The Critical Role of Imagination for Innovation

Prior to the last decade, it can be argued that the people making the most significant changes in our world were primarily those with access to power, money and influential networks. This norm has shifted significantly in recent years, and today, we live in an unprecedented time of opportunity and potential for change. Technological advances have democratized access to global information and resources, allowing a quickly growing list of unlikely culture-shaping individuals, creating change inconceivable to previous generations. Innovators like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Wendy Kopp and Jessica Jackley have stretched our imaginations and dramatically altered the way we think about technology, social networking, education and financing.

Imagination is critical for fueling change and innovating creative possibilities that challenge the way we understand ourselves, our relationships, and our world. The imagination enables us to utilize the resources to which we now have unprecedented access in order to work towards a prosperous and resilient society. Here in New York City, like many places in the world, there is no lack of material or financial resources; and those who have a rich imagination are able to cultivate these resources to bring about a flourishing, humanized world. Yet, if imagination is so vital to innovative change, how can the gospel influence the way we view and cultivate the kind of imagination that leads to societal flourishing?

This year, the Center for Faith & Work will be focusing on these themes of Imagination & Innovation at our conference on November 7-8, 2014. The hope of the gospel fills our imagination to see the glory of God made manifest throughout the world as expressed across diverse nations, cultures and industry sectors. Imagination is crucial for perceiving and experiencing the reality of God in a world that has become blind to his sovereign presence and purpose. It is a gift from God allowing us to see things that have yet to come true, but are anchored in the reality of what Christ has accomplished. In this way, the gospel provides the most powerful grounding for our imagination as it infuses the reality of our current world with the hope of the new world to come. When we are compelled by this vision of God’s glory in tangible earthly expression, the Spirit gives rise to new things—innovations allowing us to more fully experience the otherwise latent and veiled potential existent in both ourselves and our world.

SAVE THE DATE: November 7-8, 2014

CFW Faith & Work Conference

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