IMAGINABLE: How Anyone Can Predict the Future (Yes, Even You)
The Next Big Idea · 72 minutes ·

IMAGINABLE: How Anyone Can Predict the Future (Yes, Even You)

In January 2020, when the coronavirus started making headlines around the world, Jane McGonigal’s inbox was flooded with emails from Silicon Valley execs, government officials, and non-profit leaders. They all had the same question: “Jane, didn’t you run a simulation of a respiratory pandemic?”
Yes, she had. All the way back in 2010.
Jane is a game designer. She builds simulations that help players imagine the unimaginable. And in 2010, she invited nearly 20,000 people to immerse themselves in a future world besieged by a global pandemic. “How would you change your habits?” she asked. “What social interactions would you avoid? Can you work from home?”
A decade later, when COVID went from nascent threat to full-blown crisis, Jane started hearing from folks who had participated in the simulation. “I’m not freaking out,” one of them said with relief. “I already worked through the panic and anxiety when we imagined it ten years ago.”
According to the latest research in psychology and neuroscience, we can all learn to make the shift from panic to poise by training our brains to think about the unthinkable. But what does that training look like? In her new book, “Imaginable” — and on today’s episode — Jane shares evidence-based techniques you can use to see the future coming.

Want to participate in one of Jane's Simulations? Visit
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