Atlas of the Future

Back in March we were asked to be part of a SUPERGROUP at the Atlas of the Future: Fixing the Future event in Barcelona! Don’t worry we didn’t don our pants over tights! Ten ‘changemakers’ were chosen to speak at the event and including our cofounder Richard. Atlas of The Future are a non profit organisation who focus their energies on people across the world working to solve our biggest challenges and create a better tomorrow. Their mission is ‘democratising the future’ by speaking human.

Whilst it was cold and grey in the UK, it was beautiful and blue skies over in Barcelona but to make you feel better we didn’t see much of it as we were inside the impressive Cultura Contemporaria de Barcelona for the conference. And what a conference it was! The ‘supergroup’ gave fascinating talks from speakers all passionate about addressing future world problems.

Our very own Richard Ballard got named the ‘pea shoot whisperer’ as described a future using the exponential growth in technology to feed our growing population. Meanwhile, Mark Stephenson, futurist and author of two bestselling books told stories of people doing things differently to meet humanity’s challenges in innovative and surprising ways. Then Jessi Baker told us about her software company Provenance which uses novel technologies like the blockchain to help businesses share information about the people, places and materials involved in their products.

Kate Raworth economist and author of Forbes book of the year Doughnut Economics described how the “goal of the 21st century economy should be to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet.”

Gaia Vince, environmental journalist who told us how she was inspired by her 900-day journey around the world to take stock of humanity’s impact. This tied in nicely with Ed Gillespie, the ‘slow traveller’ and co-founder of leading sustainability communications agency Futerra. He explored how disruptive innovation creates enormous transformative potential in markets and opportunities.

Marco António Attisani the founder of Watly wowed us with the future of water, electricity and power with the worlds largest solar powered super computer. Agamemnon Otero, CEO of Repowering London and Energy Gardens, showed us how to tackle fuel poverty with renewable power, whilst showing the true democratic involvement of people in the energy system.

Soon to follow was Areti Markopoulou, an urban technologist and architect who explained how she is working on the intersection between architecture and digital technologies for the future. And finally think cattle farming is a bad idea? Think again. Tony Lovell, ‘cowboy’ co-founder of SLM Australia Livestock Fund fascinated us with his regeneration of billions of hectares of damaged grasslands using livestock.

This is just a glimpse of the amazing food for thought on offer at the Barcelona event. View all the talks in full at Atlas for the Future