Why is the moda’s hashtag #FreeTheFuture?

Decades ago, renowned sci-fi writer William Gibson experienced the nascent technology of virtual reality. He insightfully remarked, “The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed.” At that time, VR was still in its infancy, far from becoming a part of daily life, yet that experience offered Gibson a glimpse into the future.

The Ministry of Digital Affairs’ hashtag Free the Future symbolizes an endless realm of possibilities. The digital world transcends the constraints of time and space, facilitating our interactions and co-creations with a myriad of individuals, turning dreams into reality.

In recent years, Taiwan has celebrated numerous collaborative achievements. For instance, the Presidential Hackathon provided a platform for those eager to enhance government digital services, both domestically and internationally. Today, it stands as a milestone in Taiwan’s public innovation journey.

From its inception, the moda has envisioned harnessing collective creativity to transform our physical social networks through Plurality — interoperable coexistence. The Ideathon aims to harness the boundless imagination of the public, taking a step towards the future.

Considering that 6G technology is expected to mature around 2040, its applications will inevitably shape our future lifestyles. After all, the future is an amalgamation of everyone’s imagination.

Hence, the inaugural Ideathon is themed WeWe Futures: Plurality 2040. It welcomes individual and group submissions and offers immersive hybrid exhibitions, inviting the public to explore and envision the possibilities for 2040.

What sets the Ideathon apart from other hackathons? Traditionally, the Presidential Hackathon was a platform where citizens expressed their wishes, and digital experts devised and executed solutions. In contrast, the Ideathon welcomes societal co-creation, inviting everyone to explore future possibilities.

In other words, the Ideathon embraces a variety of submission formats, evolving from the hackathon’s primary focus on web applications to promote broader public participation in ideation and action.

The Future News individual competition encourages participants to create potential events or reports for 2040, without limiting the medium — be it visual, textual, or multimedia. The Future Prototype team competition motivates the development of design concepts for 2040, encompassing tangible products, intangible service mechanisms, or living entities. Finalists receive guidance from cross-disciplinary experts and leverage augmented reality technologies to refine their concept prototypes.

In 2015, after another VR experience, Gibson exclaimed, “They’ve done it!” This novelist, who had envisioned the digital world even before the widespread adoption of the internet, saw the future he wrote about come alive.

No one can predict the future with absolute certainty, but everyone can shape its outline through imagination and creation, actualizing it through collaborative efforts. This is the core essence of the Ideathon and the aspiration of the moda: collective creativity, ushering in the future through each individual’s contributions.