Wet futures and biofactories
The shift from hard, mechanical technologies to soft, biological technologies, particularly in the area of health, wellness and nutrition, is already underway. These "wet technologies,” ranging from synthetic biology for nutrition, to biology on a chip to 3D printed tissues and organs will change how we think about the sources of health, wellness and survival in the 21st century. The small-scale factories that produce these goods will also supply us richer sources of food, energy, replacement body parts and medicines, and many more necessities, in much less space, maximizing the use of nature as an engine of growth. Scott Smith will look at how these approaches to harnessing biology are multiplying to many different fields, and may ultimately be the difference between thriving within constrained means, and depleting our global resources in future. They may also point to how we survive beyond Earth.
Scott Smith is the founder of the Amsterdam-based research and creative consultancy Changeist.
His work is built on over 20 years’ experience in tracking social, cultural, technological and economic trends, and he combines grounded research with narrative design to explore the unanticipated. He has advised global brands, cultural institutions and governments on sensing and adapting to complex futures.
On the public side, Scott is Programme Coordinator and Lead Lecturer in Innovation and Futures Thinking at IED Barcelona. He is also a commentary writer for Quartz and a contributor to How We Get to Next, WIRED UK and HOLO. Scott has guest lectured at the RCA in London, and has been a returning speaker at LIFT and FutureEverything, and spoken at SXSW, EPIC, and The Next Web. He also designed and led an innovation lab for FutureEverything in autumn 2015 in Singapore, and contributed to scenarios for the 2016 Museum of the Future in Dubai.