Moral Imaginations
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Moral Imaginations

Imagination as a key to unlocking a ‘Great Unflattening’

What is the Great Unflattening, and how do we re-inhabit a new territory of feeling that is both new and familiar

Image by Reilly Dow — Watchet Imagines Lab © Moral Imaginations 2021

If we have been living through The Great Flattening, then what we need is A Great Unflattening. We can keep the things that have proven so useful, and necessary for this next stage of our civilisation — there is no need to throw what is useful away. But the important task for the 21st Century is to re-inhabit a full body of feeling, the capacities of intuition, imagination, warmth, creativity and a sense of what is important to us — perhaps even sacred.

Spaces for radical creativity are few and far between. Imagination is largely reserved for those who are paid to imagine for us — film-makers, entrepreneurs and fiction writers. The school system largely squeezes out the creativity of children by the age of 18.

We have intractable problems and as a species we have driven ourselves and the majority of the other species on this planet into dead ends. But the kind of thinking required on a massive scale to get out of them isn’t accessible to the majority of people. We’re asking for boldness, collaboration, courage, creativity and imagination, but we don’t acknowledge that those are not things that can suddenly occur — they take space, cultivation and practice — and communities that can tend to those things.

They are also not cognitive capacities only — we need a new rigour, and that is a rigour of feeling, to change systems and culture we must feel differently, and not just change the map of where we want to go. I am convinced that to shift the future we need to feel it differently — if the ways of thinking we are familiar with are leading us to dead ends, perhaps the only way to circumvent them is to go a different way.

If we wanted a space to play with these new modalities of feeling and imagining, what would that look like?

Moral Imaginations is a growing community and movement of rigorous imagining for moral futures.

Image by Reilly Dow — © Moral Imaginations 2021

We invite in the weird, wyrd, strange and liminal. What comes out of these sessions is beyond what we can rationally understand and capture and quantify. We create shared portals into new dimensions of being. These portals belong to everyone. Join us.

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© Moral Imaginations 2021

This passage is an excerpt from the Manifesto for Moral Imaginations.

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Phoebe Tickell

Phoebe Tickell

Cares about the common good. Building capacity for deep systems change. Complexity & ecosystems obsessive. Experiments for everything. 10 yrs #systemsthinking.