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The Future of Creativity & Innovation

By: NMK Created on: November 24th, 2005
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At a forthcoming debate at the Science Museum's Dana Centre in London, one of Britain's leading innovation gurus will argue that the government is more interested in cajoling people into lower energy use than it is in championing science and technology...

At a forthcoming debate at the Science Museums Dana Centre in London, one of Britains leading gurus of innovation will argue that the government is more interested in cajoling people into lower energy use than it is in championing science and technology...

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James Woudhuysen, Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester, will analyse some of todays cultural barriers to scientific progress, and will show why public debate about dismantling these barriers has become essential. On Thursday 15 December, he will present his ideas at a debate on the future of creativity and innovation at the Dana Centre the Science Museums bar and caf dedicated to discussing contemporary and controversial science.

The discussion is the fifth in a series of Christmas Lectures conducted by NMK, which supports and develops the UK's emerging digital media industries and Cybersalon, a pioneer of critical debate and a platform for breakthroughs in new media and digital art, . The series exists as an opportunity for leading members of those industries to talk freely about their work, and to speculate about the effect of media and communications technologies on society, economics, politics and culture.

At the Christmas lecture, Cybersalon will also launch a new research project and publication initiative, Sorted.

Title: 'The Future of Creativity and Innovation (NMK & Cybersalon Christmas lecture)'
Date: Thursday 15 December 2005, 19.30-22.30
Venue: Science Museums Dana Centre, 165 Queens Gate, London SW7 5HE
Our events are open to anyone over the age of 18.
Booking:Tickets can be booked on tel 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 remote control unit that runs your computer games, your television and the videoconferencing calls you make to your granny (she has a Webcam, too), said Professor Woudhuysen.

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

Competing with breakthroughs in the far East

The educated classes in Britain talk a lot about both this nations strengths in creativity, and its need to accelerate innovation 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 in turning British science into technological breakthroughs.

Thats a shame. All over British and European industry, and especially in services, there is not nearly enough of the right kind of R&D going on. By contrast, the regulation of science and technology, by both Whitehall and Brussels, has grown apace.

I will be examining some of todays barriers to successful innovation, and showing how we can overcome them.

Debating the landscape of innovation

Kat Nilsson, head of programmes at the Dana Centre, said: This is a fantastic opportunity for the Dana Centre to debate the future landscape of innovation. The Centre exists to engage audiences with exciting and contemporary innovations in science, medicine and technology.

Cybersalon and NMK are also using the Xmas Lecture to launch a new 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 of many celebrated subcultures: mods, punks, goths and ravers. In the mid-1990s, the Net was the catalyst for the emergence of another important cultural moment in Londons history. This book will chronicle the emergence and flourishing of the new media subculture that has flourished over the last decade in the city and 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 of Londons new media scene. The book is constructed as a hypertext: the items in the main text are accompanied by a multiplicity of footnotes, background information and editorial commentary.

As in a medieval Bible or Talmud, the overview is as important as the narrative. Sorted is the literary equivalent of a DJ remix which combines hit tunes with new breaks and voice-overs - or of the directors cut of a cult movie with additional scenes and a critical voice-over. This book is a definitive collation of important pieces and contemporary discussions about net culture from the late-1990s and early-2000s combined with brand new material that helps the reader to understand the social and cultural importance of these items.

In previous NMK and Cybersalon Christmas lectures, Eva Pascoe has reflected on her experiences in founding Cyberia, the world's first Internet Caf, and how Internet Cafes have continued to evolve and impact on society. Professor Jonathan Briggs has discussed the role of Internet technologies in helping to rebuild war-torn Kosova. Journalist Bill Thompson has wondered if big business is destroying the Internet, and Dr Richard Barbrook has pondered the shape of Nets to come. You can find reports on all of these at or


About James Woudhuysen:
James Woudhuysen, 52, is a physics graduate. He wrote about chemical weapons for the Economist in 1978, and devised an instruction manual for a word processor in 1983. He consulted on and advocated e-commerce in 1988, and Internet TV in 1993. He has worked with 50 of the worlds top companies, as well as the cities of London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow. Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, Leicester, James has written for The Times and Management Today, and today contributes regularly to IT Week, spiked and Radio 4s You and Yours. His most recent publications are Why is construction so backward? (Wiley, 2004), The globalisation of UK manufacturing and services, 2004-2024 (UK Trade & Investment, 2004) and Play as the main 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) and The European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) making it unrivalled in its expertise and depth of knowledge of scientific and technological fields. The Centre is housed in the Wellcome Wolfson Building alongside the headquarters of the BA, EDAB and Science Museum offices. The 9.8 million building has been provided by four major benefactors the Wellcome Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, The Dana Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation. /

About Cybersalon:
Cybersalon ( is a "community of interest" - a network of new media practitioners, artists, academics, commentators and entrepreneurs motivated by the liberating and creative potential of the new Internet and communication technologies. Cybersalon has built a strong reputation for pioneering critical debate and platforming developments in new media and digital art. The organisation has a well-established track record of activities over the past 7 years having hosted regular discussion forums, devised innovative digital arts projects, developed technology based communication products and organised larger festivals such as Cybersonica - the International Festival of Music, Sound & Technology.


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