… is a motto we often use in our workshops as we try to pull people beyond the current day status quo, invite them to push the envelope when it comes to imagining or imagineering what the future might be like. Honda definitely pushed the envelope in many ways. They are now sharing their stories with the rest of the world through a series of short documentaries entitled ‘Dream the impossible‘. Their site currently features three of them, i.e. Failure: the secret to success, Kick out the ladder and Mobility 2088.
In the latter short movie – which shows a different way to approach the future as a company (see here for other examples) – Honda looks 80 years ahead into the possible future of mobility by posing the question ‘what might it be like?’ to some of their employees, but also some science fiction writers, urbanists etc. Honda does not present or push their image of the future, instead it awakens people’s fascination and imagination regarding the subject of mobility in a subtle, almost disarming way by triggering curiosity. Among the interviewees are Mitchell Joachim (urbanist, architect), Dave Marel (Honda Advanced Design Studio), Chee Pearlman (design editor), Guillermo Gonzalez (Senior engineer Honda Vehicle Design), Jason Wilbur (Honda Advanced Design Studio), Ben Bova (science fiction writer), Christopher Guest (film director), Scott Bolton (Nasa Juno), Yasunari Seki (Honda Insight), Orson Scott Card (science fiction writer), Darel Preble (chairman Space Solar Power Institute), Chuck Thomas (Honda Vehicle Safety), Jim Keller (Honda Vehicle Chassis Design), etc.
Several ideas make an appearance, e.g. seamless mobility experiences between home and our means of transport, magnetic levitation, flying cars (how could they not!), on foot, teleportation, dreams and nightmares of jet packs, hydrogen based mobility, satellites tapping solar energy in space, self-driving and self-navigating cars, control-free vehicles, stackable cars, vehicles charging via induction, transformers, etc. All interviewees somehow refer to two notions which drive us towards change with respect to mobility in the future: i.e. concerns about the environment and what we leave to our children, which options we leave open or open up to future generations.
In Kick the ladder, the theme could be described as radical innovation. The metaphor of kicking the ladder says a lot: kicking the ladder while one climbs ups the stakes, forces one to leap. Stepwise advancement is no longer an option. There is no way back, intentionally. No safety net, leapfrogging for a better tomorrow.