Visions for the Future Internet - call for pitches
Skip to content


The main goal of this collection is to explore the future of the internet through a variety of different lenses. What kind of internet might we be heading towards (seeking both notes of caution, as well as constructive ideas for how we might mend some of the internet’s emerging ills), and what lessons can we learn from its past? Which values should a more “human” internet champion?

We are now looking for original and creative contributions across different media to be included in this set of visions for the future internet. This collection will include a variety of different kinds of outputs: essays, videos and animations, long form journalism and reporting, short stories, poems, illustrations, comics, animations… We are very open to alternative suggestions, as long as pitches engage with the stated topic in a creative and compelling way. The final set of contributions will be turned into an interactive website, to be released in February 2019. Please note that we will also produce a hardcopy book version of the collection, though the main output will be digital.

This experimental piece of work is part of the Nesta-led Engineroom project, which is helping to articulate a vision for the Next Generation Internet (“NGI”) initiative, the European Commission’s ambitious new flagship programme seeking to build a more inclusive, resilient and democratic internet by 2025.

The Engineroom project is part of the first wave of projects funded under the NGI initiative, and is helping to lay the groundwork for the overall programme- both in terms of articulating funding and research priorities, as well as finding a voice that represents all Europeans. This collection of visions will play an important role in shaping the intellectual backbone of this new initiative

All funding for this project comes from the European Commission, under grant agreement number 780643.

What are we looking for?

We are keen to represent a diverse set of views about the kind of future internet we would like to see, featuring contributors from a variety of different backgrounds.

We are looking to feature contributions that explore (an aspect of) the internet through a different lens- be that a less-covered geographical or historical perspective (Chinese internet? Cuban internet? Feminist internets?) or a radical new future vision altogether. Though both dystopian and positive visions are welcome, this collection aims to be a source of inspiration for how we can make the internet better (more inclusive, resilient and democratic), so we challenge contributors to also come up with some constructive solutions for what Europe/the internet community should do next.

We are medium-agnostic and very open to out-of-the-box suggestions, but do ask potential contributors to keep in mind that we are releasing this compendium both as an interactive website as well as a physical book.

The backbone of this collection will be a set of essays, written both by established names in the internet field, as well as emerging thinkers. Though this is subject to change, we envision the following breakdown in contributions:

  • 18 original visions, 9 of which through invitation, 9 selected through this open call.
  • 12 or so non-essay contributions, including at least 2 short stories, poetry, illustrations and videos, a reported piece (such as a photo essay or longform article) and data visualisations.

Funding is available to support the development of contributions, and all outputs will be released under a Creative Commons license (Attribution Noncommercial ShareAlike licence (CC-BY-NC-SA), full details here), meaning results can be republished elsewhere.

Who can apply?

Applications are open to everyone over the age of 18, with applications from outside of the European Union also very welcome. Please note that Nesta reserves the right to include contributions from individuals under the age of eighteen, but this will be by invitation only.

Will contributors be paid?

It is incredibly important to us all contributors are rewarded fairly for their work. As we will be including a variety of different outputs in the final publication, we will discuss compensation on an individual basis.

How to apply?

As part of their initial pitch, we are asking potential contributors to submit the following:

  • some examples of past relevant work.
  • a short pitch of up to 200 words on how you will approach developing a creative output that explores the future of the Internet.

Please email your pitch to [email protected] by midnight on the 26th of October 2018. ​We ask you not to submit your final output without Nesta first having contacted you to discuss your pitch. We will aim to respond to all shortlisted applicants the first week of November to schedule a follow-up meeting and discuss the contents of the actual final output as well as remuneration.

Indicative Timetable

Our provisional timetable is detailed below. This is intended as guidance only.

Dates and actions:

  • 26 October 2018: Deadline for pitches
  • Early November 2018: Shortlisted candidates contacted
  • 20 November 2018: Final candidates confirmed
  • End of January 2019: deadline for submission of final outputs
  • March 2019: launch of website
  • End of March 2019: launch event

Terms and Conditions

By sending us your pitch, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions and confirm you have read and understood our privacy policy.