Anyone who is a student of modern culture knows that the biggest blockbusters are likely to have a guy in a leotard with some amazing power, and that the bestseller lists usually have a multitude of futuristic or fantasy titles. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you, then, that science fiction is one of the hottest genres in the entertainment industry. It may, however, be somewhat shocking to learn that science fiction is being used by many key industries like information technology and counterterrorism to help predict impending changes.
Tech and Homeland Security Jobs
The tech sector and writers of speculative fiction are a natural fit; not only is there a significant nerd factor in this industry, but minds that can conceive of the world two or three technological revolutions down the road can provide valuable insights which can jumpstart R &D and guide enterprise growth. The semiconductor company, Intel Corporation, hired four science fiction writers in 2010 to help prognosticate how certain technologies on the horizon could change the world if they were realized. These writers utilized emerging concepts like robotics, intelligent sensors, and photonics to serve as the basis for short stories. They used these potential breakthroughs as a starting point to conceive how the business and technological landscape would be changed and what other technologies they could spawn.
If support from the high tech sector isn’t enough cachet for you, the science fiction writing community has also been a serious component of the War on Terror. A group called Sigma, which includes a number of bestselling authors, was established in 1992 to help advise the federal government about potential threats. The group includes only published authors with doctorates and include Greg Bear and Jerry Pournelle. Members conceive of unconventional threats and draw inspiration from a wide range of established and offbeat sources.
Benefits for Growing Companies
You may not work in the entertainment, high tech or defense fields, so you may not recognize the relevance of futuristic creation. There are probably dozens of more important considerations that supplant predicting the nature of the world to come, but you could be doing your company a disservice by limiting your vision to the next quarter. Almost all of today’s large companies started out as a groundbreaking idea that its founders conceived. In some cases, even they didn’t realize how their new product could reshape the world, but they recognized the potential. Jobs and Wozniak probably had no idea that eventually computers would become essentially wireless, but they knew that the personal computer was likely to make a large impact on people’s lives. Laughably ridiculous ideas with today’s given business parameters could be the revolutionary new business concept of tomorrow.
There aren’t that many highly qualified science fiction authors putting that on their application to become the CEO of a major corporation, but that may be changing. If the IT sector and the government already recognize the value of speculative thinking, it won’t be long before other industries are eager to snap up them up to help guide them into the coming age.