The Future of Creativity & Innovation

At a forthcoming debate at the Science Museum’s DanaCentre in London, one of Britain’s leading gurus of innovationwill argue that the government is more interested in cajolingpeople into lower energy use than it is in championing scienceand technology…

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James Woudhuysen, Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at DeMontfort University, Leicester, will analyse some of today’scultural barriers to scientific progress, and will show whypublic debate about dismantling these barriers has becomeessential. On Thursday 15 December, he will present his ideas ata debate on the future of creativity and innovation at the DanaCentre – the Science Museum’s bar and café dedicated todiscussing contemporary and controversial science.

The discussion is the fifth in a series of Christmas Lecturesconducted by NMK, which supports and develops the UK'semerging digital media industries and Cybersalon, a pioneer ofcritical debate and a platform for breakthroughs in new mediaand digital art, . The series exists as an opportunity forleading members of those industries to talk freely about theirwork, and to speculate about the effect of media andcommunications technologies on society, economics, politics andculture.

At the Christmas lecture, Cybersalon will also launch a newresearch project and publication initiative, ‘Sorted’.

Title: 'The Future of Creativity andInnovation (NMK & Cybersalon Christmas lecture)'
Date: Thursday 15 December 2005, 19.30-22.30
Venue: Science Museum’s Dana Centre, 165 Queen’s Gate,London SW7 5HE
Our events are open to anyone over the age of 18.
Booking:Tickets can be booked on bookings@cybersalon.orgtel 020 7942 4040 or visit the dedicated NMK Lecture Events Page

Content for the networked home

“In tomorrow's living room, the mobile phone is a remotecontrol unit that runs your computer games, your television andthe videoconferencing calls you make to your granny (she has aWebcam, too),” said Professor Woudhuysen.

“But what kind of creative content can we expect to see onwall-sized, wafer-thin TVs that are coming. And will the homesof the future be built efficiently enough for young people to beable to afford them?,” he continued.

Competing with breakthroughs in the far East

“The educated classes in Britain talk a lot about both thisnation’s strengths in creativity, and its need to accelerateinnovation in the face of challenges from Asia.

“Yet from consumer electronics to construction and transport,government is more interested in cutting down energy use than inturning British science into technological breakthroughs.

“That’s a shame. All over British and European industry, andespecially in services, there is not nearly enough of the rightkind of R&D going on. By contrast, the regulation of scienceand technology, by both Whitehall and Brussels, has grownapace.

“I will be examining some of today’s barriers to successfulinnovation, and showing how we can overcome them.”

Debating the landscape of innovation

Kat Nilsson, head of programmes at the Dana Centre, said: “Thisis a fantastic opportunity for the Dana Centre to debate thefuture landscape of innovation. The Centre exists to engageaudiences with exciting and contemporary innovations in science,medicine and technology.”

Cybersalon and NMK are also using the Xmas Lecture to launch anew research project and publication initiative – ‘Sorted’ –authored by Richard Barbrook, Sookie Choi and Tom Corby.

New media subcultures uncovered

Over the last fifty years, London has been the birthplace ofmany celebrated subcultures: mods, punks, goths and ravers. Inthe mid-1990s, the Net was the catalyst for the emergence ofanother important cultural moment in London’s history. This bookwill chronicle the emergence and flourishing of the new mediasubculture that has flourished over the last decade in the cityand maps its links to earlier subcultures.

Sorted is an annotated collection of articles, quotations,flyers, interviews, manifestos, e-mails, postings, fashions,blogs, photos, adverts and drawings covering over a decade ofLondon’s new media scene. The book is constructed as ahypertext: the items in the main text are accompanied by amultiplicity of footnotes, background information and editorialcommentary.

As in a medieval Bible or Talmud, the overview is as importantas the narrative. Sorted is the literary equivalent of a DJremix which combines hit tunes with new breaks and voice-overs -or of the director’s cut of a cult movie with additional scenesand a critical voice-over. This book is a definitive collationof important pieces and contemporary discussions about netculture from the late-1990s and early-2000s combined with brandnew material that helps the reader to understand the social andcultural importance of these items.

In previous NMK and Cybersalon Christmas lectures, Eva Pascoehas reflected on her experiences in founding Cyberia, theworld's first Internet Café, and how Internet Cafes havecontinued to evolve and impact on society. Professor JonathanBriggs has discussed the role of Internet technologies inhelping to rebuild war-torn Kosova. Journalist Bill Thompson haswondered if big business is destroying the Internet, and DrRichard Barbrook has pondered the shape of Nets to come. You canfind reports on all of these at or


About James Woudhuysen:
James Woudhuysen, 52, is a physics graduate. He wrote aboutchemical weapons for the Economist in 1978, and devised aninstruction manual for a word processor in 1983. He consulted onand advocated e-commerce in 1988, and Internet TV in 1993. Hehas worked with 50 of the world’s top companies, as well as thecities of London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow.Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De MontfortUniversity, Leicester, James has written for The Times andManagement Today, and today contributes regularly to IT Week,spiked and Radio 4’s You and Yours. His most recent publicationsare Why is construction so backward? (Wiley, 2004),The globalisation of UK manufacturing and services,2004-2024 (UK Trade & Investment, 2004) and ‘Play as themain event in international and UK culture’ (Cultural Trends,2003).

About the Dana Centre:
The Dana Centre is a collaboration between the Science Museum,the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) andThe European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) making itunrivalled in its expertise and depth of knowledge of scientificand technological fields. The Centre is housed in the WellcomeWolfson Building alongside the headquarters of the BA, EDAB andScience Museum offices. The £9.8 million building has beenprovided by four major benefactors – the Wellcome Trust, theWolfson Foundation, The Dana Foundation and the Garfield WestonFoundation. /

About Cybersalon:
Cybersalon ( is a "community ofinterest" – a network of new media practitioners, artists,academics, commentators and entrepreneurs motivated by theliberating and creative potential of the new Internet andcommunication technologies. Cybersalon has built a strongreputation for pioneering critical debate and platformingdevelopments in new media and digital art. The organisation hasa well-established track record of activities over the past 7years having hosted regular discussion forums, devisedinnovative digital arts projects, developed technology basedcommunication products and organised larger festivals such asCybersonica – the International Festival of Music, Sound &Technology.

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