Why are we doing this?
We use FutureFest to gather some of the planet’s most radical thinkers, makers and performers together to create an immersive experience of what the world might be like in decades to come.
What are we doing?
Our weekend festival is held every other year. The next festival will be 6-7 July 2018, and will return to London's Tobacco Dock.
The fourth edition of FutureFest comes at a time when our relationship with the very idea of ‘the future’ is fraught. For many, the forces set to shape our world in the coming years seem invisible and remote; from black box algorithms to hidden influences over the democratic process and the media.
The scale of the challenges of our time (inequality, failing democracies, healthcare systems edging towards crisis) calls for bold and radical responses. It is in this spirit that FutureFest 2018 will serve as a platform for alternative visions of the future.
FutureFest 2018 will be a chance to hear directly from those putting emerging ideas into practice across democracy and government, work, health, education and the arts. Through debates, installations and immersive experiences, participants will be equipped with the tools needed to author better futures.
Interested in collaborating?
The inaugural festival, FutureFest 2013, was held in east London over the weekend of 28-29 September 2013. The event was staged to help complement Nesta’s work as a research body, investor and programme funder as well as a producer of world-class events.
Speakers at the 2016 festival, which ran 17-18 September at London's Tobacco Dock, included Brian Eno, Rhianna Pratchett, Will Self, Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, Kate Russell, Cindy Gallop, Es Devlin, Sherry Coutu CBE and Oliver Peyton.
FutureFest 2016 also featured a dedicated Nesta Stage for the first time, showcasing our diverse range of work in innovation, from the sharing economy to the future of city design and much more.
FutureFest 2015, which ran 14-15 March 2015 at Vinopolis, London, focused on six themes: thrills, music, money, machines, democracy and global - which focused in on two rapidly-developing cities in Africa.
Highlights included Vivienne Westwood and Edward Snowden challenging the establishment and discussing the future of democracy; legendary funk musician George Clinton, who took us on a journey through space, time and music; best–selling author Jon Ronson questioning the power of social media and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC examining power structures in the face of globalisation.
The programme spanned discussion, performances, installations and interactive experiences. Attendees were engaged as active participants, informed and challenged to explore and formulate their own vision of the future.