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Pat Kane, FutureFest Play curator


Tech Me Out: a quarter of young people would happily date a robot, finds survey into public vision of the future

- One third (34 per cent) of Brits say they would be microchipped at work if their privacy was 100 per cent guaranteed
- Yet, more than half (62 per cent) say that they would not swap their dinner for a pill and will still enjoy a cuppa in 2036
- Results published today to mark the launch of FutureFest 2016, line-up includes Es Devlin, Cindy Gallop, DJ Spooky, Oliver Peyton and Sherry Coutu CBE

If you looked into a crystal ball to predict your future, would you see yourself in a relationship with a robot, gaming your way through a normal day at the office or having your genetic makeup decide what you eat, and when? New ComRes research* published today by FutureFest asked the public to imagine the world in 20 years in time along these very lines.

Recent films depicting human-machine romances may soon become a reality; a quarter (26 per cent) of young people (aged 18-34) in the UK said that they would happily date a robot - provided their android beau looked just like a real-life human being.

Meanwhile, half (50 per cent) of Brits who already use contactless bank cards say that they would be happy to have microchips implanted under their skin to open doors or log on at work, and a third (32 per cent) of all British adults believe that in fifty years’ time the sale of fizzy drinks to under-16s will be as tightly controlled as tobacco is today.

This world will be brought to life and explored at [FutureFest 2016, a weekend festival of future ideas hosted by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation. Taking place at London’s Tobacco Dock, 17-18 September 2016, this year’s event is programmed around four themes - Love, Play, Work and Thrive - with each curated by a specialist in the field**.

This year’s event line-up includes:

- Multi-award winning stage designer Es Devlin
- Advertising mogul and founder of MakeLoveNotPorn and IfWeRanTheWorld Cindy Gallop
- Experimental musician and author Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
- Restaurateur and judge of BBC’s Great British Menu Oliver Peyton
- Serial entrepreneur, angel investor and former CEO Sherry Coutu CBE
- Award-winning scriptwriter and video game designer Rhianna Pratchett
- Technology journalist and commentator Kate Russell

Lead curator of FutureFest 2013/2015 and curator of the Play theme at this year’s event, musician and writer Pat Kane (pictured), said: “As humans, we are all born with our own in-built crystal ball about the future. It’s in our nature to have dreams and schemes about better and more exciting worlds to come. At this third FutureFest, alongside my new fellow curators, we’re exploring playful, sensual, emotional and working futures - using our usual mix of world-class speakers, startling new commissions and installations, and a whole range of opportunities for our super-smart audiences to get involved.”

Geoff Mulgan, CEO of Nesta said: “FutureFest is a unique chance to explore the future - to learn, taste, feel and hear what it might be like. It's exciting, inspiring - and often disconcerting. But the main aim is very simple: that we can all learn how to better shape a future that works for us.”

Since its inaugural event in 2013, FutureFest has hosted Dame Vivienne Westwood in conversation with Edward Snowden, legendary funk musician George Clinton, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, author Jon Ronson, social entrepreneur and model Lily Cole, amongst others.

To stay up-to-date with the latest news sign up to the FutureFest newsletter at and follow @futurefest on Twitter.

Early bird weekend tickets on offer until midnight on April 30, 2016 - available here


About FutureFest: ( FutureFest is a weekend festival of immersive experiences, compelling performances and radical speakers to excite and challenge perceptions of the future. Taking place every 18 months, FutureFest is hosted by Nesta, the UK’s innovation foundation, in London.

About Nesta: ( is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833.

For further information on FutureFest contact:

Kasia Murphy, Nesta press office
T: +44 (0) 2074382543


- *ComRes interviewed 1002 British adults online between 15-19th April 2016. Data were weighted by age, gender, region and socio-economic grade to be representative of all British adults aged 18+ The research was commissioned by Nesta.
- **Curators per theme: Pat Kane (Play), Ghislaine Boddington (Love), Dr. Morgaine Gaye (Thrive) and Ruth Amos (Work) - interviews are available
- Future speakers to be announced
- For FutureFest 2016 press passes and filming requests please register your interest with the Nesta press office team
- Images of speakers, curators and past events available on request
- Tickets on sale at - information:
Early bird Weekend Ticket: £70 (£10 off) - available until midnight on 30 April 2016
Student Weekend Ticket : £40 - available until 17 September 2016
Single day tickets for Saturday and Sunday go on sale in June 2016


Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, US-based experimental musician:
“Art is the open space of the mind. Love, one could say, allows us to navigate it. I'm happy to participate in this event - these are cynical times, and we could all use a lot more compassion. Events like FutureFest help give us some better ideas about what's up with 21st Century ideas about the way we love now.”

Cindy Gallop, advertising mogul and founder of IfWeRanTheWorld:
“My favorite quote is by Alan Kay - 'In order to predict the future, you have to invent it.' As someone who is all about inventing the future, I couldn't be more delighted to be speaking at an event that is dedicated to precisely that. I started to help redesign the future of business and MakeLoveNotPorn to help redesign the future of sex, and so I'm thrilled to talk at FutureFest about the future of work and love (two things more closely interrelated than you might think).”

Dr. Morgaine Gaye, Director of Bellwether: Food Trends (and curator of the Future Thrive theme):
“I’ve been lucky enough to have been involved in FutureFest since the first event back in 2013 and it gets bigger and more inclusive every time. The variety and breadth of ideas is remarkable. From installations, interviews, keynotes, interactive events and digital experiences - there is always something exciting going on. This year, I am curating Future Thrive, focusing forward to 2050 when thriving will be the watchword in such a changeable sea of survival. I will be focusing on scent, food, health and wellness; hoping to address a plethora of ideas encapsulated by those broad themes.”

Ghislaine Boddington, Co-founder and Creative Director of body>data>space (and curator of the Future Love theme):
"Our bodies, our identities and our senses are enhancing thanks to technology and societal shifts. Indeed, intimacy as we know it is expanding its boundaries - enabling us to experience love and affection beyond the physical and into the virtual. By bringing together expert speakers, thinkers and artists, Future Love at FutureFest 2016 enables us to examine and explore what these exciting developments mean for us and our 'loved' ones."

Ruth Amos, Managing Director of StairSteady Ltd (and curator of the Future Work theme):
“I am excited to explore the changing innovations in the future world of work at this year's FutureFest. Not only will we look at the exciting possibilities that technology opens us up to us, but we'll be discussing the role of women and re-imagining where we work, how we work and the hours that we work. I anticipate conversations around the way we need to educate, diversify and skill ourselves for this future. At the end of the day, we are all working for longer, but could we be innovating the way we do it?"

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Nesta in the following categories: Entertainment & Arts, Consumer Technology, Media & Marketing, for more information visit