To tackle grand societal challenges, the role of imaginaries can be crucial in the creation of societal awareness, understanding and support. That is, how we represent things, for example in the media, has great impact: evocative images and the recurrence of visual conventions have a strong affective impact and often gain professional and public recognition (Beckert, 2013; Goldberg & Grubb, 1991; Moeller, 1999).
However, despite the potential mobilizing effect of imaginaries of societal challenges, how we represent, envision and see societal challenges has been an underrepresented topic. That is, the perception and reception of societal challenges are crucial to increasing the understanding and awareness of them within the larger society and to facilitate our collective response to address these challenges. Yet, often, the construction of such shared imaginaries, that can facilitate or hinder our understanding and perception of those challenges and their solutions, has remained a topic of marginal concern.
In this session, we want to present and discuss the role of images and visual forms in the construction of shared understandings of societal challenges that can resonate within the larger society or even mobilize a wide variety of stakeholders to take action. We explore this conundrum in the context of the Dutch mission-oriented innovation policies for health.
During the session, we demonstrate the results in presentations of 5-10 minutes, and discuss the role and importance of future imaginaries to enable forward-looking action to address societal challenges and missions. We engage in audience interaction to bring this topic further.