challenges that if not effectively dealt with today will fall more heavily on the shoulders of today’s youth 25 years hence. The Conversations will be linked to action and will build toward a body of evidence that organizations, institutions and individuals alike must make space for imagination in their day-to-day decision-making and be open to venturing “a little way into the impossible.” Our programmatic partner for the Clarke Conversations is the Foundation’s sister organization, the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UC San Diego.
- The Foundation will create space and opportunity for inter-generational conversation and collaboration. For example, as part of the 100th birthday celebratory program, we will hold a session between young leaders and some of today’s fertile thinkers and actors. The ideas growing from this inter-generational dialogue and from our first Youth Challenge will feed into future Clarke Conversations on Imagination.
We have a full agenda for honoring Sir Arthur and what he stood for. It will come together for the first time a year from now at Sir Arthur’s Centenary Celebration on December 9, 2017. Join us and help us create a renaissance for imagination as a power tool in improving our future.