Imagination is an essential component of creativity. It is deeply personal yet allows us to see other people’s perspectives. It lets us envision new ways of finding meaning in our lives, keeps us company on long car rides, can help us succeed regardless of our chosen field. There is an extensive body of research that supports the benefits of imagination and creativity across all levels of ability, all manners of expression, and all types of people (and, perhaps, animals and computers as well). Imagination is what allows us to hope for an improved world even in the worst of times – as well as what makes it possible to achieve such a better tomorrow.

James C. Kaufman is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut, former President of American Creativity Association, and author/editor of more than 400 papers and 45 books, including Creativity 101, and The Nature of Human Creativity and Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (both with Robert Sternberg).