Conjectural Futures Conference – enabling others to think and act
On 5th and 6th of November 2018 beFORE project team joined strategists, foresighters, innovators and designers who were invited by the Corporate Foresight Teams of Evonik and Deutsche Bahn to come to Berlin to discuss radical and plausible future scenarios.
We encourage you to discover the unconventional future projects and scenarios presented by some of the conference brilliant speakers. Citing one of them: “These are the options. What are you going to do about them?”.
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM A FUTURE SPACE TRAVELER?
- Barbara Imhof (https://www.liquifer.com) engages in innovative research and product development for space and space related habitation and technologies.
- H.E.E. (Self-deployable habitat for extreme environments) is definitely a project to discover (https://www.shee.eu/news).
WHAT DOES CULINARY CULTURE TELLS US ABOUT THE FUTURE?
- Zack Denfeld (http://genomicgastronomy.com/about/) co-leads an artist-led think tank that examines the biotechnologies and biodiversity of human food systems.
- Discover their New National Dish project, which by utilizing a scenario planning methodology, generated four radically different futures for Portugal to try on, and possibly taste (http://genomicgastronomy.com/work/2018-2/new-national-dish-novo-prato-nacional/).
HOW CAN SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION BE ACHIEVED?
- Arne Hendriks (http://arnehendriks.net/) is an artist and exhibition maker who works in the field of open-design, hacking, speculative research, education and the fine culture of repair.
- Do not miss T.I.S.M. – The Incredible Shrinking Man project (http://www.the-incredible-shrinking-man.net/?page_id=286), in which Arne is researching the implications of downsizing the human species to better fit the earth.
HOW WILL WE LIVE IN 2040?
- Liam Young (http://www.liamyoung.org/) is a film director and architect, who explores the increasingly blurred boundaries among film, fiction, design and storytelling with the goal of prototyping and imagining the future of the city.
- Explore the Urban Futures think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today (http://www.tomorrowsthoughtstoday.com/), which he founded and the nomadic research studio Unknown Fields (http://www.unknownfieldsdivision.com/), that investigates “unreal and forgotten landscapes, alien terrains and obsolete ecologies.”
All speakers did great job – they easily managed to pose groundbreaking questions and hypotheses, which as they say themselves – set up the context for others’ futures work.
But to us, the greatest lesson learned from the event was – a different perspective on the true vocation of almost any profession – that we acquired. It also connects to the understanding of what our skills are and how could we use them to achieve greater agency in our lives and how to positively influence the lives of others.
The speakers themselves have managed to find ways to operate (professionally) in other disciplines. For example: an architect by education fulfills himself as strategist, planner, curator, writer, storyteller, an activist and so forth. And in doing so he does not primarily focuses on “designing buildings”, but on making broader, holistic impact on the society and the environment.
Would you, as the futures researcher or practitioner, agree with Liam Young that:
“The future landscape is dark and not discovered, we aim to shed light on it, to arm all of us with the knowledge (about the future) that can be operationalized in the present”?
Conference website: http://www.conjectural-futures.net/?lang=en