The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at University of California San Diego
The mission of ACCCHI at UC San Diego, is to develop, catalyze, and be a global resource for research, teaching, and value-added initiatives inspired by the singularly imaginative, multi-disciplinary legacy of Sir Arthur Clarke, such as:
- scientific and medical research on how imagination occurs and can be more effectively utilized in the mind of the individual and within society at large;
- efforts to harness and incorporate imagination in fostering both personal and institutional advances in science, health, design, technology, education, the arts, media, environment, entertainment and culture;
- spur the development of more effective use of human imagination to change and improve traditional and lifelong learning systems infusing them with strategies that evoke and nurture imagination;
- design of practical solutions to individual, community and societal challenges and opportunities.
The ACCCHI is based on these Concept Guidelines:
- Out of the trees, into the future – Enhancing understanding of what motivated – or drove – the hominid to imagine, and how that human quality evolved. Should further enrichment be anticipated? If so, can it be accelerated? How can parents and teachers be assisted to evoke imagination in young people?
- Out of the one, into the multiple – Advancing understanding of polymaths such as Sir Arthur, and of how they can be detected early and encouraged. Is persistence essential in elaborating all their talents from latent to palpable, or is such pressure inconsistent with healthy personality development? Are exceptional organisms a necessary element of such multiple capabilities?
- Out of the stone’s throw, into the 1-0 – Enhancing understanding of the role of imagination at the outset of the digital age, with devices of unparalleled versatility and outreach now at hand. What are the implications for generational divisions already evident? Does social or deliberative networking enhance individual creativity, or does it in fact harness or restrain it? How does freedom or repression of the individual influence the development of imagination?
- Out of the tedious, into ingenious – Designing and advocating alternative methods to reintroduce imagination to pedagogy, ranging from Pre-K to post-secondary education, with teacher education anticipated as both an avenue and an obstacle.
- Out of the box, into the bank account – Introducing concepts for imagination enhancement to commercial, industrial and public sector institutions in ways that may work for all management and employee levels.
- Out of the classroom, into the Situation Room – With nine nations known to have nuclear weapons); with 22,000 nuclear warheads reported at hand or in storage; exploring how human imagination can be leveraged to diminish the threat of planet-wide catastrophe, and in moving beyond armed conflict. Can the same exploration assist in addressing other pending worldwide problems, such as global warming and the availability of water?
- Out of the campus, into the Center – Becoming an “Oahu” – a “gathering place” for disciplines as disparate as Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, Computer Technology, Creative Writing and Science Fiction, all in fuller appreciation of one of man’s most distinctive assets – his ability to sense what is beyond the established norm and to turn such imponderables into serviceable assets.
- Out of the Center, into the literature and onto the web – Convening conferences, fostering research, circulating scholarly materials, publishing journals to encourage and enhance research consistent with the Center’s objectives.
- Out of the campus, into the continents – Through alliances with like institutions, becoming the catalyst for the study of human imagination in multiple centers of learning in the United States and abroad, and consequently, enhancing social and economic benefits from such study, worldwide.
- Out of the like-minded, into the Clarke-minded – Accepting, for all within the Center and relentlessly bearing upon those beyond, a creative frame of mind – exemplified at a minimum by Sir Arthur’s Second Law: “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
Support for the ACCCHI and all of the Foundation’s work is welcome. The Foundation is a registered 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization, and all donations are fully tax deductible.