This year’s FutureEverything festival, centred around Manchester in the UK, takes an innovative step into the unknown this year as it hooks up with cities around the world to create a globally networked event – GloNet.
Previously know as FutureSonic and an important fixture in Manchester’s arts and technology calendar, the FutureEverything event steps beyond the single city model this year. In fact, it is taking place right now at venues around the globe.
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Using technologies designed specifically for the event, the FutureEverything team has been working with the British Council, Distance Lab and Lancaster University to create real-time links with Sendai – Japan, Istanbul – Turkey, Sao Paulo – Brazil and Vancouver, Canada.
Drop into any of the venues to be immediately connected to presentations, discussions and chatter from across the GloNet network.
How? Keynote presenters are situated across all of the main locations and connected to the audience for live Q&A sessions. Minimal latency or delay in the network connections means that these international Q&A sessions actually work really well.
The team has also installed GloNet talking boxes in each venue. These ‘always on’ crates of tech include webcams and screens and are situated informal breakout areas to encourage spontaneous social interaction with delegates across the globe.
Event organiser Drew Hemment told The Next Web of his nerves during the setup and test of the GloNet network ahead of the conference and his delight at the fact the all those things that could go wrong, actually weren’t doing!
Louise Wright of the British Council, an important stakeholder in GloNet, believes in connecting people with ideas and sees GloNet as doing just that. The project is one of several British Council-funded ventures targeted at innovators and entrepreneurs looking learn from and build on cultural/tech initatives.
Elsewhere at FutureEverything, Dame Wendy Hall of the University of Southampton will be delivering a keynote address on The Emerging Science of The Web and Why it is Important… yes she really is going to be taking a long hard look at ‘the next web‘!