Confab | 001 | Small Sparks | Context

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Welcome to the premiere issue of Confab, Future-ish's new online magazine!

Confab is short for "confabulation" which is defined as a "short, informal, private conversation" and that is exactly what we want Confab to be. Confab is not meant to be anything too fancy, no crazy technology, no revolutionary new way of formatting, it is simply a dedicated group of departments, editorials, and features around a central theme created by an always changing collaborative of people. Like Future-ish itself, Confab will always have strings of science, design, and culture woven throughout but in Confab this string is very likely to become a bit messy as our collaborators explore the both the big picture and tiny details of the topics and issues that they are passionate about. There will be cute stories, there will be controversial stories and ideas but in the end, we just hope that you enjoy and engage with these stories and ideas.

The idea behind this premiere issue, "Small Sparks", is that even small ideas and small changes can have a big impact. A random thought on how to change the world with a new product or nonprofit, a back-of-a-napkin drawing of a new research project or gadget, or a way-out-of-the-box new idea about leadership or public policy are all things that often times start as just a small spark in someone's mind. Even The Big Bang started with its own little a small spark.

The idea that small ideas and changes can have a big impact is certainly nothing new, its been around for a long time...decades, centuries, millennia most likely. There are dozens of quotes on the topic and dozens of lists of people with great new ideas. But we think its important to remind ourselves of this because in our fast-paced, ever changing world, it is easy to forget and/or become overwhelmed with the sheer rate of change in our world.

On a personal note, I was thrilled that Summer Rayne Oakes agreed to be on our first cover. I have known Summer for over 10 years from our work on sustainability topics. Besides being an inspiration to me and many others, especially young women, she has served as a muse in many ways for Future-ish and now Confab. She has impressive credentials in science, design, and culture and even more important, she takes every opportunity to use her skills and experience to improve the world herself and to motivate others to do the same. This particular image of Summer by photographer Isaac Bearman was perfect for our cover. The image of summer is part Breakfast at Tiffany's and part Bladerunner. Is she human or is she some sort of cyborg? What is causing the glow in her eyes? Is it a bright light or object in front of her or is it some source from within. A special thank you once again to Summer and Isaac for the stunning image.

We hope that you enjoy this issue of Confab and the many issues to come. We also hope that Confab becomes something big too.

Sean Schmidt