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Alternate Futures Lab

Wed 17th - Thu 18th July 2019, Various times

Calling all artists, technologists, thinkers and tinkerers – join us for ALTERNATE FUTURES LAB to debate, create and design the future of Greater Manchester

Presented by FutureEverything with Greater Manchester Combined Authority.
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You have just time travelled to 2050. Greater Manchester is the kind of inclusive, forward-thinking, well-designed place we want it to be. 

In a city shaped by technology, what does this look like for our communities? How do we communicate, work and play? What is the shape of the art we make and the environment we live in?

We’re looking for artists, technologists, thinkers and tinkerers to prototype the future of our radical city region and imagine our spaces, places and human interactions. Join us for ALTERNATE FUTURES LAB and collaborate with fellow citizen futurists as we debate, create and design the future of Greater Manchester.

Based at The Shed, home of Digital Innovation at Manchester Metropolitan University, you’ll learn about industry 4.0 (and what comes next), have access to design experts and imagineers, and learn about the latest tools in contemporary engineering and design (including generative design software and 3D printing).

Whether it’s a product, a concept or a manifesto, your group will present your ideas at the ALTERNATE FUTURES SYMPOSIUM on 18th July, comprising of cultural leaders, policy makers, technological innovators and industrial pioneers who will vote on the best ideas. 

This is your chance to make new connections with creatives, discuss the impact of emerging technologies on society and invent alternate futures for the place we live and work.


We want to encourage people from a variety of disciplines and background, no experience of prototyping/design is necessary. When you book your ticket, please complete the booking form questions to send us some brief information detailing:

  • Your skills – are you a coder, a poet, a scientist, an illustrator or something else entirely?)
  • Why you’re interested in this opportunity


  • Weds 17th July: 9.30-5.30 – The Shed, MMU
  • Thurs 18th July: 9.30-14.30 – The Shed, MMU
  • Thurs 18th July: 15.30-16.45 – Alternate Futures, Kings House Conference Centre

Please note: final timings are tbc. We will notify all attendees of the final times in advance of the event.

ALTERNATE FUTURES is part of Distractions – a long weekend of debates, talks, panels, and showcases with some of the world’s leading tech companies, artists and producers. Presented by Manchester International Festival, Sound City and FutureEverything, developed by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Combined Authority

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