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Sci-Fi or Sci-Fact?

Prime time TV game show in which studio guests (joe public or celebs?) are shown three detailed stories of innovation, and have to guess, after interviewing the creators, which 1 fantastic tale of innovation is true and which are played by actors.

Photo of James Robertson
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The main purpose of this concept is to allow the public to engage with the field of innovation willingly. By packaging great stories into an entertainment item, there is potential to really focus attention. It's clear through programs like Mythbusters from the US and technology related programs presented in the UK by James May, that there is real appetite for truly interesting narratives on technology and innovation. If well-known public figures can also be shown to be engaging with the topics in depth by either hosting or taking part, it draws innovation even further into the public sphere. There is also an educational factor; the films can interject some basic scientific principles to help the audience understand any technical elements in greater detail.

In some ways the idea perhaps owes some inspiration from the succesful early 90's UK game show 'You-Bet', where celebrities would be introduced via short film to members of the public, who would describe a stunt they were about to perform, and had to then guess whether it was successful or not.

How does your concept celebrate, identify or inspire for-profit businesses that act as agents of world benefit?

By providing a platform for potentially huge exposure to consumers and investors alike, there is massive motivation for companies and individuals to storyboard their tales of innovation into concise narratives that can even help them to clarify their own strategies. Once the companies make it onto the show, their exposure is guaranteed, regardless of whether the contestants label their schemes as fact of fiction. In the case of their schemes being labelled as fiction, when the denouement comes, it goes to show how far into the future their work is taking us.

How will your concept help us create or leverage stories of world benefit that are sticky and shareable?

The game show format will require that a short film of around 5 minutes is created to describe the history and technological/social context of the innovation. The kind of stories this format would lend itself to would have to be kind of quirky, so that the fake stories can be a little humorous too... i.e. which building component is really made using recycled horse dung etc... Inventions from science fiction films can also be passed off as factual by actors; some members of the audience will realize and others may not.. Marty McFly's overboard from the Back To The Future II being the far too obvious example!

What will it take to scale your concept so that its reach is global and widespread?

A TV program is easily scalable by simply broadcasting on multiple networks, the only limitation being the broadcast language. The concept though is naturally transferable to other languages, contingent on the availability of great local innovation stories, and some crafty scriptwriters and actors to fill in the fictional parts!

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Interesting leverage of popular culture, James!