When: 5th November 2013
Where: Library of Birmingham, Birmingham, West Midlands
£: Tickets cost £9 – £39 (book online at xhumed.eventbrite.co.uk)
What is it?
How the Industrial Age Forged Our Digital Future will take place in the Studio Theatre at the new Library of Birmingham on 5th November. This will be no ordinary conference event; there will be 12 speakers, 6 live and 6 dead. xHumed® features the greatest minds focused on the world’s biggest problems, with one crucial twist… the keynote speakers are long since dead.
The Dead Good Speakers have been dead for centuries yet the content will be absolutely focussed on 21st Century issues while making a strong statement about the importance of drawing from the vast wealth of knowledge and ideas to be found in archives. It will connect both the past and the future of knowledge.
Part theatre, part conference and part technology expo, xHumed® will quite literally bring Dead Good Thinking® back to life. The Dead Good Speakers will be John Baskerville, Matthew Boulton, Geraldine Cadbury, Andrew Carnegie, Erasmus Darwin, Joseph Priestley (‘Gunpowder Joe’), Mary Shelley and H.G. Wells.
These speakers will be joined by premium alive and kicking and almost live speakers from the cultural, scientific and digital communities. These speakers will showcase the contemporary relevance and highlight the connections between the industrial and the digital revolutions. Below is the line-up for the event:
Reclaiming Your Identity
Thrice buried printer, typographer and outspoken atheist, John Baskerville, will ask who owns our identities. Put on show almost 250 years after his death, Baskerville is in a unique position to ask, who owns the rights to our bodies, our archives and our very own selves? Guest companion speaker, Dr John Troyer from the Centre for Death & Society at the University of Bath adds his own contemporary spin and explores the technology of death and the data rights of the dead.
The Maker Community and 3D Printing
xHumed entrepreneur and innovator, Matthew Boulton, and Nick Allen of 3DPRINTUK – who is very much alive – join together to discuss commercialisation of mass manufacturing and the technologies that make it happen.
Social Inclusion and the Digital Divide
Social reformer and cofounder of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, Geraldine Cadbury, addresses one of the most vital issues of her day and ours in this live and most playful of all the xHumations. Geraldine will be joined by Helen Milner, CEO of the Tinder Foundation, picking up the baton of digital social inclusion for contemporary communities.
Kickstarting the Kickstarters
In the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Carnegie Trust, hear from the man himself, Andrew Carnegie, via the genius of Thomas Edison. A multibillionaire by modern standards, Carnegie devoted his life to philanthropy, with a particular passion for public libraries – funding over 3,000 throughout the world – and education, donating £50,000 to help set up the University of Birmingham in 1899. Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth is a rallying call to kickstart the kickstarters.
Using Your Voice: Own It or Clone It
Philosopher, physiologist, slave trade abolitionist, inventor, poet and – as grandfather to Charles – the origin of The Origin of the Species. Erasmus Darwin takes to the stage via the medium of one of his own inventions – The Speaking Machine. Darwin will be joined on-stage by Dr Christophe Veaux from the Centre for Speech Technology Research and the Voicebank Project.
Eye of the Twitterstorm
Theologian, dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher, chemist, educator and political theorist, Joseph Priestley published over 150 works, many of them both controversial and inflammatory. Credited with discovering oxygen, Priestley believed strongly in the free and open exchange of ideas, even when this meant going against the grain of popular thoughts and beliefs, inciting controversy, protests and even riots in his name. Only fitting, then, that “Gunpowder” Joe Priestley should be xHumed via the medium of Twitter. Follow him now @JPriestley1733 and enter the eye of his Twitterstorm to find out more about this experiment at the Birmingham event … with a little help from Jon Bounds.
Ethics and Empathy in Innovation
Whether it’s xHuming from body parts and brains or from data, DNA, personality profiles and cloudstored media, the real question of whether or not we can bring back the dead is not “can we?” but “should we?” As author of Frankenstein – not to mention volumes of empathetic critiques of “Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men” – Mary Shelley is in a unique position to lead us through this minefield. Mary will be joined by Jon Turney, author of Rough Guide to the Future and Frankenstein’s Footsteps.
Shaping The Future
Writer, controversial social commentator and the “father of science fiction”, H.G. Wells shares his thoughts on the value of foresight, the “World Brain” (aka the internet), and the immense social value of “The Open Conspiracy”. An ardent believer in sharing knowledge for the common good and a new kind of open-sourced government, Wells is xHumed® to give new insight in his own 80 year old words on contemporary digital society.
More info: xhumed.co.uk