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Fixing the system: dream of an open world

Fixing the system: dream of an open world

In today’s world, platforms like AirBnb and Uber are increasingly creating connections and exchanges. Platform co-ops want to go one step further to serve the communities who use them by offering a new model of ownership for a more democratic future, with peer-to-peer tech and ‘sensual’ social software. In this guest post by Oliver Sylvester-Bradley, co-founder of

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FutureHero Dr. Knatokie Ford: Wonder Woman of STEM

FutureHero Dr. Knatokie Ford: Wonder Woman of STEM

Biomedical scientist, South Central Los Angeles teacher, Obama White House Senior Policy Advisor, creative science communicator and #BlackGirlMagic ambassador; you would never know that Dr. Knatokie Ford was once a “shy girl” who had to learn to deal with confidence issues. But she did, and made her way from Harvard University onto the White House and

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💥 15 rebels with a cause: bold ideas from unlikely places

💥 15 rebels with a cause: bold ideas from unlikely places

“In these volatile times, with so much in flux, there’s everything to play for.”  The most daring innovators aren’t found in boardrooms or tech startups, but in protests, street markets, prisons and refugee camps… and at Meaning Conference. Taking place this year on 14 November at Brighton Dome in the UK, expect encounters with pioneers on the edges

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The FutureHero fighting for ocean justice: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

The FutureHero fighting for ocean justice: Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Celebrated ocean conservationist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson knows that caring about the ocean doesn’t just mean thinking about marine ecosystems, but people too. That’s why the invertebrate-loving Brooklynite has made her focus the intersection between ocean conservation, coastal communities and social justice. “There is a home for everyone in this movement – in conservation, climate

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Global Climate Strike ► Why I strike: Fridays for Future

Global Climate Strike ► Why I strike: Fridays for Future

This week, the Global Climate Strike will go down in history. On Friday 20 September 2019, the world witnessed the biggest environmental protest the world has ever seen.  In 185 countries, from Kabul, Afghanistan to New Delhi, India, millions of children didn’t turn up to school. Instead they took to the streets to support young climate strikers

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Video ► Ugly ducklings can transform into ‘Green Swans’

Video ► Ugly ducklings can transform into ‘Green Swans’

Exciting rewilding projects are happening at vastly different scales all around the world – as more and more people make efforts to replant trees by the billion, and reintroduce species.  It is no longer good enough to just talk about halting the destruction of our natural world. We have to to move to a restoration

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This ‘climate geekess’ FutureHero uses the law to protect the planet

This ‘climate geekess’ FutureHero uses the law to protect the planet

“If you want to do something about climate change, change the politics. Use the system to fight the system.” Imagine being able to say that the Earth is your client. Self-proclaimed ‘climate geekess’ Kirsty Schneeberger is in that humbling position. Honoured at just 25-years-old for services to environmental conservation by the Queen of England, the

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FutureHero Alex Atala: Enter the jungle with Brazil’s top chef

FutureHero Alex Atala: Enter the jungle with Brazil’s top chef

“Ants are an example of the little surprises gastronomy can give us.” Amazonian fruits, canastra cheese, fermented manioc, ants; these are just some of the Brazilian indigenous ingredients being championed by South America’s number one chef, Alex Atala. Named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet, the double

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FutureHero Tony Lovell: 5 billion hectares of hope

FutureHero Tony Lovell: 5 billion hectares of hope

Cows are often the scape-goats (or scape-cows) for climate change; the methane-burping livestock animals have become confused with our management of them. By giving the animals a more holistic hook, carbon-canny cattle rancher Tony Lovell, co-founder of SLM Australia Livestock Fund, has raised a whopping $100 million to help to regenerate the billions of hectares of damaged

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FutureHero Christine Fox: The Pentagon’s real Top Gun

FutureHero Christine Fox: The Pentagon’s real Top Gun

Blazing a trail for other women, Christine Fox has held the highest rank ever for a woman at the Pentagon and was the inspiration for the Kelly McGillis character ‘Charlie’ in arguably the best film of the 80s… Top Gun (of course). The first female Deputy Secretary of Defense (Acting) in American history has flown in B-52s, escaped submerged

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► Inside the event: Fixing the future 2019

► Inside the event: Fixing the future 2019

“I am the Amazon. Please look after me.” Thought–provoking and emotional, the stirring sound of a 22-year-old afro-indigenous eco-activist from the Brazilian Amazon drumming on a Barcelona stage signified the beating heart and soul of our planet, an urgent need for a new era… and the start of Fixing the future 2019. This year’s event opened

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Food as a portal into the future: FutureHero Carolyn Steel

Food as a portal into the future: FutureHero Carolyn Steel

Urban visionary Carolyn Steel has captured the public imagination by giving us food as a way to understand how we live our lives and build our cities. With food at the centre of our civilisation, we have a medium to practically design an ideal world for the future and live a good life.  “The shared meal

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► Fixing the future 2019: workshops and screenings

► Fixing the future 2019: workshops and screenings

Are you joining us for Fixing the future at the CCCB in Barcelona on 7-8 June? As if 53 ‘FutureHero’ speakers wasn’t enough, we’re offering eight screenings and interactive workshops that let you get up close and personal with our themes of biodiversity, oceans, food and farming, cities and the climate crisis. Let us transport you from from Peru to Indonesia via Barcelona in the year 2093…     ⚡1. Guardians

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FutureHero Agamemnon Otero: Dynamo of renewables

FutureHero Agamemnon Otero: Dynamo of renewables

🎫 AtlasEvent ► Meet Agamemnon at Fixing the future 2019 in Barcelona. “If you want to be Che Guevara, stop walking around pointing to what’s bad. Want to be a true revolutionary? Rip up the paving slabs, plant a garden and cover your roof in solar panels.” In South London a Uruguayan-born, New York-raised community entrepreneur and artist is tackling

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Biodiversity: save the bees, the trees and the chimpanzees

Biodiversity: save the bees, the trees and the chimpanzees

Biodiversity is a hot topic at the moment, but what is it? Put simply, biodiversity helps regulate climate, air, soil and pretty much all of the good things we need for life. But a drop in global biodiversity is putting our ability to produce food at risk. Insects are dying off at record rates — an

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► Fixing the future is back! Meet the speakers…

► Fixing the future is back! Meet the speakers…

We’re overjoyed to announce that ‘Fixing the future’ is back. And this year it’s bigger, better and faster – because the future can’t wait.  ► Download the full programme After 2018’s sold out event in Barcelona, we’re returning to the CCCB – in partnership with Holaluz – with TWO full days and 40+ FutureHeroes from around the world. This time

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Life, the Zooniverse and everything: AtlasChart Top 5

Life, the Zooniverse and everything: AtlasChart Top 5

You don’t need to be a scientist, researcher or academic to answer our biggest global challenges. That’s the point of Zooniverse – anyone can get involved. The world’s leading citizen science platform brings together people from all walks of life, from all over the world, in people-powered research. All you need is access to the internet to

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Vegan Top 9 AtlasChart: What an eggscellent time to be alive

Vegan Top 9 AtlasChart: What an eggscellent time to be alive

An egg has become Instagram’s most-liked post ever. Yep, a regular egg. In it’s shell, without avocado. The world’s most famous egg now has 54 million likes on Instagram (and counting). Welcome to 2019… Despite its rising profile, the industrial egg is starting to crack as people look for plant-based solutions. Is the egg toast? As Veganuary convinces people to ditch meat

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Happy holidays! 12 days of good actions

Happy holidays! 12 days of good actions

Have you been naughty or nice this year? Good news: you can redeem yourselves! As the bumpy, transformative, but never-boring 2018 comes to a close, we’re spinning ‘The 12 days of Christmas’ into 12 sparkly, positive ways to take action and spread holiday cheer. No ode to conspicuous consumption here. Join a flavour mutiny, put plastic

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We mean business: behind the scenes of Meaning 2018

We mean business: behind the scenes of Meaning 2018

Turbulent headlines on the morning of 14 November (in the form of a domino run of Brexit-toppled MPs) provided a poignant backdrop for the gathering of 500 future-conscious minds at the Brighton Dome, who had come to hear about strategies for making sense of – and creating sense in – an often precarious world. Meaning,

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AtlasEvent 24 November, London: The Collective City

AtlasEvent 24 November, London: The Collective City

If you’ve taken part in a morning rave, group run or public art experience; if you’ve joined a campaign to improve your neighbourhood or teamed up to better your workplace; if you’ve shared knowledge or data to bring about a change you want to see, you will know the joy and power of the collective.

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FutureLeague Fab City Global: DIY cities of tomorrow

FutureLeague Fab City Global: DIY cities of tomorrow

Imagine if you could click a button and be able to grow and make almost anything. That’s what Fab City is all about: a creative collective of pioneers and makers who simply want digital technology to make the world more self-sufficient. And they’re doing it more than one city at a time. In fact, 28 cities are already

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AtlasEvent 24 November, London: The Collective City

AtlasEvent 24 November, London: The Collective City

If you’ve taken part in a morning rave, group run or public art experience; if you’ve joined a campaign to improve your neighbourhood or teamed up to better your workplace; if you’ve shared knowledge or data to bring about a change you want to see, you will know the joy and power of the collective.

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Fab City Summit 2018: A new urban manifesto

Fab City Summit 2018: A new urban manifesto

Imagine if you could get a ‘city’ to agree to making the world more self-sufficient. A creative team of pioneers and makers is doing exactly that. They’ve created a set of ten principles as a sort of instruction manual to build a more sustainable and inhabitable new world. And they’re getting cities to agree to it. In fact, 28

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Get cooking! ► 5 recipes for a better world

Get cooking! ► 5 recipes for a better world

Did you know you don’t always have to cook with food? As part of our new CultureFutures project we’ve been digging deep into the imaginations of artists, chefs, designers and material makers as they help build a better world – in all its delicious glory. From precious plastics to seeds with stories, in this week’s Future 5 we’re

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FutureLeague: Beakerhead is the world’s greatest arts-science smash-up

FutureLeague: Beakerhead is the world’s greatest arts-science smash-up

Did you hear the one about the hot tub, the actor and the quantum physicist? How about the one with the inflatable octopus, the trash robot and the fire-breathing serpent mother? No joke, for all of the above, you just need enter the curious world of Beakerhead – a place where arts, engineering and science

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It’s an economics puppet rap battle! (Yes, really)

It’s an economics puppet rap battle! (Yes, really)

“Not everybody wants to work for money on a platter. Sometimes we do things just because they matter.” An economist, a songwriter and a puppet-maker walked into a recording studio. What do you think came out?… We love a surprising collaboration, but didn’t see this one coming: animatronic-loving puppet designer Emma Powell, musician Simon Panrucker and renegade

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Behind the scenes: stand up for Common Wealth’s theatrical activism

Behind the scenes: stand up for Common Wealth’s theatrical activism

“We want to drive political action with our work, and I don’t think you can do that sitting down.” – Rhiannon White, Common Wealth Co-founder At a Common Wealth Theatre performance, there’s no sitting back and letting it happen. Wandering through living rooms, factory floors and boxing rings, theatre-goers are invited into the story – as

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Enter the magical, curious world of Beakerhead

Enter the magical, curious world of Beakerhead

“It’s in the freely shared ideas that collisions, oddities and thrills emerge.” – Mary Anne Moser, Beakerhead Co-founder Widely known as ‘the world’s greatest arts-science smash-up’, Beakerhead makes breaking down the complex look effortless – but it takes a collective effort to make STEAM this fun. A fire-breathing serpent mother, inflatable octopus, trash robot, giant

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Videos ► What is ‘cleantech’? – and other LA stories

Videos ► What is ‘cleantech’? – and other LA stories

In an era of rising environmental awareness, cleantech has become the fastest-growing technology sector in the world. And sunny California loves it. That’s why they buy more electric cars and do more recycling than any place else. So what is ‘cleantech’? At its simplest, it’s any technology that helps a more efficient use of natural resources. We travelled

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FutureHero Steve Rader: NASA, Mars – and you

FutureHero Steve Rader: NASA, Mars – and you

The things NASA want to do next are “really, really hard”. That’s why Steve Rader – NASA’s Deputy Manager for the Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation – appreciates the way the space agency harnesses people power and diversity. We circumnavigated the mighty Saturn V rocket with the crowdsourcing evangelist to find out about NASA’s current challenges – and The Martian.

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Aquawoman: Fishy FutureHero

Aquawoman: Fishy FutureHero

In the sprawling high plains of the Free State province of South Africa, Conchita Milburn is playing a key part in freshwater aquaculture projects – sharing knowledge and implementing sustainable practices. Aquaculture is exactly what it sounds like – farming fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae and other organisms – under controlled conditions. Combined with agriculture,

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Culture for good ► High five to these 5 creative collaborations

Culture for good ► High five to these 5 creative collaborations

Hip hop and politics. Blind photographers. Crayons and big ideas. In this week’s CultureFutures special we’re exploring creativity in surprising areas. In Rwanda, teenage girls have created its biggest media brand. In Spain, a photojournalist has set up the world’s first ‘special photographer’ agency for people with intellectual disabilities. And in Senegal, they’re rapping the news.

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AtlasQ&A Dan Barber ► 6 questions for a food FutureHero

AtlasQ&A Dan Barber ► 6 questions for a food FutureHero

From culinary creativity and food fads to a dystopian future soil crisis, friends of the Atlas ask Dan Barber – Blue Hill chef and co-founder of Row 7 Seed Company – their burning questions…    1. Ande Gregson, founder of GreenLab, an experimental space in London for urban agriculture: “Is urban agriculture future or fad?

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FutureHero Dan Barber: The chef planting hope

FutureHero Dan Barber: The chef planting hope

To read The Third Plate is not only to take an extraordinary journey in the company of chef and writer Dan Barber. It is to be a guest at the birth of a brilliant and important idea. His travels, investigations, reading and thinking go beyond an exploration of what ails our food systems – and

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8 Agricultural Mavericks

8 Agricultural Mavericks

Something special is happening inside an old school made from recycled salvage from a theatre company, decommissioned bio labs and art freight containers. As London’s first incubator workspace for urban farming entrepreneurs and ‘agritech’ startups, the Green Lab is creating a vibrant city community for creative sustainable food innovators. Having previously co-founded Fab Lab London, Ande Gregson was

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FutureHero Dougie McMaster: Ethical Jedi chef

FutureHero Dougie McMaster: Ethical Jedi chef

Britain’s most ethical restaurant doesn’t have a bin. Founded by ex-St John chef Dougie McMaster, the team at Silo brews its own booze, mills its own flour, churns its own butter and even has chairs made from jeans and plates formed from plastic bags.  At the UK’s first ever zero waste restaurant, all materials are digestible by

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FutureHero Jessi Baker: Blockchain’s spies for good

FutureHero Jessi Baker: Blockchain’s spies for good

Blockchain isn’t just about finance and Bitcoin, but when Jessi Baker started Provenance that wasn’t the case. That’s why her idea was considered crazy at first. The software company uses technologies like the blockchain to help businesses share truths about the people, places and materials involved in their products. Labelled as one of the UK’s ‘coolest female startup

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AtlasChart Tomás Diez: A hands-on Top 9

AtlasChart Tomás Diez: A hands-on Top 9

“We either build the future we want, or become the victims of it.” As Director of Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Tomás Diez constantly breaks the rules when it comes to education, business, science, urbanism, farming, environmentalism, design, and housing… you name it. In this AtlasChart, the Venezuelan digital fabrication urbanist opens up about projects in

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Fixing the future: Adventures in a better tomorrow

Fixing the future: Adventures in a better tomorrow

Are you ready for the good, the bad and the ugly? Here’s the bad news: the world is broken. The good? This lot can help us fix it. And now for the ugly: it’s going to get messy. Luckily there are plenty of people who are happy to get stuck in. Having now mapped over

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The Future is Female: 11 kick ass role models

The Future is Female: 11 kick ass role models

As a women-led editorial team, we’re that happy to hear that female empowerment is firmly on the agenda right now. So we’re introducing you to 11 of our favourite female FutureHeroes who turn it up to 11, starting with the real life inspiration for ‘Charlie’ in arguably one of the best films of the 80s… Top Gun!   ⚡ 1. Real

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Adventures with FutureHero Gaia Vince in The Age of Humans

Adventures with FutureHero Gaia Vince in The Age of Humans

This year it will be ten years since environmental journalist and broadcaster Gaia Vince began her 900-day journey around the world to take stock of humanity’s impact on the planet. Back then she never expected to see the important changes now happening globally – the explosion of renewable energy production, the rise of electric vehicles, tariffs

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FutureHero Nelly Ben Hayoun: Designing the impossible

FutureHero Nelly Ben Hayoun: Designing the impossible

Faster-talking than the speed of light, louder than a sonic boom and sparkier than a volcano, extreme ‘experience designer’ Nelly Ben Hayoun has simulated all of the above. The hyperreal world is her disaster playground. From the safety of her East London pad, the French space enthusiast catapults us through her flights of fancy-made-real – including

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Fixing the future: Introducing the event line up!

Fixing the future: Introducing the event line up!

Future curious? On 13 March a future-‘supergroup’ will gather for the first time in Barcelona. Brought to you by Atlas of the Future and Ara, ‘Fixing the future: adventures in a better tomorrow’ will explore the talent solving the audacious goals of our planet with radical methods. Join us at the CCCB to meet the innovators

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FutureHero Richard Ballard: Growing greens in bomb shelters

FutureHero Richard Ballard: Growing greens in bomb shelters

A microgreen-fingered hydroponic hero is proving that ‘zero km’ is possible – in London’s disused bomb shelters. With his groundbreaking subterranean farm Growing Underground, Richard Ballard demonstrates how plants don’t need sunlight and that urban agriculture can help tackle food scarcity. Located 100 feet (33 metres) under the streets of London in a disused World War II air raid shelter,

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FutureHero Kate Raworth breaks down Doughnut Economics

FutureHero Kate Raworth breaks down Doughnut Economics

In today’s world we are addicted to growth. That’s why renegade economist Kate Raworth wants to radically reframe the way we look at economics: “The goal of the 21st century economy should be to meet the needs of all within the means of the planet.” It’s an exciting challenge to ensure that no one falls short on

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Video ► Agamemnon Otero gives power to the people

Video ► Agamemnon Otero gives power to the people

In South London a ‘renewable dynamo’ is tackling fuel poverty with renewable power – while showing the true democratic involvement of people power in the energy system. In the UK the number of small-scale energy systems has jumped from a few thousand to over half a million – in part down to the Uruguayan-born, New York-raised community entrepreneur

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Un dia ‘fixing the future’ amb l’Atlas del Futur

Un dia ‘fixing the future’ amb l’Atlas del Futur

Coneix deu ments brillants que estan canviant el món! Tenen en comú que han trobat solucions a reptes globals que semblava que no en tenien i les han posat en pràctica. Són, doncs, “arregladors” del futur que per primera vegada es trobaran a Barcelona el dimarts 13 de març a la jornada ‘Fixing the Future adventures in

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FutureHero Mark Stevenson: Stories from the future

FutureHero Mark Stevenson: Stories from the future

There is no better time to reboot our world than right now, which means there is no better time to read the two bestselling books by ‘reluctant futurist’ Mark Stevenson. The pragmatic optimist tells stories of people doing things differently to meet humanity’s challenges in innovative and surprising ways. Part of a subset of people who think differently, Stevenson

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Feel the love! 20 reasons 2017 gave us so much joy

Feel the love! 20 reasons 2017 gave us so much joy

When you find yourselves somewhere between Gotham City Police HQ and Blade Runner’s Leon’s Hotel chatting to a Westworld sexbot you know that it’s been an interesting – and surprising – year. OK, it’s been relentless too, but there are so many reasons to feel hopeful. From Cameroon to Patagonia, 2017 has seen your projects make the

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Happy text-day! 9 ways your phone makes life better 

Happy text-day! 9 ways your phone makes life better 

We’re big fans of simple tech that makes things better. While mobile Internet rapidly becomes a primary source of knowledge, not everyone is connected. But SMS, the default messaging tool in parts of the developing world, still only requires simple feature phones. Last weekend the millennial ‘Short Message Service’ (it used to be very short!) turned

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Video ► The future of finance

Video ► The future of finance

Part of the problem with the investment industry is that it has been very backward-looking. But there is a bunch of people who are concerned about building a financial system that can deliver the future we want. Ten years on from the global financial crisis, our partners at Project Breakthrough brought together a group of the

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AtlasEvent 3 Oct, Madrid: How to reboot the world

AtlasEvent 3 Oct, Madrid: How to reboot the world

Next week the Atlas team heads to Madrid for the Spanish book launch of Mark Stevenson’s We Do Things Differently – which chronicles his travels across four continents to visiting the ordinary folk behind amazing innovations in healthcare, energy, food, water and education. “Whether it’s governance and political systems that live by division, even as we become more connected world,

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Video ► Enter the Matrix with Herman Narula

Video ► Enter the Matrix with Herman Narula

Perhaps the grandest challenge that exists is being able to answer “what if?” What happens to a city when all the cars start to drive themselves? Or when a certain policy is implemented, or an economy or a piece of physical infrastructure fails? The answers may just lie in the virtual worlds of Britain’s hottest tech startup, Improbable. Already

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AtlasShoot: Money, data and trust

AtlasShoot: Money, data and trust

Fresh from editing videos for the Carbon Productivity event at London’s RSA, last week we returned to UBS‘s London HQ to shoot Volans’ Breakthrough Money – focusing on the confluence of money, data and trust. (We’re into venues that can be reduced to 3-letter acronyms.) Organised by sustainability think tank and advisory firm Volans as part of Project Breakthrough, it is part of

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FutureHero Adam Clarke: The wonderful Wizard of Minecraft

FutureHero Adam Clarke: The wonderful Wizard of Minecraft

Move over Harry Potter, there’s a cooler wizard around, and he’s got blocks and pigments up his sleeves. Wizard Keen (AKA Adam Clarke) teaches people how to experience art, culture and politics like never before. Through Wonder Quest and the creation of some of the most innovative Minecraft maps out there, the artist and digital producer proves video games are the perfect tool to

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Trust this AtlasChart: Paul Armstrong’s Block Rockin’ Top 5

Trust this AtlasChart: Paul Armstrong’s Block Rockin’ Top 5

Upsetting banks and big businesses worldwide, Blockchain is a global online database that anyone with an internet connection can use. Though the technology seems steeped in jargon and mystery, it has the power to reshape our world beyond finance – with a lot to offer healthcare, identity and ownership. So it’s time to understand it. Best described as

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AtlasChart: The women of Sónar+D 2017

AtlasChart: The women of Sónar+D 2017

Every year Sónar+D forms a key part of the stamina-pushing Sónar Festival, one of Europe’s biggest and most forward-thinking dance music events. If you have ever wondered what the D stands for, it all becomes clear when you look at it like this… SónaR+D. While festivalgoers rave outside, its lab space acts as a node between the innovation, creative and

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AtlasChart: A Maker Faire Top 5

AtlasChart: A Maker Faire Top 5

Makers are inventors, creators, engineers, students or grassroot innovators who enjoy play and exploration – but they can also be people who simply want to make the world a better place. And where better to innovate and experiment than in a city? Back in San Francisco in 2006, the Maker Movement arose out of the launch of MAKE: Magazine. Today, hundreds of thousands of people attend Maker Faire, the

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FutureHero Carlo Ratti: The Choral Architect

FutureHero Carlo Ratti: The Choral Architect

As more and more sensors, electronics and data radically transform the way we understand cities, Carlo Ratti makes dazzling interactive environments from the information we create – like our phone calls and the garbage we throw out – to create surprising visualisations of city life. Known as ‘The Choral Architect’, he senses the future of architecture as collaborative; with design intervening at the

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10 years of Fab Lab BCN: 10 projects that change everything

10 years of Fab Lab BCN: 10 projects that change everything

In March 2017, Fab Lab Barcelona celebrated ten years of innovation, participation, digital manufacturing, technology and creation with a big birthday fiesta at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC). Over the last decade, the centre has helped people around the world to locally conceptualise, design, develop and fabricate, with a focus on truly world-changing open and accessible technologies. So

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Video ► Josh Tetrick: Cracking the future of food

Video ► Josh Tetrick: Cracking the future of food

A vegan mayo CEO wants to change the world by making the right thing easy and sexy: “The thing that, if you’re an evil person you still eat it, if you’re a poor person you still eat it, if you’re too busy and you don’t give a damn you still eat it.” And who are we

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► Robbie Schingler: Taking the planet’s pulse

► Robbie Schingler: Taking the planet’s pulse

Rivers move. Fires occur. Cities grow. Forests shrink. Icecaps melt. Ecosystems change. That’s why Robbie Schingler founded Planet, with the mission to make global change visible, accessible and actionable. Five years ago, he began building satellites in a garage. Today he runs the largest constellation of Earth-imaging satellites in the world. It’s early days for the company but the data is

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FutureRead: We Do Things Differently – Mark Stevenson

FutureRead: We Do Things Differently – Mark Stevenson

There is no better time to reboot our world than right now – which means there is no better time to read this book. At the Atlas, we love people who speak ‘human’. Anyone who tells stories that help everyone understand the super-cool stuff making the world better is alright in our book. In his latest slice of

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Mark Stevenson: The world is not over!

Mark Stevenson: The world is not over!

Given his job as a futurologist, a lot of fearful, liberally minded types have been asking Mark Stevenson what he thinks about the future in light of the new US president-elect. The world, some believe, is over. That’s it. The most powerful nation on Earth has chosen a childlike, racist and sexist bigot for its highest office. There

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► Rachel Botsman: Trust me, this changes everything

► Rachel Botsman: Trust me, this changes everything

After Uber and Airbnb, what next for the sharing economy? And what even is the sharing economy? One thing’s for sure, it isn’t just a technology trend. Over to Rachel Botsman: “The sharing economy is an economic system that takes unused assets. It can be anything from spaces, to physical stuff, to capital. It unlocks the value

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Best of the Atlas 2016… so far

Best of the Atlas 2016… so far

This year might have had its dark times, but there are many reasons to get excited. From the Faroe Islands to Patagonia, 2016 has seen the Atlas travel far and wide to bring you projects that democratise the future. Thanks to your suggestions and innovations, over the last six months we’ve explored sex hacks and exposed fast fashion; shone a light on projects bringing

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The future is bright: AtlasChart Top 3

The future is bright: AtlasChart Top 3

Nearly one quarter of the world’s population live in off-grid communities. Without access to electricity, households grind to a halt after sunset. Work is limited, medical care is dangerous to provide and education levels drop where children cannot study in the dark. Right now, many of those households use ‘dirty’ kerosene lamps after the sun has gone down. Known for

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We want your projects!

We want your projects!

Have you spotted cyborg vultures catching illegal fly tippers; heard of a cool way tech is bringing clean water to the billions without it; or discovered a robot that teaches kids to code? At Atlas of the Future we love projects that find new, original or creative solutions to a problem. But to help us truly democratise the future,

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Bitcoin: Be your own bank

Bitcoin: Be your own bank

This week Australian computer scientist and businessman Craig Wright claimed that he is the man behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency of the internet. However, recent publicity brought this into question. Since it became the first decentralised digital currency released as open source software in 2009, the peer-to-peer system has been

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Soft Robotics Top 5: AtlasChart Cecilia Laschi

Soft Robotics Top 5: AtlasChart Cecilia Laschi

Nearly ten years ago, in the Tuscan seaside town of Livorno, a robotics researcher asked her father to catch her an octopus. Cecilia Laschi knew that a different bodyware was needed in robotics. The Professor of Biorobotics at Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies went on to create a rob-octopus as a model for a project researching the new generation

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7 ways to map optimism

7 ways to map optimism

Parag Khanna loves maps. Born in India, his parents took him everywhere on their travels while growing up in the United Arab Emirates, New York and Germany: “Whether finding maps in the glove compartment or flipping through the maps in airline seat pockets, maps always kept me busy,” the bestselling geopolitical author tells us. “They gave me a

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Here comes the sun: Solar Impulse touches down

Here comes the sun: Solar Impulse touches down

On Sunday, Solar Impulse 2 became the first solar powered plane to cross the Pacific. After completing the latest leg and landing in California, the pioneering team is on a mission to make the first around the world solar flight without any fuel. 2016 is a big year for solar. As instability around oil continues and

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WhatsApp: Encryption for the masses?

WhatsApp: Encryption for the masses?

Described by some as the biggest news story of the year, last week WhatsApp added encryption to 1 billion people’s messages. But what is encryption and what does it mean for our everyday privacy? Hailed by Wired as “taking encryption to the masses”, WhatsApp’s decision could be a turning point in access to digital privacy

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Digital preservation: Accessing the past in the future

Digital preservation: Accessing the past in the future

Globally we produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Yet, according to some digital archivists, much of it could be lost forever in as little as ten years – unless we find a way to preserve it. To tackle the problem a ‘preservation ecosystem‘ is being built across the world as a vital tool for

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Africa’s Super Sunday: Power of open data

Africa’s Super Sunday:  Power of open data

Five African nations went to the polls this week in what has been dubbed Africa’s #SuperSunday. Voting on the same day as part of historic presidential and parliamentary elections – Congo, Niger, and Zanzibar’s elections were marred by violence and repression, Benin voted in a new president and Cape Verde swept the ruling party from

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Blockchain: A financial revolution for the ‘unbanked’

Blockchain: A financial revolution for the ‘unbanked’

    Blockchain technology is a real thing. But what is it?  A blockchain is a public ledger of all Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. It is constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a linear, chronological

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VR, kind robots and refugee tech

VR, kind robots and refugee tech

A lot of staring at screens happens at Mobile World Congress – whether tapping away at your own rapidly depreciating handset, ogling smarter ones, deciphering the agenda, or (in my case) simply trying to download the app that gets you a free coffee. ‘Mobile Is Everything’. The clue is in the slogan, but Barcelona’s MWC isn’t just about mobiles. Amid

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The Wild West of battery power: Tesla v Arpa-E

The Wild West of battery power: Tesla v Arpa-E

Last week, Arpa-E Director Dr Ellen Williams announced that her department had developed an energy storage device to rival Elon Musk’s Tesla battery. The research arm of the US Department of Energy (DoE) claims the discovery of game-changing energy storage technologies could open the uptake of clean energy to everyone. In an interview with the Guardian,

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The Big Short: Housing without debt

The Big Short: Housing without debt

This week WikiHouse co-founder and FutureHero Alastair Parvin went to the cinema to see The Big Short (2015), Hollywood’s take on the real life traders who discovered that the housing loans holding up most of the economy were high risk – which led to the collapse of the US housing market and ensuing global recession of 2007-2009. The witty, depressing and

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Houston, we have a postcard

Houston, we have a postcard

Recently NASA has felt more on the radar than usual. With Major Tim Peake – the first official British astronaut to travel to the International Space Station – due to perform scientific experiments on the ISS from 15 December and NASA simultaneously simplifying the Astronaut Selection Program to three criteria (aspiring explorers must have a STEM degree,

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FutureHero Camila Achutti: Brazil’s leading grrrl-geek

FutureHero Camila Achutti: Brazil’s leading grrrl-geek

The tech evangelist behind Mulheres na Computaçao (Women in Computing) on spreading the good news about technology’s power to change the world, educating people out of poverty – and getting more women into IT… Camila Achutti: I grew up listening to my dad talking in COBOL on the phone. For me it was like a secret language

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AtlasChart Mark Stevenson: An optimist’s tour of the future

AtlasChart Mark Stevenson: An optimist’s tour of the future

The author and futurologist transports us from India to Germany through his top 5 Atlas projects – from teeny, tiny 3D printing to the Airbnb of energy. He knows how to do things differently.   1. Open Source Drug Discovery “In New Delhi, OSDD takes the shamefully inefficient (5000:1) and expensive ($2.6 billion per drug) hit rate quoted by big pharma

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FutureHero Samantha Storr: The heroine of virtual reality

FutureHero Samantha Storr: The heroine of virtual reality

Samantha Storr keeps a low profile, but is very much the woman behind top directors Terry Gilliam, Chris Milk, Spike Jonze and Robert Redford. We chatted to the VP and Executive Producer of experience studio Here Be Dragons about the evolution of virtual reality for good, sharing immersive documentaries with world leaders and collaborating with the United Nations.

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AtlasChart Peter Crnokrak: A trip through data

AtlasChart Peter Crnokrak: A trip through data

The Croatian-born London-based computational artist – who works with 3D visualisation systems for a post-data world – takes us on a journey through his top 5 Atlas projects, from the sounds of Detroit to the noises emerging from the Vatican…   1. World Values Survey The WVS is a comprehensive questionnaire administered by a global

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FutureHero Rebecca Hosking: Wild at heart

FutureHero Rebecca Hosking: Wild at heart

The Devon dairy farmer’s daughter – who left the Pacific to come home and start a little revolution with Village Farm – on the way we see food, raise stock and treat our environment… Rebecca Hosking:  “Farming has always been making a mess of things. That started long before the modern era, although the speed of destruction has been

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FutureHero Peter Crnokrak: Data is big and beautiful

FutureHero Peter Crnokrak: Data is big and beautiful

The Croatian-born 3D computational artist, geneticist and ‘data-friendly Elvis’ on the beauty of maths, transmitting emotions as visuals and data selfies. Peter Crnokrak: “I make art from math. I used to be a quantitative geneticist – the study of nature versus nurture – but purely numbers. Now I use numbers to be expressive as a

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Postcard from: The place beyond the pines

Postcard from: The place beyond the pines

In the late 18th century a small group of remarkable friends met at a house outside Birmingham, UK, got blind drunk and applied themselves to the problems of the age. Between the writers, intellectuals, scientists and industrialists they discovered oxygen, harnessed steam power, pioneered the theory of evolution and launched the Industrial Revolution. Then they staggered

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Setting Global Goals… Collectively

Setting Global Goals… Collectively

Wouldn’t it be extraordinary if we could end extreme poverty, hunger, disease, climate change and fight inequality and injustice by 2030? But fixing our world is an epic task. The need for a shared vision has led to a move by world leaders described as “bold” and “lofty”. On 25 September 2015 the UN committed to

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FutureHero Alastair Parvin: Property, plywood and power

FutureHero Alastair Parvin: Property, plywood and power

The lead founder behind the revolutionary WikiHouse – the digitally manufactured building system that anyone can download and make – on solving the housing crisis, YouTube kittens and why he wants to control time… Alastair Parvin: “Pulp’s ‘Mis-Shapes‘ is a song that I love. I studied Architecture at the University of Sheffield, so Jarvis Cocker was

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Postcard from: The London heatwave

Postcard from: The London heatwave

As NASA’s mission passed Pluto last week, I undertook my own flyby of London to meet up with Atlas of the Future co-founder Cathy Runciman and author, entrepreneur, futurist and sometime comedian Mark Stevenson. Setting out to answer ‘What’s next?’, the curious author’s An Optimist’s Tour of the Future rocketed up the book charts in 2011 (and can now be read in

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Who does the future belong to?

In a conversation with a representative of Barcelona’s brand new city government, they call our Atlas into question, arguing that ‘people who work on the future often try to resolve contradictions within the capitalist system, and so they perpetuate inequality.’ The words hit home, and I get the feeling that it’s going to be difficult for us

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AtlasChart Alastair Parvin: The ‘accidental’ design economist’s Top 5

AtlasChart Alastair Parvin: The ‘accidental’ design economist’s Top 5

As co-founder of the open source building system WikiHouse, Alastair Parvin sees democracy as a design blueprint, has never shied away from provocation and likes people who are trying to be useful or doing seriously disruptive stuff. Take a journey through his favourite Atlas projects.   1. Ethereum This super-interesting project is looking at how you can use the

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Hello world: FutureHeroes, virtual reality and the Pope

Hello world: FutureHeroes, virtual reality and the Pope

I’m thrilled to introduce myself as editor-in-chief of Atlas of the Future, the new international Barcelona-London venture from Oriol Soler, Cathy Runciman and Arnau Grinyó. Launching September, this will provide a home and hangout for all those committed to long-term thinking, and take you on a journey through the technology and advances shaping our world in every way

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