White House visit
As one of the contributors to the Hieroglyph anthology, I was invited down to the White House in early October 2014 to talk about optimistic futures
The Hieroglyph anthology has certainly had legs. It brought a whole bunch of us authors and the editors to the White House to talk to the Office of Science and Technology Policy about how to engage a new generation of young people to go into the science and engineering professions.
Below is a photo of us taken by Ruth Wylie on October 2, 2014. Left to right are myself, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Edd Finn, Elizabeth Bear, Kevin Bankston, Kathryn Cramer, Vandana Singh, Ted Chiang, Madeline Ashby, Lee Konstantinou, and Neal Stephenson.
We also discussed other issues, particularly the future of governance and how to manage thorny issues such as climate change. My own story in the anthology, "Degrees of Freedom," is all about governance, so I was in my element.
This is where science fiction and strategic foresight meet for me--in events like this one. Oddly enough, this is not the first time I've participated in such a hybrid event; much of my history with foresight for the Canadian government and army has involved using my talents as an SF writer to both filter and refine ideas that come from foresight. I did my Masters thesis on how to employ storytelling methods to communicate foresight findings.
This visit to Washington was the capstone to a season of travels and adventures that took me to San Jose in August (for the Cognitive Computing forum), to UCLA in September (for the Digital Cash conference), and most recently to Phoenix for the World Bank's Evoke project. I'm now happily settling in at home to work on a new novel, but hopefully this is just a hiatus and I can get out to more speaking gigs soon.