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Futuresonic Conference 

The Futuresonic Conference: 
The Social Technologies Summit

1 - 2 May, supporting events 30 April and 3 May
Contact Theatre, Oxford Road

Learn more  / Download conference schedule / Futuresonic on Second Life

The theme Social Futures - Online, Mobile and Unplugged is explored by leading figures developing the next generation of social media alongside artists, researchers, opinion formers, futurologists, technologists and scientists from the digital culture, music and art communities.

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Thur 1 May


Informal networking
Discussion of open space methods

Social Futures
Hosted by Matt Locke & Aleks Krotoski, introduced by Conference Director Drew Hemment
What *is* a 'social network'? A dynamic, fast-paced session hosted by Matt Locke and Aleks Krotoski to kick start the conference - developers, commentators and activists speaking in the conference are put on the spot to decode the latest technological zeitgeist. 2pm-3.30pm
Urban & Social Media
Chris Heathcote, Matt Jones, Mark Shepard, Aleks Krotoski
Looking beyond the internet to media that is experienced on the move, enables us to do new things when we move, or changes the way we experience the city. Who are the new urbanists, and the new gamers? 2pm-3.30pm
Collective Media
Platoniq (Olivier Schulbaum, Susana Noguero), Ravikant Shama (Sarai), Jennie Savage (STAR Radio), Geraldine Juarez, Christine Hanson & Michael Schafae
Beyond online 'friends' and user-generated content to collaborative authoring and collectively owned media: case studies ranging from India to distributing free media in public space in Berlin 4pm-5.30pm
Social Music
Jonas Woost (, Scott Cohen (The Orchard), Andi Studer
How can companies and creatives adapt to a connected environment? How do people now consume music and media? Is there a place for DJs and music reviews in local newspapers, or will we be trusting the ‘giant computer brain.’ 4pm-5.30pm
Participatory Media
Adrian Woolard (BBC Participate), Katie Lips & Patrick Fox, Geoff Cox, Monika Buscher & Paul Coulton, Beverly Geesin
How does a project change from small scale to 'mass user'? Project presentations looking at 'participation' from different angles: online participation, social software, social movements, everyday creativity, plus surveillance technologies with no opt-out from 'participation.' 4pm-5.30pm
How Collective is Your Revolution
James Wallbank, Felipe Fonseca, Pete Cranston, Ele Carpenter
Building real-world communities in a connected world. The impact of social networking for social change on online and located communities, campaigners and campaigning. The situation in Brazil and how to balance the 'good' side of networking with the concerns of centrally owned networks. 6pm-7pm
Gerd Leonhard
Two Visions of Future Music: Celebrated media futurist and the author of Future of Music, Gerd Leonhard, provides a headline talk for the festival, plus a preview live performance from Future of Sound's and Modified Toy Orchestra's Brian Duffy - Web 2.0 goes head-to-head with circuit bending. 7.30pm-8.15pm
An Audience with RZA (Wu-Tang Clan)
Hip hop culture is an iconic form of grass-roots social media. It is now a global phenomenon, here discussed by one of hip hop's most celebrated and influential figures. The RZA as Bobby Digital will performing live at Futuresonic 2008 later in the evening.
  Fri 2 May
Richard Stallman
A rare UK talk by Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software movement. 11am-11.15am
Free Software Art
Matt Fuller
Presenting the Digger Barley art project and discussing the impact and relevance of Free Software on web 2.0 as well as in art and society today. 10am-11.30am
Musical Interfaces
Florian Hollerweger, Gauti Sigthorsson, Steve Daniels, Jamie Allen
The mobile phone user as micro-DJ in public space, 'social' music vs ever-greater personalisation, and an open source musical interface that will cover the whole of Toronto. 11.15am-11.45am
Future Play
Aleks Krotoski
Exploring how gaming can transform social networking, the role of trust, and what social networks mean to the people involved in them. 12pm-1pm
BBC Radio Labs and Backstage
Ian Forrester (Senior Producer, BBC Backstage), Yasser Rashid (BBC Audio & Music Interactive), Tristan Ferne (BBC Audio & Music Interactive)
On the eve of the BBC's big move to Manchester, a presentation from BBC Radio Labs and The prototyping arm of BBC Audio & Music will be talking about their experiments in mixing radio with social networks, games and new hardware. They are supported by, the BBC's developer network that encourages innovation and supports new talent, providing content feeds for people to build with on a non-commercial basis. 11.45am-12pm
Shannon Spanhake
How can engineering contribute to technological innovation and political invention? Shannon Spanhake explores the role of web 3.0 in expanding agency, participation, collaboration in a range of projects including a water management project and a personal air pollution monitor. 12pm-1pm
Justin Hall
One of the first bloggers and Founder of PMOG (Passive Multiplayer Online Game) a trailblazer for a new generation of social media, which makes an ongoing social game out of our lives, online. Justin Hall asks what if you could bury treasure on your favorite web sites, or leave traps for your friends if they surfed the same sites after you? As we move towards openID, what are the privacy implications, and how can gaming mechasnisms give people more control over their data? 2pm-5.30pm
Open Space Event
Facilitated by Pete Cranston, Tim Davies, Dougald Hine and Ele Carpenter.
The highlight of the conference will be an open and participatory afternoon in which the themes and sessions are set by you the participants and by the ideas that emerge during the event. 6pm-7pm
Closing Event
A wrap up and feedback session rounded off with a profile live music performance by Simon Fisher-Turner

Workshops & Drop-in Sessions

Running throughout Thursday and Friday, including:

BBC Backstage hands-on hacking workshop
BLISS Sofa Sessions by CRUMB
Digital Situations by Dirt Party

Supporting Events

Wed 30 April
Future Networks
A major music and media education conference presented by City College Manchester, featuring leading figures from the world of music.
Contact, Oxford Road

12noon - 3pm
Nokia Mash Reality
A 3 hour hands-on workshop for designers and developers by Paul Coulton and Forum Nokia Innovation Network. Try creating new mobile content yourself, which will be shown the next night at The RZA's profile festival music event.
Contact, Oxford Road

Leonardo Education Forum
Futuresonic and Leonardo Education Forum apologise sincerely that this event has been postponed and will no longer take place during this year's Futuresonic Conference.

Future Culture: Forethought by Four
A trip off-road into the digital future with four innovative thinkers. Looking at gaming, devices, business models, and beyond web 2.0. Presented by Futuresonic and Manchester Digital, the trade association for New Media and IT companies. Learn more
Open to Futuresonic 2008 Delegate Pass holders and Manchester Digital members
Moso Moso (upstairs), opposite Contact, Oxford Road

Fri 2 May
6pm -10pm
b.TWEEN 08: Launch Event in association with Futuresonic
An opportunity for creatives from the design, creative technology, software design, TV, mobile, web and gaming industries to find potential collaborators and do business. (Reserve a place by 1 May)
Selfridges Moet Bar, Manchester
Free to Futuresonic 2008 Delegates
Sat 3 May
11am - 3pm
Freewear is a workshop dedicated to create clothes out of free materials provided by the city. Using Freecycle - an on-line network of free economy - participants will search, ask and pick up the goods needed to produce a wardrobe collection. See Art section for further details.
Contact, Oxford Road

11am-12 noon
Wang Ba Manchester: picadae
A presentation by Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud on the celebrated 'picadae' project, and an opportunity to explore with them issues such as censorship and freedom on the web raised by their temporary internet cafe, or 'Wang Ba.'
Manchester Art Gallery, China Town

Artist Talks: Social Media
Thomson & Craighead reflect on and explore their artistic practice and Drew Hemment, Futuresonic's Artistic Director, offers an insight into the Social Networking Unplugged exhibition.
MDDA, Portland Street (next to CUBE)
*Limited Capacity*

4pm – 6pm
Future Of Sound Talks and Demo
A hands-on demo of the ‘future of sound’ and the unique Illustrious 3D sound system by AV artists and musicians performing later in the evening. A project by Martyn Ware, seminal 80s pop icon and co-founder of The Human League and Heaven 17.
Space 2, Contact Theatre, Oxford Road
Free Practical Exhibition

10am – 5.30pm & 8pm – 10pm
The Last Gallery
An architectural structure made from recycled materials, and totally open, will host a series of meetings and events over the festival weekend. A project from the festival's EVNTS strand.
Gardens behind Contact Theatre, Oxford Road

Sun 4 May
12pm - 3pm
Part of a long term effort to create a free and open source space in Manchester
Zion Arts Centre, Stretford Road, Hulme

Delegate Pass

Advance Delegate Pass: £100*
Delegate Pass (on the door): £150*
Delegate Day Pass: £75
Students/Concessions: £30

* The full-price Delegate Pass includes a Weekender WrIstband giving access to
key music and live events (subject to terms and capacity) Visit Ticket Info Page

Further discounts available for group bookings,
for further details contact:

A limited number of pay-what-you-can Day Passes will be available on each day of the conference,
for further details contact:,
Visit Ticket Info Page or call the Contact Box Office on T: +44 (0) 161 274 0600.

- If you want to meet the creative thinkers, artists, programmers, digital media experts,
scientists, industry specialists, hardware and software developers, marketers,
political thinkers and activists

- If you want to find out about new technologies and their impact on tomorrow's society

- If your group or company is looking for new and exciting ways to create,
do business and interact

Then sign up to the Futuresonic Conference.

Futuresonic Conference: The Social Technologies Summit is presented by FutureEverything/Futuresonic in association with ImaginationLancaster and Institute of Advanced Studies at Lancaster University. Part of a series of activities by Lancaster University on Social Arts and Technologies.

Conference Programming Committee
The Programme Committee for the Futuresonic 2008 Conference is Anne Galloway, Beryl Graham, Charlie Gere, Gabriella Giannachi, Gunalan Nadarajan, Joel Slayton, Karen Gaskill, Leon Cruickshank, Lucy Suchman, Melinda Rackham, Michelle Kasprzak, Monika Buscher, Nina Czegledy, Paul Coulton, Sadie Plant

Conference Steering Committee
The Conference Steering Committee consists of Matt Locke, Jonas Woost, Charlie Gere, Ele Carpenter, Tapio Makela

Conference Director
Drew Hemment