“…if we look at the big hitters in the 20th century, like the Xerox machine, like the personal computer, like the pocket calculator, all of these things did something else. They weren’t contaminations of existing things. They weren’t finding a need and filling it. They created a need that only they could fill.” -Alan C. Kay
Since the 18th century, the written definition of “entrepreneur,” and thus the notion of an entrepreneur’s role, has been in a constant state of flux. From the transformation of demand into supply to the creation of something new under “extreme uncertainty,” the practice’s meaning has evolved closer and closer toward undefinable, perhaps fictional, spaces. This evolution opens up new uses for the field that go beyond capital-driven arenas, reframing itself, instead, as a tool for speculative and social engagement. However, pre-conceived notions of business have held back the ability for such a transformation to come into fruition. This embryonic revolution begs for a new ecology of processes that can foster, and contribute to, this emerging paradigm shift in the design of business.
At The Institute for Fictional Entrepreneurship, our vision is to subvert the conventions of business, and radicalize entrepreneurial practice, through the design of participatory systems. Through an engagement with our systems, participants are invited to seek out voids within the daily lives of our future selves, in order to design for those situations, fulfilling needs that have yet to exist. This series of experiences leverage speculation, serendipity, augmentation, and hybridity as tools for creating business. Our work investigates how these systems can create a space for participation that introduces theories of entrepreneurialism to a new set of values and disciplines in order to author the next stage of the field’s evolution. These processes create a massive impact on the field by shifting the focus of entrepreneurs toward problem-making, as opposed to problem-solving, as a means to better engage with the edges of reality. This distinction, an inversion of current entrepreneurial practice, is key to understanding our perspective. Our systems celebrate an energy of acceleration toward the realm of intangibility by re-framing the design of business as an entry point to the study of the future, and the development of fiction.
The Institute for Fictional Entrepreneurship was established in 02011, and is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. We are comprised of a team of fictional entrepreneurs with a multi-disciplinary background that blends experimental business-design practices, social entrepreneurship, media design, and international business development.