On Saturday, March 20, The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, hosted an all-day conference, “Writing the Future,” organized by the Center, The Creative Nonfiction Foundation, and Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes. My original plan was to keep a running blog of highlights from the event, but I quickly found that intention to be overly ambitious. The event offered such a torrent of information and ideas that I had troubled just keeping up, much less processing it all — and even now, days later, there’s still so much to consider that I’m hesitant to try to synthesize it all into any overarching conclusions about what’s ahead next for writers and publisher.
Instead, then, I just wanted to excerpt a few choice nuggets from the various presentations and panel discussions that I attended over the course of the day, all of it moderated by Lee Gutkind, author most recently of Almost Human: Making Robots Think and the founder of Creative Nonfiction, a journal whose relaunch celebration ultimately closed the day’s events. The day began with presentations by Jay Ogilvy, co-founder of the Global Business Network, and Daniel Sarewitz, co-director of the Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes, talking about the approaches to predicting the future — scenario building, for instance — and the difficulties with predicting the long-term impact of new initiatives and technologies: Radio, as Sarewitz pointed out, was intended simply as an upgrade for the telegraph, but who could’ve known how tremendously it would affect so many realms of society and culture. (Unaddressed were all the questions lingering in the air about the Kindle and the iPad.)
After those presentations, the discussion narrowed its focus to writers and writing, Read the rest of this entry ?