With great pride and pleasure, today we invite creative and artistic leaders to apply for the post of Creative Director at FutureEverything.
Over the company’s history of 23 years, we have had the pleasure to work with leading creative figures from around the world in art, technology and digital culture. I’ve had the great pleasure and honour to be Creative Director since I founded the company in 1995. I’m taking up a new role on the Board, and as Director of Research, and so, for the first time in the company’s history, we are advertising for a Creative Director.
We seek an outstanding individual who can lead the creative development of FutureEverything into the future. The only continuous feature of the last 23 years has been continual disruption and change. So we now seek someone who can surprise us and our community anew.
They will join us following the most successful period in our history. In the last few years we’ve been commissioned by the Singapore Government to present the flagship digital culture event of Singapore’s 50th anniversary, FutureEverything Singapore. We’ve also earned a place for new media artists and designers around the table in the prestige and large scale technology projects in the UK and Europe.
FutureEverything is established as one of the premier organisations in digital culture globally, and is viewed externally as Manchester’s city innovation agency with 3000 jobs created and an international audience of 422,000 people over 23 years, including businesses, city leaders and prime ministers. It is a hub for digital culture and artists globally, and it’s festival was named by The Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world.
Over two decades, we’ve focused on bringing about astonishing art and empowering people to be agents of change. We’ve developed a voice on technology as a cultural force, one that is critical, enthusiastic and irreverent. We’ve built communities, around open technology and data, and of artists who fall between the gaps and lack representation. Values we have championed have been Independent, bottom up, collaborative, open and shared.
In the last ten years, we’ve transitioned from an annual festival to an organisation that delivers groundbreaking art, participatory design, community platforms, and social change, as well as innovative events, year round. Manchester has changed beyond recognition over the past two decades, and FutureEverything has been central to that journey.
Through FutureEverything I have been able in my tenure to be a part of the emergence of digital culture in the UK and internationally. I’ve led the conceptual development and delivery of more than twenty annual Festival themes. We’ve pioneered new ways of doing things, such as the idea of a ‘festival as lab’, a space where new ideas about the future can be invented, tested, tried out for size, which we’ve seen others around the world adopt.
I’ve been able to work with cities and nations as an ambassador, representing the digital art and design sector. This includes the Singapore Government, who invited me to represent Singapore at international events, and contribute to their Smart Nation programme, leading to art and critical debates at the highest level. Likewise I was invited to join the Northern Powerhouse Trade Mission to Asia with the Prime Minister as a champion and representative for the city of Manchester. Now I can apply those learnings elsewhere and internationally, and apply the insights and tools I have developed with more artists, organisations and cities, to support them to develop a digital strategy in these turbulent times.
It’s going to be a huge pleasure to see the organisation and team flourish. This is not such a big shift as it may sound. For a long time, creative programmes at FutureEverything have been a collaborative effort. I’ve been honoured to work with some brilliant people along the way.
Personally, this is driven by the fact that I’ve won a series of grants and awards, outside FutureEverything through my academic post at University of Dundee. This includes the large scale project The GROW Observatory funded by Horizon 2020, by far the most ambitious project I’ve ever worked on. Another project of mine outside FutureEverything has just won a major award, soon to be announced. These other commitments and my academic post have been a challenge to juggle, for me, and also for the FutureEverything team, who have brilliantly carried the flag when I’m not around. Now with new opportunities on the horizon, the obvious opportunity is to bring in someone new.
At FutureEverything, to be a guardian of the history, has to be an enabler of new departures. I’m itching to see FutureEverything take another bold step into the future. And its an opportunity to take the next step in my own career. I’m taking up a more strategic role on the Board, and, as Research Director, I’ll continue to build the research culture at FutureEverything, evidence the impact of our work, develop insights to build on, create easily understood and repeatable frameworks, and oversee FutureEverything reports and publications series.
But today isn’t my story, it’s about the search for someone brilliant with who we’ll begin the FutureEverything story anew.
We invite you to apply for this role and to be the future of FutureEverything.