FutureFest - Shaping Things to Come

28 - 29 September
2013
Shoreditch Town Hall

What’s On

FutureFest explored everything from future humans to future technology and creativity.

See the sessions below to see what was on when.

Anab Jain

Anab Jain

Well-Becoming

Anab will talk about how we become “bio-literate”, in our kitchens and backyards as much as the lab.

 
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Pat Kane

Pat Kane

In the Imaginarium

FutureFest curator Pat Kane introduces the festival and sets out what delights the weekend has in store.

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Non Zero One

non zero one (Hold Hands/Lock Horns)

The Value Of Everything

You have a choice at the door of the room: Invisiblity cloak, or ability to fly? Perfect test-tube baby, or imperfect natural baby? Step through the decision tree, till you find yourself in an emotional future you never expected…

 
xHumed

xHumed

In the Imaginarium

If we can archive and store our personal data, media, DNA and brain patterns, the question of whether we can bring back the dead is almost redundant. The right question is should we? It is the year 2050AD and great thought leaders from history have been “xHumed”. What could possibly go wrong? Through an interactive performance Five10Twelve will provoke and encourage the audience to consider the implications via soundbites and insights from eminent experts – both living and dead.

 
Nick Harkaway

Nick Harkaway

In the Imaginarium

Our use of technoscience is often like a “blind giant” staggering towards the future, says SF author Nick Harkaway. How can we open our eyes and take better routes ahead?

 
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Frankie Kuniklo

Frankie Kuniklo

In the Imaginarium

The future is here and ready to be played. Frankie Kuniklo is its herald, a deliberate unknown, acting head of an organisation concerned with transforming the near-future. Where’s the value in taking the shadows? Can you design an everyday revolution? How can we playfully change the world (slightly) for the better?

 
 
Peter Gregson

Peter Gregson

In the Imaginarium

The Future of Technique: if we demand coders and engineers for our future prosperity, we should also encourage musicians and composers. Techno-cellist Peter Gregson (MIT, Google) on the wonders of STEAM (that is, STEM plus Arts/design), followed by a performance

 
 
 
Vinay Gupta

Vinay Gupta

We Are All Gardeners Now

Back to the future, via the village. We could use eco-tech and radical innovation to slow the rush to the cities, not accelerate it

Bertolt Meyer

Bertolt Meyer

Well-Becoming

We face a future where bio-tech will bring us face to face with cyborgs every day – where those disabled may well become enhanced, compared to the “normals”. Prof. Meyer (with his robot hand) explores how we’ll cope

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Paul Mason

Paul Mason

The Value Of Everything

Post-Capitalism: BBC Newsnight’s economics editor asks what economic system comes after the Crash, Occupy and double-dip recession

Steve Fuller Twitter profile

Steve Fuller

Well-Becoming

Steve Fuller, Andy Miah and a selection of other thinkers will be discussing Humanity 2.0. What are the imaginable frontiers of human enhancement – and what challenges do they present to our laws, policies and institutions?

 
 
Ghislaine Boddington

Ghislaine Boddington

Well-Becoming

How can we extend our bodies in a way that makes us still feel connected to the world? Ghislaine Boddington will be exploring how the ‘natural’ body can be immersed in a blurred virtual/physical interface, and how this new cyborg state will mean we are enhanced by, rather than enslaved to, digital technologies.

 
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David Fell

Re-dreaming the future

In the Imaginarium

Re-dreaming the Future is a session presented by David Fell and Sara Giorgi from Brook Lyndhurst. It will combine presentations, real-time opinion surveys, group discussion and playing with children’s toys invites you to dream a future as if we were still young and, over the course of a weekend, to design an economy capable of delivering sustainability and joy – for you, for everyone you know, and for the planet itself.

David Runciman

David Runciman

The Value Of Everything

Democracy has had a great run as the “least worst system” of governance , in Churchill’s famous words. But with the corrosions of American and European democracy in the last few years, the uprisings in the Middle-East, and authoritarian pragmatism of China and other regimes, Cambridge’s David Runciman wonders what democracy’s future will be like.

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daisy-ginsberg

The Dream of Better

In the Imaginarium

Leave synthetic biology – the engineering of biological devices – solely in the hands of engineers, and we’ll be in trouble. How do we decide the best way to use these coming powers of shaping life itself? Designer Daisy Ginsberg shows us how art and design can point the way.

The Emergent City

Well-Becoming

At present, a slight majority of the planet lives in cities: by the middle of the century, most of humanity will. Politicians, planners, companies and citizens, north and south, are searching for strategies to manage this dynamic, emergent reality. A diverse group of architects and designers will explore new framings and understandings of the urban future. This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Bio/Nano: the huge consequences of controlling the very small

In the Imaginarium

We are becoming engineers of materials, and life, in more effective ways. Atomically-precise manufacturing and synthetic biology could open up a new era of abundance. World experts in “bio/nano” talk with designers and writers about the consequences of this revolution and how we can best plot it.  This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Humanity 2.0: dealing with enhancement

In the Imaginarium

Humans are radical animals. We have always been able to dream of extending our powers and faculties, and through technology and science have increasingly done so. How will coming enhancements – neurological, molecular, prosthetic, computational – redefine our understanding “normal” humanity? What challenge will they make to our laws, ethics and institutions? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Futureplay

Futureplay

In the Imaginarium

A unique immersive performance, where three of the most intriguing start-ups of recent times – the game-changers Playify, the tech disruptives of Glitchspring, and the >CC crowd-delivery network – play out their futures with you in interactive play made in association with performance whizzes Coney

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Alice Taylor

Alice Taylor

In the Imaginarium

The coming materials revolution: lighter, more efficient, more degradable, more powerful.

Ben Hammersley

Ben Hammersley

The Value Of Everything

From Wired UK’s Contributing Editor, a take on the challenges to good governance from an age in which everyone’s a player, a publisher, an activist and a trader, in the age of networks and ubiquitous computation. What’s secure, and who represents you, in this accelerating world?

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Alex Fleetwood

Alex Fleetwood

In the Imaginarium

A live, online and offline, crowd-sourced experiment in futurology.

Non Zero One

non zero one (Hold Hands/Lock Horns)

In the Imaginarium

You have a choice at the door of the room: power of flight or invisibility cloak? Perfect test-tube baby, or imperfect natural baby? Step through the decision tree, till you find yourself in an emotional future you never expected…

10
 
xHumed

xHumed

In the Imaginarium

If we can archive and store our personal data, media, DNA and brain patterns, the question of whether we can bring back the dead is almost redundant. The right question is should we? It is the year 2050AD and great thought leaders from history have been “xHumed”. What could possibly go wrong? Through an interactive performance Five10Twelve will provoke and encourage the audience to consider the implications via soundbites and insights from eminent experts – both living and dead.

 
Tamar Kasriel

Tamar Kasriel

Well-Becoming

Futurescaping your life: we use forecasting, scenario-planning, design fiction and all kinds of futuring techiques in our businesses… Could we use them to shape our own lives?

 
Rohan Gunatillake

Rohan Gunatillake

Well-Becoming

Wellware: how our future information devices might be designed with wellbeing and mindfulness in mind

Marek Kohn
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Marek Kohn

We Are All Gardeners Now

Will it turn out nice by 2100? British life under radical climate change

Ian Goldin

Ian Goldin

We Are All Gardeners Now

Fixing Global governance: For all people and our planet

 
Stuart Nolan

Stuart Nolan

In the Imaginarium

It’s 2050, and very little is private these days – mind-to-mind communication, AI’s sifting through your data and anticipating your needs … Illusionist and tech visionary Stuart Nolan will ask participants to switch off their neuro-phones, and experience what it was like to be deceived (and to deceive), to enjoy mystery, illusion and wonder, in the days before permanent transparency.

Paul Mason

Paul Mason

The Value Of Everything

Post-Capitalism: BBC Newsnight’s economics editor asks what economic system comes after the Crash, Occupy and double-dip recession

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courtesy of Rikard Westman

Information Rock Gig

In the Imaginarium

In this futuristic age of high-speed living and info overload, visualised information has incredible potential to help us quickly understand, navigate and find meaning in a complex world.

The world-renowned information designer David McCandless will take you through his unique method of transforming data into beautiful, instantly comprehensible images and graphics – and will demonstrate a future literacy we all need to master.

 
Futureplay

Futureplay

In the Imaginarium

A unique immersive performance, where three of the most intriguing start-ups of recent times – the game-changers Playify, the tech disruptives of Glitchspring, and the >CC crowd-delivery network – play out their futures with you in interactive play made in association with performance whizzes Coney

 
 
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The Value of Everything: the political economy of the mid-century

The Value Of Everything

In the aftermath of the global financial meltdown, our search for what makes for a sustainable, healthy economic life rarely finds satisfactory answers. Are Smith, Marx, Hayek and Keynes still relevant? If not, where can we find the seeds of a new model? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Rachel Armstrong  Headshot

Black-sky thinking

We Are All Gardeners Now

The problem with the “singularity” – Ray Kurzweil’s idea of an unimaginable leap-forward in computation – is that it’s too singular. what if there’s more to come than just runaway supercomputers?Rachel Armstrong introduces Black-sky Thinking – probing a future where “Next Nature” is our primary technology.

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Are We Having Fun Yet? The future of entertainment

In the Imaginarium

Look back into the human record, and it’d seem our entertainments – song, dancing, games, humour – are part of our evolved inheritance (given they’re still going strong). Will disruptive technologies and innovative platforms give old thrills new forms? Or – via the insights of neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, AI and ludology – are there forms of fun yet to be discovered? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Living Longer, Looking Better, Getting Wiser? Expanded lifespan, rejuvenation tech and its many implications

Well-Becoming

Imagine walking into a room of 25 year olds and finding they each have 80 years’ experience. Or living to 150 with your faculties intact? How many ‘lives’ will we choose to have? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

 
Lily Cole
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Lily Cole

Well-Becoming

What is the future of altruism? Social entrepreneur Lily Cole explores how digital platforms will transform our instincts for sharing and cooperation.

 
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Adrian Hon

Adrian Hon (History of the Future)

In the Imaginarium

How would we tell the story of the next century through the iconic, mysterious or even banal objects, upon which the fate of events depended? A glass of water – from a mined asteroid? A wedding ring – from the marriage of a human and an AI? Or objects so strange you can’t imagine whatthey are?

xHumed

xHumed

In the Imaginarium

If we can archive and store our personal data, media, DNA and brain patterns, the question of whether we can bring back the dead is almost redundant. The right question is should we? It is the year 2050AD and great thought leaders from history have been “xHumed”. What could possibly go wrong? Through an interactive performance Five10Twelve will provoke and encourage the audience to consider the implications via soundbites and insights from eminent experts – both living and dead.

 
 
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Robert Ince

Sci-Fi Writers’ Parliament

In the Imaginarium

Science Fiction writers often give themselves the license to imagine whole new societies, their rules and norms, and test them to destruction (or raise them to a heavenly perfection). Imagine if you actually gave them real power? Robin will be hovering above a team of some of the best SF writers on this planet or any other as they argue their cases for what the future will hold – and put their futures to a public vote.

Jaan Tallinn

Getting out of the 21st Century intact

We Are All Gardeners Now

Founding programmer of skype, and co-founder of the Cambridge Centre for the study of existential Risk, Jaan Tallinn will take us up the ladder of innovation that may lead us to a crisis point in human existence.

At what point might our ingenuity with computation, materials and biology outstrip our ability to manage or moderate its powers?

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Andoni Aduriz

Andoni Aduriz + Morgaine Gaye

Well-Becoming

Food futures and “techno-emotional cuisine”

 
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Roberto Unger

Roberto Unger

The Value Of Everything

The future of religion and the Religion of the Future (teleconference from Harvard)

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FutureEverything 2011 by TAPE | www.WeAreTAPE.com

Drew Hemment

Drew Hemment, founder and CEO of FutureEverything, will present ways to detect and make tangible signals of the near future.

A festival can be a place to participate in the future. And a ‘festival of the future’ isn’t about a lost weekend, but making pop-up futures; it’s idealistic, but it’s also critical. Drew Hemment, director of Manchester’s Futureeverything since 1995, shares his experience on how to turn conviviality into a laboratory of things to come.

 
Futureplay

Futureplay

In the Imaginarium

A unique immersive performance, where three of the most intriguing start-ups of recent times – the game-changers Playify, the tech disruptives of Glitchspring, and the >CC crowd-delivery network – play out their futures with you in interactive play made in association with performance whizzes Coney

 
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Vinay Gupta

Vinay Gupta

We Are All Gardeners Now

Oxford Martin School. Surviving the Future: food, water, shelter, health for the world’s majority

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Non Zero One

non zero one (Hold Hands/Lock Horns)

In the Imaginarium

You have a choice at the door of the room: power of flight or invisibility cloak? Perfect test-tube baby, or imperfect natural baby? Step through the decision tree, till you find yourself in an emotional future you never expected…

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Surviving the Future: food, water, shelter, health for the world’s majority

Well-Becoming

The future will almost certainly bring systemic disasters and we need to become more resilient in order to survive. But can we be more proactive and imaginative in the face of such threats, looking to prevention as much as adaptation? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Ruth Little

Ruth Little

We Are All Gardeners Now

If we want to develop a long-term sense of stewardship of our planet, we need to enrich and deepen our eco-imagination – we cannot save what we do not identify with. Ruth Little, co-director of Cape Farewell, brings us new artistic and cultural strategies for valuing our troubled biosphere.

 
Mark Stevenson

Mark Stevenson

The Value Of Everything

We know we live in an era of disruptive change and radical innovation – but what are the organisations that can match, or at least harness, these forces? Mark Stevenson has been on a global tour, identifying those bits of the organisational future that are here – but just not evenly distributed.

 
 
JP Rangaswami

JP Rangaswami

The Value Of Everything

The next business model, in a radically digital age

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Andrew Blum

Andrew Blum

The Value Of Everything

The info-infrastructure of the future: the author of “Pipes” anticipates what we’d have to build to keep the bytes on

 
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Diane Coyle

Diane Coyle

The Value Of Everything

What ethical structures will best cope with exponential tech development?

Charles Leadbeater

Charles Leadbeater

The Value Of Everything

What can we learn from weak states about new ways of educating, doing business, repairing society? Prominent innovation expert Charles Leadbeater has been touring the world’s hotspots and seeming backwaters, and finding seeds of the future in the way people improvise solutions to the harshest conditions.

Smari McCarthy

Smari McCarthy + Francesca Bria

The Value Of Everything

The coming info-constitution: the legal frameworks we’ll need to constrain a world of radical information transparency

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Morgaine Gaye

Morgaine Gaye

Well-Becoming

Food futurologist Dr Morgaine Gaye has curated the best of London’s experimental and cutting-edge cuisine, where strange new protein burgers, odd combinations of sound, smell and music, and chemical meals you sprinkle from the tube are only a few highlights. Experts and radical cooks – including interventions from Andoni Aduriz – will serve up their best ideas for tasting. In short lectures and presentations, they’ll also map the possibilities of the next 30 years of eating.

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Mark Miodownik

Mark Miodownik

We Are All Gardeners Now

The coming materials revolution: lighter, more efficient, more degradable, more powerful

Non Zero One

non zero one (Hold Hands/Lock Horns)

In the Imaginarium

You have a choice at the door of the room: power of flight or invisibility cloak? Perfect test-tube baby, or imperfect natural baby? Step through the decision tree, till you find yourself in an emotional future you never expected…

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Gardeners’ Answer Time: how can we become capable of managing the anthropocene?

We Are All Gardeners Now

The scientific consensus on climate is clear: all we can do now is mitigate the impact of the climate changes we have caused. But how radical should our actions be? Do we re-wild or geoengineer? Decrease consumerism or use human ingenuity to escape from human ingenuity’s consequences? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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Speculative Fluency: how to imagine the new society – for better and worse

The Value Of Everything

Thinking usefully about the future isn’t solely the domain of accredited futurologists, crunching data and tracking trends at their desks. Sci-fi narrators speculate on systems of economics or politics, and visual artists and curators dive deep into the history of how we have pictured the future. This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

 
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The Biggest Science: what major projects should we invest in for the longest term?

The Value Of Everything

‘Big Science’ is in a strong place heading for mid-century. But what should the next slate of scientific major investments be? Energy, health, synthetic biology, or more left-field projects?  What should the balance be between civilian and military research? This is a FutureDeeper session hosted by the Oxford Martin School.

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