Let’s take a moment to think about the big thinkers out there, the people who, standing in the face of potential ridicule and seemly insurmountable odds, look beyond what conventional wisdom deems possible to dream in the world of innovation.

They are the people who push us forward, the visionaries designing for an unimaginable future. What kind of environment do they grow out of?

Since the mid 20th-century, space has seemed like the next great frontier, a world of endless possibility. The kind of world that spurred on creative and innovative thinking that not only gave us iconic space odysseys, but also an explosion of out of the box thinking and innovative science.

Image: An artist rendition of Lagrange Point 5

Artist rendition of what a space colony Could look like.
Source: Rick Guidice, NASA Ames Research Center // Wikimedia.en

One of the most fascinating projects to grow out of 1960’s and 70’s fascination with space was an idea for a space colony called Lagrange Point 5. Imagine going to visit your relatives for the holidays at their new home, in space. Now, that feels like a wild idea, but in the 1970’s this seemed like a major possibility.

Today, we bring you the extraordinary story of Lagrange Point 5 and its legacy as told by one of our favorite podcasts, 99% Invisible. This is truly a remarkable bit of forgotten history that we all can find wonder in the modern age!

Reinstilling hope, spurring possibility!

So, maybe in our lifetimes we won’t see colonies in space, and maybe that’s a good thing, but I love this story because it speaks to a sense of possibility that feels lost today, a sense of possibility that I want to bring back to visionaries young and old.

32 minutes

Richard Turere Makes Peace with Lions

As we struggle to solve problems, large and small, there is usually one thing is missing in the circles I know of: listening to the wisdom of our youth. See how one boy made peace with neighboring lions in today's featured TED talk!

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There are wonder and hope in imagining and working for a bright future. If we lose our vocabulary for wonder, awe, and imagination, we diminish the spirit of hope that spurs on creative innovation. Particularly in the hearts and minds of young children and students.

On a personal, side note, the other day I met with students at a local high school to show them Ever Widening Circles and explore how it could be used in the classroom. When I reached the part of the pitch about EWC’s mission to “change the dialogue about our world” I saw them light up a little bit. As I explained that EWC gives them the vocabulary to talk about the future in a hopeful way when the adults around them can only talk about how hard life will be for them or how little opportunity there is for them, one of the students piped up “Yeah, they keep telling us that.” I was floored, what kind of world are we creating if high school seniors see their futures as bleak because of the words of adults? Why are we scrubbing possibility away from young people’s horizons?

32 minutes

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Have you ever watched the TED Talk with the most views in history: 33 million? There's a reason this one is on top. Great fun and a subject that can expand every single one of us, no matter our age.

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When we talk in terms of hope, we talk in terms of possibility. When we talk in terms of possibility, we talk in terms of innovation.

All of us can choose to change how we talk about the future and encourage the wildly creative and endlessly curious people in our lives! We can make a conscious effort to shift the way we talk about the possibility and the world ahead. Each one of us can help to restore hope and a sense of wonder to this world!

So, take a minute next time you want to say something pessimistic about the future, and try, instead, to think about the world in terms of a future filled with possibility! Perhaps your words will be taken to heart by the kind of out of the box thinker that will help to move us all forward!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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Notes:

  1. Mingle, Katie, prod. “Home on Lagrange.” 99% Invisible. 21 June 2016. 99% Invisible. Web. 1 Oct. 2016. <http://99percentinvisible.org/episode/home-on-lagrange/>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

COO Ever Widening Circles

Liesl is a camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often floundering—yoga lover. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV