What does the future hold? Women speakers at FutureFest

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Come and experience the future at a festival of ideas that will fire your imagination at FutureFest, Vinopolis, 14-15 March 2015

We are thrilled to announce FutureFest, a weekend developed by Nesta of immersive experiences, compelling performances and radical speakers – women and men, to excite and challenge perceptions of the future.

Women Shift Digital Creative Director Ghislaine Boddington has worked in close collaboration with FutureFest Lead Curator Pat Kane as an Associate Curator on Panels and Future Machines and we are happy to see the names of so many great women and men together in the programme of these exciting two days.

The weekend promises to be unmissable and will bring together a set of future-thinking female innovators and experts from all backgrounds including entrepreneurs, lawyers, artists, academics and politicians.

FutureFest is not designed as a traditional static event but as a multi-format festival, which gives visitors ample opportunity to take self-guided journeys. The programme will span debate, discussion, performances, installations and immersive experiences. The content is anchored by six themes, which examine the future of: democracy, global cities, machine and human interaction, money, music and thrills.


So far 32 women speakers and artists have joined the programme:

  • Dame Vivienne Westwood (Fashion Designer & Activist)
  • Baroness Helena Kennedy QC (Head of Mansfield College, Oxford University)
  • Natalie Bennett (Leader of the Green Party of England & Wales)
  • Morgaine Gaye (Food Futurologist)
  • Ghislaine Boddington (Creative Director of Women Shift Digital and body>data>space)
  • Chagall (Mi.mu gloves)
  • Jessica Bland (Principal Researcher, Futures – Nesta)
  • Stevie Wishart (Composer, Performer & Improviser)
  • Birgitta Jonsdottir (Poetician for the Pirate Party in the Icelandic Parliament / Chairman for IMMI – International Modern Media Institute)
  • Uma Subramanian (Director of European Operations, TaskRabbit)
  • Sophia Al-Maria (Artist, Writer, and Filmmaker)
  • Maggie Philbin (CEO, TeenTech CIC)
  • Ore Disu (Executive Director, Nsibidi Institute)
  • Eva Pascoe (Director, Omnichannel and Retail Futures at TheRetailPractice.com)
  • Tanya Auclair (Artist)
  • Tegan Bristow (Interactive Media Artist and Lecturer at the Digital Arts Division of the Wits School of the Arts, Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • Helen Goulden (Executive Director – Innovation Lab, Nesta)
  • Primavera De Fillippi (Researcher Fellow, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law)
  • Francesca Bria (Senior Project Lead (European Project Coordinator), Innovation Lab, Nesta)
  • Joana Seguro (Creative Producer and Curator, Artists and Engineers)
  • Emma Barrett (Honorary Researcher in Psychology at Lancaster University & Co-Author, ‘Extreme: Why some people thrive at the limits’)
  • Francine Bennett (Co-Founder, Mastodon C)
  • Hannah Redler (Curator / Associate Curator in Residence, Open Data Institute)
  • Helen Lewis (Deputy Editor, New Statesman)
  • Janis Jefferies (Professor of Visual Arts, Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Jess Tyrrell (Director, Connecting Tech City)
  • Fran Boait (Executive Director, Positive Money)
  • Anna Dumitriu (Artist, Interactive Social Robotics)
  • Stacy Herbert (Co-presenter, Keiser Report & Head of Content for StartJOIN.com)
  • Breffni O’Connor (President of Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council)
  • Bumi Thomas (Singer-songwriter)
  • Sophie Scott (Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL)

Other speaker highlights include NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, visionary musician George Clinton, journalist and best-selling author Jon Ronson. The event will also feature innovative installations and demonstrations including Paul A. Young and Morgaine Gaye’s ‘Sweetshop of the Future’, Anna Dumitriu and Alex May’s ‘Robot Companion’ and Tanya Auclair and Bitter Suite’s ‘Sensory Score’.

Do come along and meet our Team at FutureFest, book your ticket here