Future Human, the successor event to the award-winning Inspirefest, will go ahead as planned on 29 and 30 October this year, but with a twist. It will be the first major international tech event in the world to go hybrid.
While most of its attendees will watch live from homes and offices around the world, the event itself will take place on a state-of-the-art, purpose-built broadcast stage in Dublin. Many speakers will appear on stage, with social distancing in place, while those overseas will be dialled in seamlessly to the stage. Discussions will be moderated by event MCs and chairs, including Future Human founder Ann O’Dea and BBC broadcaster Dearbhail McDonald.
The inaugural Future Human line-up includes Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser, former NASA astronaut Joan Higginbotham, Félix Lajeunesse of the Emmy Award-winning Félix & Paul studio, composer and Oscars ceremony conductor Eimear Noone and young entrepreneur Shane Curran, to name just a few. Many more announcements are also expected.
“We knew with the insidious nature of this virus that hosting an event with thousands of attendees this October was unlikely to be a runner, but we didn’t simply want to put it off to 2021,” said Future Human founder and curator Ann O’Dea.
“We were getting so many enquiries from our community as to whether we’d go ahead. We knew there was an appetite out there to get together this year – albeit virtually for the most part.”
To this end, O’Dea explained, the Future Human team has been trialling platforms, examining best practice and visiting studios to see just what the possibilities were. “We were never going to be happy with a glorified webinar. Yes, the majority of our attendees will be attending from the comfort of their own homes and offices, but we plan to stage a full, live event, which will be very far from just an online conference.”
The fifth and final year of Inspirefest had around 3,000 attendees from 52 countries and O’Dea is optimistic that this international element will only increase through the hybrid model, allowing those who previously could not travel to experience the event in full to join from their own location.
In 2021, though, Future Human will host a full live event at the new, cutting-edge Trinity Business School building in Dublin. The 2021 event will continue to embrace the hybrid model, with online-only tickets being made available for those overseas.
“We have always prided ourselves on running the most forward-looking, progressive and inclusive large tech events in the world, and Future Human 2020 will be that and more,” said O’Dea.
What you can expect
Partners for Future Human 2020 include Johnson & Johnson, Nokia Bell Labs, Slack, IDA Ireland and many more.
Attendees are told to expect plenty of hyper-current sessions, from ‘Chasing a Covid-19 Vaccine’ and ‘Dispelling Remote Work Myths’ to ‘Mixed Reality in Today’s Normal’ and ‘Your Data, Your Property’.
“Many thanks to Trinity Business School and its dean, Prof Andrew Burke,” said O’Dea. “We were so excited to host the event there this year, but happy that he has welcomed us back for 2021, and will stay involved this year.”
Depending on the prevailing situation with Covid-19, more small, in-person gatherings will be staged around the main event, while all the main-stage talks, masterclasses and workshops – and even a virtual exhibition – will be available to ticket holders online in October.
The event schedule has even been designed to facilitate virtual attendees from overseas, as well as domestic attendees.
Further updates from Future Human are expected in the coming weeks. The line-up to date and online tickets can be found at futurehuman.xyz.
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