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Facing the Future vox pops, 
November 2011
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Too Many People? debate, 
November 2011
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Engineering the Future debate, 
November 2011
Facing the Future
Facing the Future speaker interviews, 
November 2011
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Facing the Future
Saturday 5th November 2011
Devonshire Building (map), Newcastle University

Economic and Social Research Council Festival of Social Science
Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability
Newcastle University
RCE North East
Sponsored by Economic and Social Research Council
and Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability

Facing the Future was a day of active debate and documentary-making. Participants took a critical look at current discussions around population and the limits to social and technical engineering. The day included a film-making training workshop for young people, who were encouraged to video their thoughts, and had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of working behind and in front of the camera. Videos are being published on the internet.

An introductory workshop introduced interview formats and techniques and captured on film participants’ initial reflections on the topics.

Two panel debates, open to a wider audience of all ages, followed, each introduced by a panel of experts. Participants were given plenty of opportunities to ask questions and make points from the floor:

  • Too Many People?
    Just five days after global population is predicted by the UN to reach seven billion, this topical debate examined what problems we might face if world population reaches the predicted nine billion in forty years, engaging with the contrasting views that there are too many people and that people are the solution to environmental problems.
    Chair: Dr Caspar Hewett
    Patrick Hayes, political commentator, Spiked Online
    Sandy Irvine, Chair, Newcastle Green Party
    Roger Martin, Chair, Population Matters
    Ludi Simpson, Professor of Population Studies, Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research, University of Manchester

  • Engineering the Future
    In an era when ‘technical fixes’ are dismissed by many as inappropriate to solve problems, yet belief in social change is generally viewed as naive and unrealistic, the debate over how we approach the future could not be more pertinent. This session scrutinized the idea that we can engineer our way to a better future and asked whether technology can continue to improve our quality of life.
    Chair: Jon Bryan
    Ian Abley, architect and director of audacity
    Barry K Gills, Professor of Global Politics, Newcastle University

Facing the Future vox pops, 
November 2011
Film-workshop participants videoed the debates and interviewed speakers and audience members. A closing session encouraged them to reflect on the discussions and ideas to which they had been exposed; they recorded final interviews with each other, capturing new thoughts resulting from the day’s events.
To view videos click below:
Vox pop interviews
"Too Many People?" debate
"Engineering the Future" debate
Interviews with speakers


Saturday 5 November 2011

09:15am - 09:45am

Registration for film-workshop and welcome

09:45am - 10:45am

Film-workshop I

11:00am - 12:20pm

Debate 1: Too Many People?
with Patrick Hayes, Sandy Irvine, Roger Martin and Ludi Simpson

12:20pm - 01:00pm


01:00pm - 02:20pm

Debate 2: Engineering the Future
with Ian Abley and Barry K Gills

02:30pm - 03:30pm

Film-workshop II

Ian Abley, Jon Bryan and Barry K Gills Ludi Simpson, Patrick Hayes, Caspar Hewett, Roger Martin and Sandy Irvine

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Video of "Too Many People?" debate filmed by workshop participants

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Video of "Engineering the Future" debate filmed by workshop participants

Vox pop interviews with workshop participants

Speaker interviews

Patrick Hayes interview Sandy Irvine
Patrick Hayes Sandy Irvine

Roger Martin

Barry K Gills
Roger Martin Barry K Gills

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Devonshire Building

Devonshire Building

Devonshire Building

Location Map - Devonshire Building, Devonshire Terrace
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne
[See also Newcastle University Campus map]

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