FutureFest 2015 — five inspiring events

FutureFest is a weekend event of immersive experiences, compelling performances and radical speakers to excite and challenge perceptions of the future. Here are five events, we at Sharing.Lab look forward to attend:

All Together Now: Is Our Next Economy Collaborative?

The “sharing” or “collaborative” economy has been in vogue for the last few years — with services like Airbnb, Gumtree and Uber their poster children. But the promise of “peer-to-peer civilisation” is much grander than the latest hot companies, their valuation and performance. The more radical peer-to-peer advocates claim they present an alternative economic logic to that of state or market. What lessons — both wise and cautionary — can the historic “cooperative” tradition provide here?

Helen Goulden

Dave Boyle
Michel Bauwens
Uma Subramanian

Blockchain: How Encryption Will Shape The Economics and Politics of The Future

We heard a lot about Bitcoin lasst year as a new form of secure, peer-to-peer digital currency. But it’s the blockchain at its heart — a ledger of transactions, whose users each bear some degree of collective responsibility and ownership — which is the key breakthrough. Blockchains offer new models for decentralisation, disintermediation and democratic practice — going deeper and wider than the fevered speculations of the financial pages. We’ll explore the options.


Brett Scott
Stacy Herbert
Jorge Timón

A Room Without A Roof? After the Happiness / Wellness Agenda

As Pharrell’s great 2014 anthem puts it, “clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth” — which adequately sums up our policy-makers’ enthusiasm for measuring and valuing collective joy in the last few years. Yet as recessions deepen and times toughen — with the near-future hardly promising a brave new dawn — can the search for well-being and happiness provide the “roof” for our bare rooms of economic and social insecurity? Is it an inner resource that new tools in mind science can help us unlock and deploy?

Pat Kane

Paul Dolan
Andre Spicer
Sophie Scott

Emotive City

“We shape our buildings; thereafter, they shape us” said Winston Churchill. In the age of automation and big data, can we design intelligent environments that evolve and form relationships with their inhabitants — and even suggest new forms themselves? Minimaforms is interested in how the elements of modern city life (humans, computer networks and buildings) can interact in new, fruitful and more participative ways. FutureFest will unveil a working prototype of Emotive City, a playspace where visitors will explore new urban forms and relationships on giant screens through tactile interactions with semi-autonomous robots, co-constructing a speculative ecology of man-machine environments.Future of Money Design Awards

Future of Money Design Awards

Arguably, there has been no greater time of financial uncertainty than today and no greater need for fresh ideas and imaginative insights which help inform, suggest and question our current technological, social and cultural direction. The Future of Money Award has been running since 2009 and was created to develop links between the financial industry and creative practitioners from around the world. This is achieved by awarding the opportunity to present thought-provoking ideas to a group of financial experts and industry leaders, during a conference called Tomorrrow’s Transactions organised by Consult Hyperion.

And last, but not least, we look forward to hearing Edward Snowden, Vivienne Westwood, and robots discussing the future. We hope to see you there!

PS. Here is a list of all the female speakers in the programme.