Future Innovators Summit: Innovative thinkers wanted!

For the fifth time, the Future Innovators Summit at the Ars Electronica Festival is looking for the ultimate creative questions. The Open Call by Hakuhodo and Ars Electronica is aimed at artists, designers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, social activists and philosophers. Hideaki Ogawa reports on what awaits the participants this September in Linz. The deadline for entries is July 25, 2018!

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We meet Hideaki Ogawa at POSTCITY, an abandoned post distribution center in the heart of Linz. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Ars Electronica Festival, which will take place here from September 6 to 10, 2018, the Future Innovators will gather to reflect on this year’s festival theme “ERROR – the Art of Imperfection” to find innovative questions.

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What exactly is the Future Innovators Summit?

Hideaki Ogawa: The Future Innovators Summit (FIS) is a creative think tank and do thank held in the Ars Electronica Festival every year. Actually the FIS is an ongoing collaboration between the Japanese advertising agency Hakuhodo and Ars Electronica. The participants, whether they are artists, designers, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, social activists or philosophers, are trying to create creative questions, which means agendas for tomorrow.

So this is about finding the right questions?

Hideaki Ogawa: During the Ars Electronica Festival the future innovators are gathering from all over the world. The unique point of the FIS is to extract creative questions. Questions are much more important rather than simple solutions that are the answers to them. We are in the technical revolution now and we are surrounded by many issues. It’s really important to talk about the right questions first.

What topics are on the FIS agenda this year?

Hideaki Ogawa: The Future Innovators Summit here in Linz is synchronized with the festival topic. Last year it was Artificial Intelligence but this year we will think about “ERROR – the Art of Imperfection”. There are three topics: Future Humanity is one of the core topics and we will be talking about how do errors make us more human? And also how do we decide whether it is an error or not? Who is deciding? You, AI, politicians, who? And how? I think this is a pretty important discussion especially in the age of artificial intelligence. How can we become more human? This question was created two years ago during the FIS and in this way the FIS is constantly asking philosophical questions created in the past years. The second topic will be Future Dignity – dignity is a very essential topic, too. How can art create dignity in the digital society? This is one initial question. What would be the art of imperfection in the age of AI and robot? And what can only be created by humans? What’s the meaning of dignity in the 21st century? The agendas that will be discussed in the third group will be about Future Sharing. Let’s look on the society and discuss how open source and open community should be working in future. What’s going to be happening under the umbrella of sharing? We needed to check again what is the meaning of the essence of sharing? What errors could occur in shared society? What would humans need to share? And how would it be realized? How could we layout tolerance of errors in society? By thinking about these questions we could really deepen the idea of the festival theme “ERROR – the Art of Imperfection” this year.

Credit: Tom Mesic

Recently, a Future Innovators Summit was also held in Tokyo…

Hideaki Ogawa: Indeed, actually the FIS is entering into its 5th year’s anniversary and we are very proud that we’ve exported the event now to Tokyo. The participants of the FIS Tokyo in May 2018 were involved in three topics: death-life, tech-skin and public-private. All questions were related to issues happening in Tokyo. So the innovators from all over the world discussed the questions and actions towards Tokyo and the town transformed to a laboratory for our future. In this way we have two instruments: In this way FIS is working as local and global do-thank to create new questions and agendas for tomorrow.

As at every Future Innovators Summit, mentors will be present…

Hideaki Ogawa: Almost 100 innovators and mentors were joining the FIS within the last five years. This is quite great. We had really wonderful mentors and previous FIS editions have shown that the mentorship element was extremely valuable and all participating mentors were inspirational initiators for the innovators – and vice versa. In this dynamic environment, innovators and young professionals will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and ask leading experts for advice. The experts will be participating for co-creating some philosophical point of views.

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How will the Future Innovators Summit take place in September?

Hideaki Ogawa: On September 6, 2018, there will be the Kick Off Day here in Linz, Austria, with inspirational opening lectures. It’s the time when all innovators meet each other for first talks and presentations. The second day will be the inspiration day at the locations of the Ars Electronica Festival. There are many inspirational conferences and talks as well as many inspirational art pieces in the exhibtions. The innovators can observe many inspirational energies – to unlock the energy is the concept of this day. On Saturday there will be the intensive workshop day supported by mentors – a full-day workshop to extract the creative questions which are essential, catalysing and challenging. On the last day of the Future Innovators Summit, September 9, 2018, we will have the final presentations and a networking day. This is the time when the creative questions will be announced to the public.

Don’t forget: You have until July 25, 2018 to apply for the Future Innovators Summit. You will find more information on ars.electronica.art/error/fis. As a visitor to the Ars Electronica Festival 2018, you will have the opportunity to follow the discussions of the various groups taking place at the heart of the festival!