Brave marketing pros discuss the future

Brave marketing pros discuss the future

25 May 2015

by Terri Paddock

We’re all excited about the immediate future – what with the upcoming Touring Consortium adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, how could we not be – but what about the future of the next 5, 10, 20, 40 years? Futurist David Wood shared his predictions with Theatre Cloud and marketing execs from Touring Consortium venue partners.

Marketing executives from Touring Consortium venue partners across Britain gathered for lunch in London last week to talk about Brave New World, meet adapter Dawn King, and discuss just how timely this brand-new staging of Huxley’s classic 1931 novel is.

Our guest speaker at the lunch was technology ‘catalyst’, ‘futurist’ and author David Wood (right). What is the task of a futurist? As Wood explains, futurists “distil compelling visions of the future of technology, business, and society – visions that provide the energy and inspiration for deeply productive open collaboration”.

Wood is chair of the London Futurists, a forum of thinkers that get together for regular meetings and conferences to analyse and debate the “radical scenarios” and “unprecedented change” on our near horizon.

According to the London Futurists, over the next three to 40 years (and beyond), humanity is facing:

  • Accelerating changes in numerous fields of technology
  • Deepening impacts of technologies into many new areas of life and society
  • Stresses and strains of rapidly increasing resource usage
  • Untested ideas and fads, often with little substance, spreading like wildfire
  • Swiftly changing lifestyles, with unforeseeable consequences; and
  • Gridlock in the mechanisms for international collaboration, being challenged by intense pent-up pressures.

Speaking at the Touring Consortium lunch, Wood was full of praise for King’s take on Huxley’s dystopian tale – everyone at the lunch received a copy of the script (I took mine home and devoured it in one sitting) – and went on to explain just how prescient Huxley was with some of his own visions. Amongst other things, the novelist predicted designer babies, cloning, in vitro fertilisation, muzac and anti-ageing procedures.

Where Huxley was way off, said Wood, was in the timing. Brave New World is set more than 500 years in the future. But with today’s pace of change in the four key forms of technological progress – nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognotechnology – aspects of our world and society become unrecognisably altered much more quickly. In a matter of months in some cases, let alone years, decades and centuries.

Wood, for one, is optimistic about what the future brings – though, others, including playwright Dawn King, weren’t so enamoured with many of the predictions he outlined. Either way, the future is coming up fast, and there will be plenty of opportunities to talk about it around Brave New World and our planned Creative Projects.

 

 

 

Brave New World premieres at Royal and Derngate, Northampton, where it runs from 4 to 26 September 2015. It then tours to Edinburgh, Blackpool, Nottingham, Cheltenham, Wolverhampton, Darlington and Bradford where it concludes on 5 December.