NESTA asserts to be the UK’s innovation foundation. They say it “uses FutureFest to gather some of the most radical thinkers, makers and performers together to create an immersive experience of what the world might be like in decades to come.” Is it audience or participants they want? Where does the line get drawn between speakers sharing, industry networking, sector research, practitioner showcases and the general attendees experience?
FutureFest is designed as a multi-format festival, which gives visitors ample opportunity to take self-guided journeys. Is life not a self guided journey? This event, like any event needs linear thought. Conferences do tend to run multi-threaded programs. You can't be everywhere and as nice as the OpenSpace ‘rule of two feet’ is, it isn’t a solution for indecision.
FutureFest tell us on their site "The programme will span discussions, performances, installations and interactive experiences. Attendees will be engaged as active participants, informed and challenged to explore and formulate their own vision of the future.” So we are promised engagement, information and provocation encouraging us to determine what the future will look like from where we stand today looking forward with the explorations that are taking place.
This position is important. Where we are now. This impacts on the understanding we have in the future. We are all aware that the generation classified as ‘Millennials’ are categorised by their perspective on technology, that they don’t know what the world was like before the dawn of the pervasive web. A similar generation would have been those who had no living memory of life without the electric light switch. Going forward a defining era will be that a generation will emerge with no living recollection of a time without augmented reality.
The physical senses are important and this is clear to me as I look at the FutureFest program and plan out my time. How will they, the organisers engage me in these sessions, in the event itself? What information will they provide? How will they challenge my perspective? Will they shape my thinking? Will it impact my work? Will it help me?
I have a ticket for the Sunday only thanks to Body>Data>Space
This is where I plan to be (defined by the purple outlines).