Writing the Future
We wanted to find a new way to get people to think and talk about the long-term future of health and care. So we ran a science fiction competition, asking participants to imagine what health and healthcare might look like in 2100.
Some 400,000 words, 145 entries, and 6 shortlisted stories later, not to mention coverage in the Guardian, serialisation in the BMJ, and sold-out events at the House of St Barnabas and the Old Operating Theatre, we’re relatively content that our Writing the Future prize has sparked more than a couple of new conversations and perspectives as to where we’re headed.
Why Writing the Future?
Babies born today are likely to be alive to welcome in the next century. The care they receive and health they enjoy will be radically different, but how?
Some 83 years ago child mortality was high, hunger was rife, and the NHS non-existent. Yet within 40 years, babies were being born with the help of test tubes, and 40 years later, the human genome had been mapped, and more people were eating too much than too little.
In a world where five years counts as long-term, we need to think differently. Thinking about the real long-term in health is exceptionally limited – this means governments and the NHS are flying blind as to where we’re headed.
Writing the Future fills this niche, bringing new ideas and creative thinking.