For 20 years, one of the core themes of FutureEverything has been how to use our new platforms and tools to transform democracy and promote strong civic participation. Never has this been more relevant than now, as the wave of global protest movements in the last four years is crystallizing in new ways to engage people in politics and in new mechanics of decision making. In UK cities, the promise of devolution and the use of digital services offer a unique opportunity to build wider and deeper citizen participation in governance, and in public life.

We face a window of opportunity to renew civic culture in the UK. The wave of devolution is breaking across UK nations, regions and cities following the Scottish referendum. The UK Government is supporting a “Northern Powerhouse” to rebalance the economy of a country dominated by one mega city. This creates an opportunity to rethink and upgrade the relationship between citizen and city, as well as between city and state. To stretch the imagination about what is possible we invite leading thinkers, civic innovators and city makers to present inspiring stories and case studies in civic innovation from around the world.


Session One – Keynote – 10.00
Gabriela Gomez Mont runs Mexico’s Laboratory for the City, an outstanding space for rethinking, and reinventing how citizens and government can work together towards a more livable and imaginative city. She will present the series of experiments that experts and citizens develop there together to face the challenges of one of the largest megalopolis in the developing world.

Session Two – 10.50 – 12.00
Jarmo Eskelinen is CEO of Forum Virium Helsinki, President of the European Network of Living Labs and a driving force in Helsinki, a city that is a global leader in civic innovation. Award winning Goteo is a different kind of crowdfunding platform: it is specifically designed to promote services, infrastructures and tools that contribute to the common good  and the enrichment of community resources. They will discuss the many civic crowdfunding projects they have developed to help citizens to improve their cities. We’ll also hear from Global FUTR Lab participant Ivan Pasichnyk on his project, a geo-location service with critical real time data used to coordinate activists, deliver medicine to hospitals and self-organise the activist forces in Ukraine.

We’ll then invite our speakers to the stage to join a discussion with influential figures including activist, theorist and musician and campaigner for Scottish Independence Pat Kane and President of the European Network of Living Labs Jarmo Eskelinen, chaired by Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council, Cllr Sue Murphy.

10.45 – Lightning Talk –

10.50 – Jarmo Eskelinen

11.10 – Enric Senebre Hidalgo (Goteo)

11.30 – Panel with Jarmo Eskelinen, Gabriella Gomez Mont joined by Pat Kane and Chaired by Cllr Sue Murphy

12.00 – Lightning Talk