Agile Imagination: a different kind of AI

Culture Futurist ™
3 min readDec 17, 2022


When we think of “founders” in the design innovation and artificial intelligence space, we often conjure images of craft beer on tap, maker spaces, and Silicon Valley tech conferences swimming with venture capitalists. However, these are just the latest manifestations of ideas owing part of their origin stories to a group of poets, the Romantics. Centering around nature and emotion, their approach to creating art had an immense impact on the way we think about innovation today.

Take, for example, the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge who opined, “Imagination is the living power and prime agent of all human perception.” Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in our emerging AI technology that utilizes data to learn, reason, and make decisions — all processes that require imaginative capabilities.

Romantic period philosopher, Schopenhauer, notes that every person takes the limits of their vision to be the limits of the world. (An idea quantum physics research recently seems to confirm). Schopenhauer also identifies here why cross-discipline collaboration is simultaneously the most important and dangerous thing to do. Important because it pushes someone beyond the frontiers of their discipline’s knowledge. Dangerous because those siloed-discipline frontiers serve to validate and protect fragile human egos.

While different in their expressions, artists and scientists continually challenge us to question what is real. Both are dedicated, at least in part, to proving that the “thingness” of something is completely secondary when compared to the idea behind it.

The differing sameness between art and science shows the dynamism of agile imagination. Technology is a tangible expression of agile imagination. Technology tethers artists and scientists into one of the most dynamic dialectics in human history. With a flood of new AI technologies entering our lives, many known and unknown challenges lie ahead that will surely evolve this relationship even further.

The ROI of Agile Imagination

Today, business leaders, especially those of scientifically-oriented companies, increasingly find ways to ignite deeper collaborations between artists and scientists. They see the relationship as integral to ecosystem development and inclusive innovation outcomes. For these business leaders, agile imagination is becoming a competitive advantage. Importantly, humility and openness to other people’s ideas are the consistent hallmarks of these arts-science collaborations when they work best.

By incorporating imagination, appreciation for nature, and breaking the status quo of conventions into their approach, today’s leaders can unlock a fuller human potential, tap into the unknown, optimize resources, and support their stakeholder networks in more meaningful ways. Inspired by some age-old poetic wisdom — innovators everywhere have access to powerful insights for exciting new solutions for whatever challenges arise!


by Theo Edmonds

Inside morning creases of sunlight and water
is the glisten.
A convergence.
A spontaneous act.
An unconscious, involuntary sparkle.
Crafted from things shadows leave behind.

From inside those things
a dirt-digger crawls cautiously upward.
Training intention to bend toward blue,
the creature takes note.

There is a pause.
a breath.
a memory.
a loss.

Pretending not to be hurt
by disappearing things,
the creature wonders in whispers.

“Where are the butterflies?”
“Where are the butterflies?”

When creatures bend toward blue
new things are noticed.
Things, too, are left behind.

When creatures bend toward blue,
their effort of will
makes new poetry possible.

When creatures bend toward blue,
creative intelligence sets intention.
blends harmony.
crafts reconciliation.

Acts of reconciliation are sometimes needed
because certain memories
do, indeed, leave dark traces.

Estimating themselves incapable
of attaching to light,
they resign their concern
only to the act of balancing.
The act of balancing on edges.

It will need to be enough
It is enough,

Until a grifting flap of wind
bends a single hair on the arm.
Attention magnetized toward
unexpected notions of beauty.

A twitch.
A unifier.
A curious idea.


Away from dark traces,
toward a fastidious flick of horizon.
Wonder emboldens
the creaturely bend toward blue.

It will need to be enough
It is enough,

Wonder is enough to transform
a grifting flap of wind
into velocity.

Chrysalis shadows
being left behind.



Culture Futurist ™

Rockies-based Culture Futurist™from Appalachia. Pioneering into the wilderness of unopened life at intersection of Arts, Science, and Business.