UNTITLED Imaginary Society

Untitled Imaginary Society was an online forum open to anyone to exercise our social imagination in practice and in theory. It was curated by the Untitled Team and Life Itself from the Untitled Alliance.

Any social or political envisioning is constrained by an invisible frame: by the implicit values ​​and views on which it is created, now importantly its view of the nature of human beings. Any big vision therefore begins with a vision for the “Being” of human beings. And so we need to go back to basics if we are to rediscover our Imagination and create possibility for ourselves and our societies.

For example, much of modern economic and political thought rests on the assumption that you or I know what we want (think markets, democracy etc). However, most wisdom traditions teach us that discovering what we want is actually very hard and takes deep practice and reflection.

Past Imaginary Society Meetups

2/12/2021 Living change – Grief as an overlooked force of change with Louise Armstrong

For those who are looking to enable a just and regenerative world, it is critical that we find ways to be closing the regenerative cycle. We are comfortable creating the new, but often skirt around the loss, closure, ‘release’ and death phase of change – even though they are an inevitable and necessary part of any change process. It is essential to know how to work with these forces as we continue to adapt to and live during a global pandemic, increasing impacts of climate change and as our regimes and ways of being crumble around us.

This session led by Louise Armstrong offered a series of metaphors and framing that help us to work with grief and loss in a tangible way. We also spent time witnessing and sharing with each other and experiencing the power of grief-tending practices. Due to the intimate nature of the session, there is no recording.

9/9/2021 Jeremy Lent: Meaning, history and humanity’s future

Jeremy Lent is an author and speaker whose work investigates the underlying causes of our civilization’s existential crisis, and pathways toward a life-affirming future. His award-winning book, The Patterning Instinct, explores the way humans have made meaning from the Cosmos from hunter-gatherer times to the present day. His new book, The Web of Meaning, offers an intellectually solid foundation for a worldview based on connectedness that could lead humanity to a sustainable future. In this session Jeremy took us through his thinking, and we explored what it might mean for humanity’s future in this time of crisis.

3/9/2020 VestAndPage: Changing the Gaze – Moving beyond anthropocentric imaginaries

Verena Stenke and Andrea Pagnes have been working together as a VestAndPage for over a decade, and gained international recognition for their work in performance art, performance-based film, writing, and publishing. Their work moves between the unseen and the unforeseen, the unsaid, the forgotten, and the repressed. It has involved collective performance operas, and the creation of temporary artistic communities. They reminded us that to imagine differently is to see, listen, and relate differently. At the convergence of multiple crises, how can we change our gaze to imagine a different future?

14/5/2020 Gabriella Gómez-Mont: Imagination is not a luxury 

Gabriella Gómez-Mont is a film maker, visual artist, experimental curator & urbanist who fearlessly led the Multidisciplinary “Laboratory of Ciudad” bringing imagination and creativity into the government of the enormous Mexico City. The session was hosted by Demos Helsinki. Due to technical difficulties we unfortunately do not have a recording of the wonderful talk to share.

23/4/2020 Geoff Mulgan: The Imaginary Crisis (and how to quicken social and public imagination)

Geoff Mulgan is Professor of Collective Intelligence at UCL and a Fellow at Demos Helsinki. The inspiration for the meeting was Geoff’s paper on the topic  The session was hosted by Demos Helsinki.