Saturday 12 May 2007
The sustainability of future arts and technologies is at stake! Come join
our group of exciting speakers as they introduce plans to provide mobile
phones with new "super-senses" so that you and I can join together to
monitor environmental change, take eco-clubbing to the next level with
an electricity-generating dancefloor, and explore if the internet is part of
the problem or part of the solution.
Stef van Dongen unveils a masterplan to take eco-clubbing to the world, including an electricity-generating dancefloor, whereby the more people dance, the more energy they produce.
Eric Paulos from Intel Research, plans to provide mobile phones with new "super-senses" so that you and I can join together to monitor environmental change.
An email has been circulating about the carbon footprint of avatars in the Second Life virtual world. Shaun Fensom, Chair of Manchester Digital and founder of Poptel, will unpick such half truths and question "how green is the internet".
The heat has been rising, and now the world is waking up to realities of climate change, long predicted but until now too easy to ignore. The religious zeal on both sides of the debate has left many rooted to the spot. Luckily there are a lot of bright sparks out there, a thousand points of light, wanting to multiply, link up and create a path.
More and more people are engaging in the environment and climate change, in creative and often unexpected ways. People are taking positive steps on ground level, showing how in addition to cutting air miles, there are imaginative ways in which you can make a difference.
Working in partnership with the Manchester-based Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Creative Concern, Futuresonic and FutureEverything are launching a 3 year project addressing the sustainability of future arts and culture.
The project will seek to minimise the environmental impact of the Futuresonic festival and also to explore broader issues connecting Futuresonic's interest in mobile and social technologies with the renewed urgency surrounding climate change.
Historically mankind has seen the environment as a resource to be plundered. As computing shifts into the environment this tendency is extended but also changed, moving away from analogue utilisation of resources to digitisation and computerisation of the environment.
When the world is mapped, tagged and digitised it ceases to be inert raw material and becomes instead navigable, computable and manipulable. With RFID all resources can be tracked, smart materials in construction enable buildings to adapt to changing conditions, and sensor networks enable environmental monitoring. How do these technologies address the idea that we have entered a new 'Anthropocene' age, where it is not rivers and seas but human kind that has become the geological force?
Today's digital culture promotes an always-on internet that can be accessed anywhere, while on the move. How can free and open source hardware help minimise the environmental burden of the technology we use, and how can thinking about new technologies be harnessed to improve our stewardship of the environment?
Stef van Dongen (Enviu)
Founder of Enviu, Stef van Dongen, presents the Sustainable Dance Club project. They have developed an electricity-generating dancefloor, whereby the more people dance, the more energy they produce. Enviu and Döll develop new technologies, to add to 'proven technology' like wind turbines, solar energy, rain water for toilet flushing. Besides the idea of the energy (re)generating dance floor, the project involves a 'toolbox' that consists of sustainable modules and many ideas. Entrepreneurs and club owners can use those or choose to create their individual Sustainable Dance Club or make existing clubs more sustainable. For a first impression of the dance floor see www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzb3VFi3Sew (broadcasted on National Geographic and BBC World).
Eric Paulos (Urban Atmospheres) Presents: Participatory Urbanism
Participatory Urbanism presents an important new shift in mobile device usage - from communication tool to "networked mobile personal measurement instrument". We explore how these new "instruments" enable entirely new participatory urban lifestyles and create novel mobile device usage models. In the spirit of Urban Computing, Participatory Urbanism is the open authoring, sharing, and remixing of new or existing urban technologies marked by, requiring, or involving participation, especially affording the opportunity for individual citizen participation, sharing, and voice. Participatory Urbanism builds upon a large body of related projects where citizens act as agents of change. There is a long history of such movements from grassroot neighborhood watch campaigns to political revolutions. What happens when individual mobile devices are augmented with novel sensing technologies such as noise pollution, air quality, UV levels, water quality, etc? We claim that it will shatter our understanding of these devices as simply communication tools (a.k.a. phones) and celebrates them in their new role as measurement instruments. We envision a wide range of novel physical sensors attached to mobile devices, empowering everyday non-experts with new "super-senses" and abilities. It radically alters the current models of civic government as sole data gatherer and decision maker by empowering everyday citizens to collectively participate in super-sampling their life, city, and environment.
After studying electronics at University, Shaun Fensom invented Poptel, an employee cooperative that became known in the 1980's and 1990's for its pioneering work encouraging the adoption of ICT by campaigning and development organisations. After becoming one of the UK's first ISPs, Poptel went on to win the right to launch a new top level Internet domain for cooperatives - .coop. Shaun is now an independent technology adviser and chairs the independent trade association for ICT and New Media, Manchester Digital.
Steve is co-founder and CEO of Creative Concern. Steve formerly worked as Communications Director for Sustainability Northwest, a sustainable development think-tank for England's Northwest. Steve's recent projects have included strategic communications for Manchester City Council on Manchester's global brand. He is the Chair of the Northwest's Regional Forestry Framework, a board member of eco-technologies champion Envirolink Northwest and on the advisory board of Salford University's centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures. Along with Paul Upham and Drew Hemment, Steve is a lead member of the Environment 2.0 project team.
The Environment 2.0 conference strand is one part of a range of linked activities at Futuresonic 2007.
Traveling to Manchester for Futuresonic? Futuresonic is
evaluating its carbon footprint. Please click here to tell
us how you are traveling to the festival and for info on
going beyond carbon neutral.
The activities in 2007 will be followed by a major conference on this topic in 2008, and a major exhibition in 2009.
We start with the recognition that the carbon footprint of the festival must include the travel of all people attending the event, not just the energy used at events or in organising the festival.
It is misleading to claim that any festival that claims to be 'international' (ie. has large numbers of international visitors) can be carbon neutral. The first step is to acknowledge we are carbon addicts. Then we can try to do something about it.
DELEGATE PASS Ticket Info
The Delegate Pass gives you access to the Social Technologies Summit,
all Futuresonic seminars and talks, and all Futuresonic Live and Urban Play
events over the festival weekend.