Day two at #Futr

With Dieter Moebius’ live score, supported by Polinski and the TriAngle Showcase still reverberating through our bones, day two of the festival kicked off.  Drew Hemment, Creative Director of FutureEverything, introduced the day with a nod to the successful launch of by Brighton based, Oscar nominated, Blast Theory. He also managed to perk everyone up by questioning whether or not people shared a ride on the same player as him as he played along with over one hundred people.

Then came the incredible and passionate, self-branded Icelandic Parliamentary hacker, Birgitta Jónsdóttir. Not only did she take to the stage but she took over the #futr hashtag as more or less every word of her keynote “The Future Is You” was transcribed or paraphrased into a tweet. Her beliefs were obvious, the political system is at present too large, too corrupt, too limited – it needs to be wiped “defragged, zero’d” and “reinstalled”. She described her impression of the conference and festival beautifully, as a poet activist would, “the brave new world, the FutureEverything island.”

Ideas of co-operation and co-creation from Birgitta’s keynote dominated the day. Mark Robinson-Field from the Co-operative Membership Team led the “Co-operation – The Original Social Network?” presentation reinforcing comments made by Birgitta and reminding us of Manchester’s role as the home of the co-op movement. Passions continued to run high through the afternoon as Bilal Randeree delivered his keynote “Al Jazeera and the Arab Spring”. Bilal embodied the political and activist themes of today with references to  Ethan Zuckerman’s ’cute cat theory’, were the politically disinterested only become turned on when their access to social media is taken away by governments.

With all these experts at hand we could not ignore the fact that today Facebook went public, interviews with a host of speakers asking whether the evaluation at $100 billion is worth it, provoked interesting responses in a video which featured in the top ten most watched videos on the BBC website today.

The final day of the conference drew to a close with discussions about reasons for the London riots, social media and social change, and the importance of context in a venue which was at the centre of the industrial revolution, MOSI is on the site of the world’s first railway.  Discussions around  transferring social movements from the digital to the real world came alive in response to speeches from Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Mark Robinson-Field and Bilal Randeree, striking the political chord and affirming and expanding the role of a digital revolution.