In our early conversations around this year’s theme, we worked together as a team to figure out what important issues we might face in the coming months, what concerned us or made us excited, what weak signals we need to be on the lookout for and what is coming straight at us.

Since then, significant events, such as the momentous COP21 climate summit last December have caused not only us, but the world, to rethink what our future might look like. A single number, 2 degrees, signals irreversible change for the lives of future generations. Closer to home, extreme weather events are becoming more common, and are how we experience climate change today. This year we launch one of our most ambitious projects, Project Ukko, a climate service that visualises future weather conditions. This presents a new way to look at complex prediction data, and equips wind energy professionals to manage future wind and climate as a resource.

Which led us to whittle down our fascinations and arrive at the theme of resources. We want to look beyond simply the question of what we need to reduce. Less is more, as the saying goes, but resources do not need to be a zero sum game. So what about less and more?

We also want to challenge our thinking a little, by considering what else could, or should, be considered as a resource. What about intelligence? Or life? This took us to interesting places. If we need to eat less meat, where can we find more alternatives in the lab? Do we end up with more time to be creative if we hand all of our labour over to automation? And do we need less dystopia and far more optimism?

We’ll also be poking at the subject of uncertainty, and seeing where it can have positive value, and be a resource itself. Knowing that uncertainty will exist is becoming an ever-more important factor to consider in mapping our potential futures. In the form of a mini-conference, we’ve brought together a wide range of disciplines to discuss this, from physics to anthropology, economics to climate science.

So enjoy four days of talks, commissions, workshops and more, and give us your response to our theme over on Twitter, using #futr16. We’ve also just released the last batch of tickets for the world premiere of Gazelle Twin: Kingdom Come (pictured above), a dystopian performance inspired by J G Ballard’s final novel.

Drew Hemment

Founder & Creative Director

 Download the full, expanded FutureEverything 2016 programme.