From Science Fiction to Innovation

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 08 August 2015
  • Source / Publisher: Nachrichten aus der Chemie/Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society)
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
thumbnail image: From Science Fiction to Innovation

The Phantastische Bibliothek (Fantasy Library) Wetzlar is a collection of science fiction and fantasy literature with a book stock of over 260,000 titles. The publicly accessible library provides science fiction as a pool of ideas for new products and techniques. The Founder and CEO, Thomas Le Blanc, studied science, but has spent most of his life as a journalist, writer, and book editor and wrote a lot about science fiction and fantasy.

Since 2003, Le Blanc uses science fiction literature to find solutions for technical and scientific problems. A pilot project was a study of transport systems of the future for the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt). Le Blanc and his team organize what they have read for ideas and try to summarize the data. They draw cross-relations to other literature, see if there are things that are common or where all authors are of the same opinion, and whether patterns can be discovered. And they have a few rules: Magic, for example, has to be irrelevant.

Most companies are interested in how the world looks like in 30 years. The question they have is not which battery, for example, we will have, but if we will still drive a car. They want to know how people will deal with new technologies and, ultimately, if the company can sell their products.


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