2020 brought many challenges, with millions of people facing terrible uncertainty and unimaginable hardship. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to unearth or rediscover new ideas about how we might live and made us contemplate alternative visions of the future.
In response to these turbulent times, Nesta’s much-loved biennial live festival has been transformed into an online celebration of the power that people have to shape their own futures. Today we’re launching FuturePlayer – the alternative, virtual setting for FutureFest.
FuturePlayer is an exciting new home for digital content that pulls together the story of the festival into one portal. It’s a free content platform that can be used to explore the programme highlights of five festival editions – as well as fresh content from our last FutureFest (‘the festival that almost was’ in March 2020).
FuturePlayer blends the key ingredients of FutureFest by hosting radical speakers, compelling performances and interactive experiences.
It offers unlimited access to groundbreaking ideas from leading thinkers such as Gail Bradbrook, Elif Shafak and Anil Seth, as well as celebrity brainboxes including Richard Ayoade and Louis Theroux. Audiences can also rediscover ‘the history of the future’ through the lens of past festivals, with the help of household names such as Douglas Rushkoff, Annie Mac, Edward Snowden, Brian Eno and Ruby Wax.
And most importantly, at a time when we are locked down, FuturePlayer promises to take us on a trip beyond the everyday with an experimental range of live and interactive online experiences. By taking a deep dive into some of the big debates of our era, from Data in the Time of COVID-19 to the Big Eco Debate and A Young Person's Guide to the Future, you can explore different visions of tomorrow and push the boundaries of your own preconceptions. You’re also invited to engage with a series of playful provocations with an anonymous partner at a virtual experience curated by ZU:UK; to challenge the idea of what’s possible by learning about making semen from ‘female’ cells with artist Charlotte Jarvis; and to join David Finnigan on a hilarious and high-risk guerilla rewilding activity in his filmed theatre performance.