Nowadays, everyone’s afraid of being replaced by a robot. But I figure as a graphic recorder my job is fairly safe, and here’s why: There’s no innovation without imagination. I participate in a lot of innovation processes, at companies like BMW, Bayer, and BASF, and what I’ve come to realize is that people need pictures to understand what the future might hold for them. Images spur the imagination, and make the road to the future seem more feasible.
The Grants4Apps program at Bayer is a case in point. From the start, they worked with graphic recorders, initially with my esteemed colleague and mentor Marie Jacobi, whom you can see above, working on a chart for Grants4Apps, and then, more recently, with me.
My job at the Grants4Apps launch event was to put into images the ideas that the five start-up teams had developed, and thus enable people to see the potential of their proposed products. At the same time, it was important to show how this would fit into Bayer’s corporate architecture, and into Berlin’s vibrant startup scene.
If you look closely, you might spot a robot in the picture below, but mostly it celebrates the deeply human ability to keep inventing and re-inventing ourselves. So as long as there is a need for innovation, there will be a need for imagination. Fortunately, that’s one thing robots are particularly bad at.