Imagination is the gateway to the future. It is a vision of what is not yet but could be. It sees worlds that do not exist, but which might be brought into being. At its best, it is the voice of our better angels calling from beyond the self-imposed walls of our present self. It is the hope and redemption of humankind. Even in its darker forms, it can be a guide to the pitfalls and obstacles ahead, and the paths we might take to avoid these, although for our sanity we do not want to fixate on these murkier visions. Overall, imagination is the force that has propelled our species upwards over countless eons, towards the light, towards our potentials, and ultimately, one hopes, towards love.

Dr, Tim Lomas: is Senior Researcher for Wellbeing for Planet Earth with an interest in cross-cultural perspectives on wellbeing, and author and editor of books including Translating Happiness, Mindfulness in Positive Psychology, and The Positive Power of Negative Emotions.