Sex, science, and smart furniture: From Now conference coming to Vancouver

Networked sex and bugs for dinner. The future is going to be a very strange place.

Clockwise from top left: Nora Young, Michael Fergusson, Toby Barnes, Nik Badminton are among the presenters at From Now.

Humanity and technology: BFFs whether we like it or not

Finally Vancouver’s collective brain is getting leveraged. TED swung by last month, and many of us got to watch it on giant TVs. The Fuel conference is approaching as well.

Make some more room on your calendar. "From Now: Humanity with Technology" takes place Saturday, June 7.

From Now will take place in Vancouver, but its focus extends well beyond the boundaries of the lower mainland; also turning back around and focusing on the heart, the mind, and... would it be reaching too far to suggest the soul?

The future is weird

From Now is a not-for-profit conference for people to come together, learn and discuss how technology is integrating into and changing our societies and culture. Topics will include smart cities, wearable computing, the internet of things, social media (without awful songs), crypto-currencies, quantum computing, big data, grassroots tech movements, robotics, cyborg anthropology, philosophy, surveillance, modern business dynamics, user experience, and the future of where our tech-led world is taking us.

Joaquin Phoenis in 'Her'

The one-day conference is produced by DesignCultureMind, a Vancouver-based innovation consultancy for the software and advertising industry; and The Holon Group, an publicity-shy international think tank.

Last year these folks produced Cyborg Camp, which featured Amber Case ("We are all cyborgs now") and Ben Bashford ("All is full of love"), as well as Vancouver-trained surgeon Maja Segedi ("Robots, surgery, and society").

DCM and Holon have teamed up again, to get Vancouver thinking and talking about how our lives are getting shaped by the things we’ve created.

Your fridge just called

Nora Young, author of “The Virtual Self” and host of CBC’s “Spark”, will be unveiling a brand-new presentation: “Design for the Internet of Things: An Urban Utopian Fantasy”. The Internet of Things is just what you imagine it to be: your car talking to your house talking to your fridge talking to your smartphone.

Nora Young
Nora Young suggests you switch it off and switch it back on again.

Young specializes in demystifying the technology that shapes our daily lives. Just for us, Young will explore at how urban legacies will collide and blend with newly-emerging smart networks, looking at bleeding edge design plans for a democratic, playful, Internet of Things-ified city.

This may sting a bit

The From Now conference won’t just be all talk. DesignCultureMind principal Nikolas Badminton will be getting implanted with an RFID chip live onstage.

I asked what will be on the chip. “Dunno yet,” Badminton said, “I might put some art in it.”

When not performing minor surgery on Badminton, biohacking pioneer and Dangerous Things CEO Amal Graafstra will talking about the psychological and social effects of storing digital information in our bodies.

Amal Graafstra
Amal Graafstra: Nothing up his sleeves

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be

Taking Salt-N-Pepa's timeless advice to heart, Badminton’s own talk will be about sex and the singularity: how we have come to a point when technology is inevitably changing the way we have and consume sex.

Also speaking will be Michael Fergusson (Ayogo CEO, former fighter pilot) and Toby Barnes (product strategy director who advises the City of London).

No, I mean the future is really, really weird

In order to get a ticket to From Now, you’ll have to predict something about the future. Dig deep.

Now dig deeper.

From Now will take place at Make's warehouse space, located on 7th and Main in Vancouver.

[Disclosure: While not involved in From Now, I'm a participant in ProductYVR, which is produced by The Holon Group.]

Read More:

More in News

Views from a refugee camp: Who gets into heaven?

I have just returned to Vancouver Island from Greek refugee camps where I met a Yazidi man named Jason who told me about his escape from ISIS in Iraq.   His story begins on a desert road where a...

Vancouver's bicycle sharing grows as 15 new stations installed

Mobi bicycle by Shaw Go in Vancouver. Photo by Christopher Porter from Flickr Creative Commons

International Women's Day Concert celebrates female musicians who turned tragedy into triumph

Every March 8, on International Women's Day, we hear about the achievements of brilliant, talented women around the world. But how often do we learn about the physical and mental disabilities or...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.