Facing the Future
Saturday 5th November 2011
Devonshire Building (map),
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:
“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 Speakers: Ian Abley,
architect and director of
audacity Barry K Gills,
Professor of Global Politics, Newcastle University