Dystopias loom large over the coming decades: mundane surveillance, autonomous weapons, widespread disemployment, all set against the perpetual dread of climate crisis. It’s easy to succumb to fatalism, to feel powerless in the face of a world tipping off its axis. But there’s no time to mourn everything we stand to lose. Our trajectory is not yet locked in: we have millions of futures to choose from.
We’ve talked enough about how the tech industry – and, indeed, the world – lost its way; now it’s time to make things better. Cennydd Bowles, author of Future Ethics, will explain the essential role designers will play in realising positive visions of the future, and how addressing the world’s most urgent issues requires us to reimagine design itself. Drawing on the fields of speculative design, foresight, and futurism, the session will examine how to mobilise for change, how to bring ethics into the heart of practice, and how to make technology more responsible, more just, and more democratic. Better worlds are possible, if we wish them.
Cennydd Bowles is a London-based designer and futurist with fifteen years of experience advising clients including Twitter, Ford, Cisco, and the BBC. His focus today is the ethics of emerging technology. He has lectured on the topic at Facebook, Stanford University, and Google, and is a frequent speaker at technology and design events worldwide. His second book, Future Ethics, was published in 2018.