Worldbuilding Workshop

Event description

  • Academic events
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Free

Public Policy as Worldbuilding:  How Laws and Regulations Envision and Create the Future

Something shared by every proposed law, regulation, or public policy is how each such proposal is an attempt to bring some future into being, whether that's one with less air and water pollution, or one with more walkable cities, or a future in which global warming is mitigated instead of allowed to proceed unchecked. These imagined for futures are inevitably influenced by the stories we tell ourselves about the world we live in and our place in it, as well as what values we want to see manifested in our communities. 

In this workshop, our speakers will discuss the role of imagination and creative thinking in designing and then prompting better futures through public policy, offering frameworks for addressing the problems facing our society and our world: What kinds of futures do we really want, and how might we bring others to share in our vision? What role can speculative storytelling play in offering up new and better stories for what our world might be, and for the roles we might all play in it? As we indirectly influence the future as voters, how might we be sure the representatives we elect share in our vision for that world to come?

This hybrid event is free and open to the public, in addition to the ASU community. It will be held on the Tempe Campus and simultaneously livestreamed via Zoom, with full participation in the night's activities possible online or in-person.

About the Speakers

Ed Finn is the founding director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University where he is an associate professor in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering. His research explores imagination, futures, computational culture, and intersections of the humanities, arts and sciences. His He is author of What Algorithms Want: Imagination in the Age of Computing (2017) and co-editor of Imagining Transmedia (forthcoming in 2024) Future Tense Fiction (2019), Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers and Creators of All Kinds (2017) and Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future (2014), among other books.

Christopher F. Jones is Associate Professor of History at ASU's School of Historial, Philosophical and Religious Studies. He studies the histories of energy, environment, and sustainability. He is currently completing a book on the history of economic ideas about infinite growth on a finite planet. 

About the Worldbuilding Initiative

Hosted by the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics, the ASU Worldbuilding Initiative invites all members of our community—at ASU and beyond it—to come together in mutual inspiration, communal thinking, and imaginative play. In each of our workshops, audience members will be encouraged to engage in worldbuilding alongside our guest presenters, inventing new ways of imagining and interacting with the world around us.   

Event contact

Karina Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 21, 2024


5:00 pm6:00 pm (MST)


Ross-Blakley Hall, Room 117 (hybrid via Zoom)