17 June 2013
Nesta today launched its first two-day festival, FutureFest, to spark imagination and ideas about how the future can be shaped for the better.
Taking place in the heart of East London in September and curated by musician and author Pat Kane, FutureFest is an immersive experience of what the world might feel like over the next few decades.
From the bright and uplifting to the dark and dystopian, FutureFest will present a weekend of compelling talks, cutting-edge shows, technology displays and interactive performances that will inspire and challenge you to change the future. Looking not just at potential scientific and technological developments, but also how these may interact with changing values, institutions and power structures.
The festival covers four key themes for the future: Well Becoming: Living longer, healthier and wiser lives; In the Imaginarium: how technology and creativity will transform our experience of the world; We are all Gardeners Now: owning our impact on Earth; and The Value of Everything: the political economy of the future.
FutureFest is split into four sessions, Saturday Morning, Saturday Afternoon, Sunday Morning and Sunday Afternoon. They all have a different flavour, but each one will immerse all deep in the future.
Saturday Morning will feature The Blind Giant author Nick Harkaway, bionic man Bertolt Meyer, herald of the sharing economy Rachel Botsman, and techno-cellist Peter Gregson. There will also be secret agents, villages of the future and a crowd-sourced experiment in futurology with some dead futurists.
Saturday Afternoon has forecaster Tamar Kasriel helping to futurescape your life, and gamemaker Alex Fleetwood showing all what life will be like in the Gameful century. Top political scientists David Runciman and Diane Coyle will be exploring the future of democracy. There will also be a mass-deception experiment, more secret agents and a look forward to what the weather will be like in 2100.
Sunday Morning sees Sermons of the Future. Taking the pulpit will be social entrepreneur and model Lily Cole, and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees. Meanwhile the comedian Robin Ince will be chairing a Science Fiction Parliament with top SF authors, Roberto Unger will be analysing the future of religion and one of the world's top chefs Andoni Aduriz will be exploring how food will make us feel in the future.
Sunday Afternoon will feature a futuristic take on the Sunday lunch, with food futurologist Morgaine Gaye preparing for lunch in the Gastrodome. Smari McCarthy, founder of Iceland's Pirate Party and Wikileaks worker, will be exploring life in a digitised world, and Charlie Leadbeater, Diane Coyle and Mark Stevenson will be imagining cities and states of the future.
Geoff Mulgan, chief executive, Nesta, said: "At a time of slow growth and shrinking public spending many people's horizons are shrinking in. We want to rekindle people's sense of possibility - of a future that is bound to surprise us but that can also be shaped by us."
FutureFest will take place at Shoreditch Town Hall. A series of fringe events will take place throughout Shoreditch across the weekend of the 28 and 29 September. To buy tickets for FutureFest and the full programme visit: futurefest.org.
Notes to editors:
For media enquiries please contact Christine Crowther, Nesta press office 020 7743 2611 or email [email protected]
Tickets for FutureFest are priced at £36 per half day session.