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Imagine a world where our pleasures are governed by new inventions, where our lack of resources has made us re-examine what food means; where robots rule the roost and democracy is being challenged by technology like never before.

This world will be brought to life for one weekend at London’s FutureFest hosted by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation. Curated by musician and author Pat Kane, FutureFest is a weekend of immersive experiences, compelling performances and radical speakers to excite and challenge perceptions of the future.

FutureFest will take place at Vinopolis in London on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 March 2015, with tickets going on sale today.

Introducing the themes

FutureFest will focus on six themes: thrills, music, money, machines, democracy and two rapidly-developing cities in Africa.

The future of democracy as we know it will be challenged and tested with insight from Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower; Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, lawyer; Jaakko Kuosmanen, future human rights researcher; Ian Brown, from the Cyber Security Centre at University of Oxford; and Owen Jones, author and columnist.

Technology has changed the way people interact with money and has questioned the security and role of it. Amir Taaki, opensource developer and founder of Darkwallet, a Bitcoin wallet, will be speaking on this issue. Forbes Magazine listed Amir as one of their top 30 entrepreneurs of 2014.    

FutureFest will feature the world premiere of NEUROSIS - a virtual reality thrill ride developed by Thrill Laboratory and Middlesex University. NEUROSIS uses the rider's own neurological feedback to transport, twist and twirl them through a psychedelic landscape. All-female ensemble BitterSuite and emerging songwriter and producer Tanya Auclair will perform a multi-sensory set where the audience will taste, feel and smell the music.

Adrian Cheok, professor of pervasive computing at City University London, will be showcasing technology that transmits sensory experiences over the internet. FutureFest goers will also experience future thrills from mixologists Mr Lyan Ltd who will prescribe alcohol as part of a fantastical future government initiative.

FutureFest invites people to experience how Lagos and Johannesburg, two rapidly-growing and exciting hubs for creativity and technology, are transforming into urban superpowers and their citizens into globally-renowned inventors. It will challenge preconceptions about the relationship between Londoners and African urban citizens, and ask whether we have a misplaced sense of certainty about our future

Robots will take centre stage at FutureFest. Urban architects Minimaforms will unveil Emotive City, where visitors can interact with robots and discover how their behaviours change an environment. Dr. Michael Osborne, professor of machine learning at the University of Oxford, will be discussing the effects of robots on the working world.

The future will redefine modern music as new technologies change the music-making process completely. Author Adam Harper will discuss how new technologies and their possibilities demand that we re-think music-making for the 21st century.

Pat Kane, curator of FutureFest, said: “FutureFest 2015 will beam its torchlight on some very lively, urgent - and even dangerous - trends for the next few decades. We won’t simply be talking about these trends but creating tangible, exciting experiences for our visitors. In our impatient society, getting the chance to test out possible worlds - in a spirit of friendly and enjoyable inquiry - seems to me more vital than ever. It’s this kind of reflection that makes FutureFest an unique and compelling event.”

More experiences and speakers for the FutureFest will be confirmed across the next five months. To stay up-to-date with the latest news, visit www.futurefest.org and follow @nesta_uk.

FutureFest is supported by the Science Museum, Microsoft Research, British Council, Oxford Martin School, Convergence and Billetto.

For further information on FutureFest, contact:

Christine Crowther, Nesta press office - call 020 7438 2611 or email [email protected].

The inaugural FutureFest was held at Shoreditch Town Hall in London over the weekend of 28-29 September 2013. It brought together radical thinkers and performers from the likes of Lily Cole and Bertolt Meyer to Robin Ince and Lord Martin Rees. Watch the highlights from the 2013 event.

Ticket prices for FutureFest

Weekend Ticket: Saturday and Sunday, 14-15 March 2015
£80.00 regular price, £70.00 for students (limited to 100)

Day Ticket on Saturday 14 March 2015
£50.00 regular price, £40.00 for students (limited to 100)

Day Ticket on Sunday 15 March 2015
£50.00 regular price, £40.00 for students (limited to 100)

All listed costs are inclusive of VAT but exclusive of ticketing handling and card processing fees.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #FutureFest

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