Only two weeks away, the FutureEverything Conference is a place where business and government rubs shoulders with the leading edge in international design and creative technology. On Monday 31 March and Tuesday 1 April at Manchester Town Hall, the Conference features inspirational keynotes, participatory workshops and intimate talks from world leading practitioners and thinkers from design, art, urbanism, business, academia and more. Topics include The Data Economy, City API, Startup Masterclasses, and on platforms for industry and government. Over the two days of the conference, an International Business Lounge brings together startups, investors and agencies.

Industry and government speakers include Simon Giles (Accenture’s global lead for Intelligent Cities Strategy), Volker Buscher (Director of Arup), Alex Gluhak (Intel, Intelligent Cities Lab), Irene Ng (leading economic theorist), Mike Bracken (Digital Director, UK Cabinet Office), Rachel Rayns (Raspberry Pi), Dan Hill (Exec Director, Future Cities Catapult), Neil Crockett (CEO, Connected Digital Economy Catapult) and leading open city makers from London and Amsterdam, Emer Colman and Katalin Gallyas.

The second day looks at the emerging economics and design paradigms that can sustain the technologies likely to have the major impact in the coming years. Where the cutting edge of data science and economics meet, we see the rise of next generation decentralised, data intensive technology and infrastructure. This advanced online infrastructure is made possible by open data and ubiquitous connectivity. The session will look at evolving business models as well as how design can be less technology driven and more human centred. Tuesday morning also looks at groundbreaking efforts to build tools and platforms for cities, and the challenges of running platforms at city scale.

The opening morning on Monday 31 March looks at what it takes to build and deploy platforms, with speakers representing the Government Digital Service, to industry platforms, and platforms created by open source communities, of the likes of Processing to Arduino. Picking up a thread from last year, one session looks how industry top-down and citizen bottom-up platforms can thrive in the same information ecosystem. This puts Intel’s Intelligent Cities Lab alongside the promising Smart Citizen sensing platform, and one of the great success stories of the last year: Raspberry Pi, the UK foundation that has put their credit-card sized computer in the hands of tens of thousands all over the world. It follows a keynote from Mike Bracken, Digital Director at UK Cabinet Office and head of Government Digital Service, doing what FutureEverything does best in bringing industry, government and citizens together around the conference theme of digital tools and platforms.

Over two days, the Conference features the most original, influential figures at the forefront of powerful currents in today’s design scene, alongside leading figures from government and business. Together, they invite you to imagine possible futures, and discover how we can collaborate on new tools, devices and systems to transform our lives, from the arts to democracy, business and governance.