TED 2017: WHY WE NEED TO IMAGINE DIFFERENT FUTURES

BY: Anab

At the end of April, I gave the opening talk at the TED 2017 conference ‘The Future You’ in Vancouver. Today, I am excited to finally be able to share it with you.

 

 

With only 16 minutes on stage, I gave a glimpse of our studio’s work, values and mission. It was incredible to have this platform to share our work and ideas with 2500 conference attendees, as well as all those who saw it at the various cinemas as part of the TED Cinema experience.

Like some of my previous talks, this was a chance to explore ways in which we can imagine alternate futures, and share our thoughts and experiments in public. To talk about the future, (and of course to work with the future) is such a privilege, for which I am grateful everyday. As I stood on that stage, it seemed crucial to share our passion, while raising awareness of this privilege with those people who have decision making potential, influence and resources. It also became an opportunity to propose how we can be involved in critically shaping our collective futures; to discover and engage with the author – the voice – in all of us. The talk ended in a way that might suggest anarchist overtones; that other worlds are possible. We believe they are, and we all have the opportunity to do something about it.

 

Despite “appearing” to be a confident public speaker with numerous talks under my belt, I get terrified and nervous. And this time was no exception. I can’t thank Jon Ardern enough, for not only helping me shape the talk, but supporting me in the preparations for sharing our collaborative work on stage. I would also like to thank all my colleagues at Superflux (past and present) for their continued faith and commitment to the work we are doing, I am indebted to them.

 

Huge thanks to Helen Walters from TED for the invitation, and Chris Anderson, curator, TED Conferences, for trusting me as the opening speaker. Kelly Stoetzel, Cloe Sasha, Mina Sabet and the rest of the TED crew: thank you for being so helpful and supportive. And finally a big shoutout to Abigail Tenebaum, Michael Weitz and Yvonne Morley for working with me.

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