From Pat: "It's interesting that I've been asked to be a 'curator' in recent years. It feels like a combination of many of my career pursuits - commissioning like an editor, creating like an artist, project-managing like an entrepreneur, envisioning like a futurist.
"In a world where content, perspectives and activities are increasing exponentially, I can understand why clients want events and structures that can sift through, harness and make sense of this unstoppable flow. That's what I feel curation is about. It's both fun and important."
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In 2012, Pat was invited by Nesta's CEO Geoff Mulgan to devise an event which was explicitly intended to dispel the recessionary blues, celebrating possible new worlds amidst the post-Crash environment. Thus came FutureFest - a "Glastonbury of the Future", in Pat's words, which is now heading for its fourth event since 2013 (due 6/7 July, 2018, at London's Tobacco Docks).
Under his curation, FutureFest has featured speakers like Edward Snowden, Brian Eno, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Mason, Jon Ronson, Lily Cole, the makers of Google's Deep Mind, among many others. FutureFest has also hosted some "world-firsts" - the first ever neuro-driven thrill-ride, Neurosis, and the first ever Cybathlon (the "Bionic Olympics" event). See Pat promote the 2017 event below on London Live:
e-Luminate, Cambridge's light festival, asked Pat to curate a day and evening event for February 2017, titled "Play of Light". He brought together an amazing collection of writers, performers, artists, academics, gamers and scientists.
In the day session, speakers included Microsoft’s Helene Steiner, reporting from the boundary between technology and nature; artist Tine Bech showing the profound and playful way she uses light in her practice; and Cambridge educationalists Pam Burnard and David Whitebread, laying out their latest findings on the essential power of play.
The evening session had author Nick Hornby, writer of Fever Pitch and About A Boy, talking about his playfully creative processes; conceptual magician Stuart Nolan; and science-comedian Robin Ince (who explored, at great length, all versions and variables of the light-bulb joke!)
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In 2010, JP Rangaswami - then Chief Scientist at BT - asked Pat, in collaboration with the innovation consultants Tinker London, to host and curate two days of exploration and creativity with BT's Global Leadership group. The events took place at the company's historical engineering headquarters Adastral Park (where the first silicon chip was manufactured).
Pat gathered together a stimulating range of speakers around the theme of "The Power of the Voice" - including Adrian Hon on voice-operated mobile gaming, Alison Black on social media research, and Cereproc on voice simulation.
With Alex Deschamps-Sonsino of Tinker, Pat led the room in stages of design iteration - see this slide collection for the general hubbub of invention and serious fun.
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