To imagine is to represent without aiming at things as they actually, presently, and subjectively are. One can use imagination to represent possibilities other than the actual, to represent times other than the present, and to represent perspectives other than one’s own.”

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

In this session we explored the potential of museums to unleash the power our collective imagination and in so doing, help shape our museums, our lives and the places we live?

Our first speaker was Rob Hopkins, author of From What Is, to What If – Unleashing the Power of the Imagination to Create the Future We Want.  Rob explored the power of the imagination and why it could be so vital at this pivotal moment in human history.

We then heard from Hannah Fox, Director of Projects and Programmes at Derby Museum – who told the story of how a community’s imagination shaped The Museum of Making

Finally, Lucy Neal, theatre maker, community activist and author of Playing for Time – Making Art as if the World Mattered shared her personal practice in holding space for people’s imaginations to flourish.

Watch a recording of the session

Useful links including those shared by presenters and participants during the session

Rob’s book – From What is to What If and his podcast ‘From What If to What Next’ is something you might find interesting… or

The Imagination Sundial as referenced in Rob’s talk

Rob is a co-founder of the Transition Network – a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world

The People’s Palace of Possibility shared by Malaika from the Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity – following Rob’s talk – feels very linked! (currently a postal version):

A case study of Derby Museum’s Happy Museum commission during the development phase of the Museum of Making

Explanation and toolkit for Loose Parts Play from Play Scotland shared by Hannah Fox

This session was part of the Happy Museum’s No Going Back Workshop series and the Season For Ex-Change.