By Julie Malamute, Associate Director
I went to my first-ever FutureFest at Tobacco Docks on Saturday and was expecting my mind to be blown with insights into the future. I don’t know if I ever reached mind-blowing levels or what it would even take to have my brain self-destruct from the sheer creativity of a concept which may someday become reality. FutureFest seems to be more about the present and creating a discussion about how our current behaviour will affect us in the future. I definitely came away with some heavy thoughts to ponder, loads of inspiration and quite a few things that will stay with me such as…
Watching my first-ever synchronised drone dance. It was impressive – not as impressive as watching humans dance – but impressive in that humans must direct the drones in formation, so I marvelled at the human skill and ingenuity behind this ballet of robots.
The Timeless beauty boutique was both thought-provoking and disturbing. It imagined the future of fertility where all women freeze their eggs from a young age, where women crowdfund to be able to do so and where parents gift their university-graduating daughter the freezing process so that she may concentrate on her career. It was unsettling because whether satirical or not, the end message is that in the future, the government and employers will still continue to force female employees to make a choice – career or family.
Will Self’s talk on play and fun was as motivating as it was laugh out loud. He spoke about radical subjectivism and how we always have to have an objective with everything we do, even just going for a walk. No gets lost anymore, no one plays anymore. He spoke about how he walked from the centre of London out to Heathrow, got on a flight to JFK and then walked from JFK to lower Manhattan. The walking took two days but only two miles were on public roads, otherwise, it was pretty and scenic. I love this idea. What a brilliant way to make the world seem smaller, more in your control.
I am already looking forward to FutureFest 2017, albeit with more realistic expectations, but I know I’ll come away inspired, motivated and with a stronger grasp of what the future holds.