Zhan Li: science fiction, design futures and foresight communication

I went to LA in June 2012, a lively trip where I did research on foresight communication, the sharing economy and gamification. I was told, in this context, by friend and colleague Stuart Candy that I had to talk to Zhan Li. So I caught up with him at his home in leafy South Pasadena.

He is a truly synthetic and integrative thinker, complex and sophisticated, and this is what I loved about talking with him. He pushed and challenged the boundaries of my understanding and comprehension.

He is writing a PhD dissertation through the Annenberg School of Communication and  Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he is exploring the cross roads of futures studies and communications, in particular trans-media story telling and narrative in foresight. I consider this one of THE most important lines of R&D in the futures field, so I’m greatly looking forward to reading his work as it emerges.

The interview spans across science fiction, design futures, foresight communication, narrative frameworks, organizational narratives and many other areas! It was one of those “wow cool” interviews where those new synaptic connections are made and my brain felt a little different after.

I hope you enjoy it. The nuance, sophisticated and complex mode of his discourse may be challenging for some, but it is worth every bit of the effort.