Rob Hopkins is writing a book about imagination, its decline in our culture, and how we might set about rebuilding it. I have done extensive research and over 60 interviews for it. The book will be published by Chelsea Green Publishing in 2019. It represents my taking one step out of the Transition movement, to help raise its profile more widely, while also exploring an issue of growing concern. The book tells the story of a 2 year journey into the imagination, and ingredient vital in the world today.
“I found that I was reading many people I admire, such as Naomi Klein and George Monbiot, writing about climate change and blaming a ‘failure of the imagination’, but frustratingly never going any further to ask “what is a failure of the imagination, and what might we do about it?” I came to see that much of what we do in Transition creates good spaces for people to be imaginative, and that those spaces are all too rare today. I want to create an inspirational book which is rooted in good research and evidence, and presents a powerful case to show that austerity is creating the ideal conditions for the contraction of our imagination, and that just at the very time in our history when we face climate change, the greatest failure of the imagination in the history of the world, we are not up to the task. Indeed, I present evidence to suggest there is a very real danger that the further we get into the climate crisis, the less imaginative we become, like a frog in a pan of boiling water. I have never seen anyone write about this before, and it strikes me as very important. I am driven by the need to share this, and the many inspiring stories of imaginative initiatives around the world, initially in book form, but then perhaps through other media, such as TV.”
In 2017 and 2018 the Lunt Foundation’s supports enabled Rob to take a Sabbatical from his all-consuming work at Transition Network, to just working for them one day a week, and to have time to really focus on the book. It has enabled Rob to get interviews transcribed, and to visit interesting projects.