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How Companies Use World-Building Techniques to Imagine the Future

How Companies Use World-Building Techniques to Imagine the Future

We are shaping the future of business and media as we speak. Many large retailers are experimenting with technology decades before we even know about it. With the increasing prevalence of tech in the retail industry, humanistic values are becoming more sought after. One of the biggest tools corporations use to create the future is a technique previously employed by writer J. R. R. Tolkien: World-building.

The Writing Cooperative

Business and storytelling are deeply linked. All good businesses have an even better story behind them, and getting that across in marketing is essential. Cities, architecture, and everything else around us tell an individual story. There are natural mergers happening between all disciplines. Art and science are becoming more reliant on each other. Societies are realizing the importance art has within a community. Many city planners are turning to artists to help imagine completely new spaces, and they’ve brought a fresh take to the table. 


We see many games focused around worldbuilding. These games allow us to imagine our wildest architectural dreams, and how operations would work in our fictional cities. Building a digital model of your city plans before putting them into action is a great way to think out problems before they happen in real life. World building isn’t just for cities though–many companies are turning to this to map out their plans for the future.

Influence from Science Fiction

Ideas proposed by science fiction are often turned into real life products (see: Soylent). Rather than waiting for media to dictate and dream up inventions, companies are hiring their own writers to imagine fantastical scenarios and the type of products that would come with them.  Experimental Design Company–a service full of hollywood production directors that now focus exclusively on world building–is working with the Board of Education to imaging a school system that is completely subservient to the students. Nike has a team of science fiction writers whose sole jobs are to write futuristic stories that involve Nike.

Self lacing shoes inspired by Back to the Future


It’s not as simple as describing what your world would look like and who would inhabit it. These writers take every small aspect of their universe and drill down deep to see the far-reaching consequences each small thing would have on how a society functions. Nothing can contradict anything else, and they try to keep human nature as realistic as possible. J. K. Rowling spent years planning out the Harry Potter universe with a chart before she even wrote the first paragraph. Now world-building companies have written custom software that allows them to insert facts about their society and be presented with nuanced problems and results of their actions and choices. 

See Also

Harry Potter planning

In the Workplace

How can you use world-building for yourself? Besides being really fun and entertaining, exploring a world of your own creation in your head can help you map out changes you want to make in your life and how it might change things. You can also use world-building to present your ideas at work–companies are becoming more and more responsive to free-thinking and embracing creativity. If you see an improvement that could be made in your atmosphere, map out how the company might make that improvement, what the company would look like when the improvement is in effect, and the far-reaching effects of said improvement.

As areas of careers continue to overlap, people are finding more and more that they can shape their job and life into the exact niche they want it to be. If you’re craving an injection of creativity into an otherwise straightforward career, employ some world building techniques. If you want to completely transform your house into something whimsical, pick up an engaging series and see how the author develops the surroundings. Connecting all the dots allows you to see how a series of changes will work as a system. Approach your problem-solving in a completely new way.

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