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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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An AtlasChart of the arts: Common Wealth’s Top 3

An AtlasChart of the arts: Common Wealth’s Top 3

“To make social change, we need to be moved – we need to feel something before we take action” – Evie Manning When does art become activism? When it’s a rule breaking, politically charged, radically inclusive theatre company like Common Wealth Theatre, that makes powerful art accessible to all. Rhiannon White and Evie Manning are the

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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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AtlasChart: 5 easy ways to be a changemaker

AtlasChart: 5 easy ways to be a changemaker

Did you know you can change the world in your spare time, in your gym kit, your pyjamas, or simply by geeking out online? If you want to make a difference, it’s easy to fit being a changemaker into a life that may already feel frantic and busy. We love a feelgood project that helps

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An African AtlasChart: 4 magical citizen initiatives

An African AtlasChart: 4 magical citizen initiatives

“Do you believe in magic?” These innovators do. In West Africa, a ‘grigri’ is a mystical amulet that protects. In Spain, ‘Grigri Pixel‘ is an international workshop that we were lucky enough to attend. Canoes made from plastic bottles, the world’s first e-waste printer, a fruitful laboratory, and art for all; four creators were brought together in Madrid

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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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Surf, skate, liberate: Skateistan’s AtlasChart Top 5

Surf, skate, liberate: Skateistan’s AtlasChart Top 5

Still one of the most popular projects on the Atlas (it fills us – and so many others – with joy), Skateistan started as an Afghan NGO providing skateboarding and education for youth empowerment. Flip forward a decade and it’s a worldwide phenomenon – using the power of skate to liberate in Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa. Skateboarding is

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AtlasChart Top 5: Before the flood

AtlasChart Top 5: Before the flood

Climate change is real. Musk knows it, the Pope knows it and Obama knows it. With their new film, ‘Before the Flood’, Scorsese and DiCaprio want us all to acknowledge it. Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases raises the planet’s temperature. Fact. These projects all help, because (as Leo puts it): “The science is clear, the

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AtlasChart: The plastic fiver

AtlasChart: The plastic fiver

While the Internet gets excited about the fact that the new polymer five pound note plays vinyl, we’re celebrating five projects that help with our planet’s plastic problem. The synthetic material is used everywhere, but it also ends up everywhere – mostly in landfills. (For the record, you can also play a record with your fingernail or

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AtlasChart Phil Dobson: Top 5 brain hacks

AtlasChart Phil Dobson: Top 5 brain hacks

As the founder of BrainWorkshops and author of The Brain Book, Phil Dobson helps you use your grey matter better – turning insights from neuroscience, psychology and mindfulness into simple techniques.  From brain-zapping to nootropics, take a trip through his top 5 Atlas projects.   1. The Brain Stimulator “If you’ve seen the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, the idea of

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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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Data to fight discrimination: AtlasChart Top 5

Data to fight discrimination: AtlasChart Top 5

Every day, sites like Netflix, Spotify and Flipboard tap into the power of data to provide recommendations that make life ‘easier’, or at least more entertaining. However, in many important areas such as global health, and in developing countries, basic information doesn’t exist. Often,  even where it does, it is considered biased or sexist. That’s why Melinda

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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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AtlasChart Helena Puig Larrauri: A peacetech Top 5

AtlasChart Helena Puig Larrauri: A peacetech Top 5

Spreading a message of “You can do it!” all around the world, peacebuilding practitioner Helena Puig Larrauri facilitates projects through technology – from filmmaking on the Sudan-South Sudan border to polling think tanks in Somalia. When it comes to tech, the Valenciana doesn’t want people to be scared to be amateurs: “Face the future. Believe you can do it and get to it.” Over a

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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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AtlasChart Rebecca Hosking: She’s no sheep

AtlasChart Rebecca Hosking: She’s no sheep

The village farmer and holistic grazer’s top 5 ways to regenerate agriculture – from mushroom-related technologies to the Noah’s Ark of seeds near the North Pole.   1. Soil Food Web Dr Elaine Ingham is leading the way in teaching farmers across the world in understanding their soil biology. This enables farmers to increase their productivity

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AtlasChart Samantha Storr: Seeing the world in 360°

AtlasChart Samantha Storr: Seeing the world in 360°

The virtual reality storyteller and documentary producer, who has realised the visions of Terry Gilliam, Chris Milk, Spike Jonze, Robert Redford and Beastie Boys, takes us on a 360-degree trip through her top 5 Atlas projects – from the holo world to the reality of dog poop.   1. Microsoft HoloLens “Imagine a virtual world

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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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AtlasChart Camila Achutti: From São Paulo to Buenos Aires in 5 tech steps

AtlasChart Camila Achutti: From São Paulo to Buenos Aires in 5 tech steps

The rising tech star and software engineer behind Mulheres na Computação (Women in Computing) maps her top 5 Atlas projects – from the favelas in Brazil to the streets of Argentina.   1. Chega de fiu fiu Sexual harassment in public spaces is pretty common here in Brazil. This is a nationwide campaign against it. Lots of people think

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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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💥 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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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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FutureLeague Hip Hop Caucus: Keeping politics real

FutureLeague Hip Hop Caucus: Keeping politics real

Hip Hop Caucus are using the power of hip hop culture to activate people across America and around the world to be an active part of the civic process and make change happen in their own communities. Hip hop, the Caucus don’t stop – not until everyone feels able to take action and have their voice

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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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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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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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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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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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Who made my clothes? Fashion Revolution Top 5

Who made my clothes? Fashion Revolution Top 5

Do you know who made your clothes? Who grew the cotton, spun the threads, dyed the fabric and sewed them together? Two fashion entrepreneurs are making sure you ask those very questions by bringing the hidden people behind what we wear into the public eye – from the cotton farmer, seamstress, knitter and weaver to the factory

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► Ready Player One: the future is already here

► Ready Player One: the future is already here

In the 1980s, sci-fi prophet William Gibson coined the term ‘cyberspace’ to describe a consensual hallucination created by millions of computers that we can jack into. By 2003 the visionary had warned: “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” Even though we are optimists at the Atlas, we’re also big fans of dystopian

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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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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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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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14 ways you can make 2017 better

14 ways you can make 2017 better

As the world turns upside down and unhinged becomes the new normal, we want to provide some positivity from within the deep divisions of 2016. Take comfort. The world is better than you think. From Silicon Valley to Bulambuli Valley, social entrepreneurs are tackling the world’s most difficult problems. Technology is being democratised, access to education is causing global

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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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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 Internet was like a movie trailer. It tells you a lot about the main feature.”

“The Internet was like a movie trailer. It tells you a lot about the main feature.”

The Atlas of the Future team is humbled by the turnout of over 160 people who fought their way through Barcelona’s unusually rainy streets for last week’s AtlasEvent with Mark Stevenson – ‘The future and what to do about it‘. Catalonia’s leading newspaper La Vanguardia was also in attendance and chatted with the futurologist, who knows that the only way we can

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AtlasEvent: Mark Stevenson – The future and what to do about it

AtlasEvent: Mark Stevenson – The future and what to do about it

We’re proud to invite you to the first Atlas of the Future event. On Tuesday 10 May, FutureHero Mark Stevenson will take us on an optimistic tour of the future and the challenges humankind faces – at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) in Barcelona. (Sceptics and pessimists, you’re invited too.) The pragmatic optimist

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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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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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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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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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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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