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Tomorrow Project challenges young people to imagine brighter futures

Brian David Johnson at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2013
May 16, 2013

Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination is joining together with Intel’s Tomorrow Project, the Intel Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public to challenge young people worldwide to think critically and creatively about possible futures we can build together.

The Future – Powered by Fiction” competition will provide a space for young people to participate in science-based conversations and share their imaginative designs for the future. The competition will reward a selection of the best fact-based science fiction stories, essays, comics and videos submitted by people ages 13-25 from all over the world. Ten winners will each receive a $1000 award and have their work published through the Tomorrow Project website and promoted on social media.

The competition was announced at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair during the week of May 12-17, in Phoenix, Ariz. and will run for approximately 6 months. Winners will be announced around the end of December 2013.

“The Future – Powered by Fiction” will be administered by the Society for Science & the Public. ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination will host the competition and oversee an international editorial board to serve as judges. Both organizations will provide editorial oversight as well as promotion and outreach.

The editorial board of scholars, journalists, artists and futurists will be chaired by ASU faculty members Ed Finn and G. Pascal Zachary. Finn is the director of the Center for Science and the Imagination and assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering and the Department of English. Zachary is a professor of practice in the Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and author of "Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century."

“To build better futures, you need better dreams. Creating stories about the future that we can all believe in is a crucial first step in bringing those dreams to life,” says Finn. The competition is one aspect of CSI’s mission to craft new narratives that will inspire people to engage with the grand challenge of creating a more equitable, beautiful and exciting future. 

The competition’s goal is to use the power of narrative to share detailed, humanized visions of a future in which social and cultural as well as scientific and technological methods support more sustainable ways of life. “We can change the future by changing the story we tell ourselves about the future we are going to live in,” argues Intel futurist Brian David Johnson, a featured participant in the Tomorrow Project. Visit Brian's Intel blog to read more about his experience announcing the competition at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair keynote presentation.

To learn more about the competition, visit You can also follow updates about the competition on Twitter @imaginationASU and @IntelFuturist.