Futures of Mobility: The Velocity of Freefall

In this series of three sci-fi stories called “Going Further: Imagining the Futures of Mobility”, we explore five to ten years in the future to find out what the world might be like when advanced smart technology devices are available for all.

The Velocity of Freefall

The first author of this anthology is Brianna Albers. Brianna is a storyteller living in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In 2016, she founded Monstering, a magazine for disabled women and nonbinary people; in 2017, she co-founded ZRIE, a private new media collective. She consults as a patient ambassador for SMA My Way and writes the column “The Wolf Finally Frees Itself” for SMA News Today. She recently finished the first draft of her space fantasy, #WaxingCrescent, and is in the process of making the book of her heart the best it can be.

Brianna brings us The Velocity of Freefall – the story follows wheelchair user Blaire, accompanied by her partner Jacen, as she overcomes her fears and fully realises her dream of travelling across the world on a life-changing adventure.

All stories have been illustrated by the talented Ciara Chapman, an award winning illustrator living in Cork, Ireland. 

About this anthology

When the Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with Nesta Challenges, launched the Mobility Unlimited Challenge, they were hoping to find the answer to one question: what would the future of mobility look like?

A few months down the line and with 5 finalists working hard to bring us one of the possible answers, we thought we could turn to fiction to imagine new worlds and possibilities.

By imagining these new worlds, we can ask one of the most fundamental questions in human nature: what if? Discovery always starts from this basic question: what if things were different?

As the Covid pandemic forces people to temporarily adapt to a new way of living, it is important to remember that, for the disability community, this is a lifelong reality. Understanding the limitations faced by members of the disability community and the importance of better mobility for all is essential. When people are free to move, they can broaden their horizons and fully realize their potential.

To help us answer the question, we worked with a group of writers and illustrators to collaborate on a series of stories imagining the impact improvements in assistive technologies could make to people’s lives, incorporating the brilliant devices that have made the final stages of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge. 

About the challenge

The Mobility Unlimited Challenge is an international $4 million challenge designed to change the daily lives of people with lower-limb paralysis through innovative personal mobility devices incorporating intelligent systems. The winner will be announced later this year.

See the series here!

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