Thinking Futures shares and celebrates the research undertaken in the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Law.
The programme comprises a wide variety of events - from debates and discussions to workshop and exhibitions - all for the general public, schools, policy-makers and third sector organisations.
The 2018 programme
Jon Fox – The Future of the City – Transport
When? Tuesday 6th November, 10:00am-3:00pm
Where? Lawrence Weston to Temple Meads
Who? Ambition Lawrence Weston
What? A group from Ambition Lawrence Weston, who strive to make Lawrence Weston a good place to work and live, will travel a familiar, but slow, bus route from the outskirts of Bristol to Temple Meads train station. Along the way, Professor Jon Fox and a group of student researchers will explore how public transport impacts on our lives.
Lawrence Weston is of particular interest given it takes almost as long to travel to Bristol Temple Meads Station using public transport as it does from Reading. The research has grown out of a series of workshops and collaborations with community organisations, local residents and neighbourhood groups about the everyday practices and pitfalls of local integration. These discussions have focused on the importance of mobility – not just getting around the city, but getting in touch with the city and the people in it. Some people are cut off from parts of the city, and others might avoid parts of the city that make them uncomfortable. An integrated city is one where everyone can come together wherever and whenever they wish.
Harry Pitts – The Future of Work – Automation
When? Thursday8th November, 11:00am- 2:00pm and various times in Avonmouth Docks over the week.; Exhibition at M Shed week commencing 12th November
Where? Avonmouth Community Centre, 257 Avonmouth Road, Bristol and M Shed, Bristol
Who? Avonmouth resident’s group and dock workers
What? In these two interconnected events, we will explore the future of industrial work in Avonmouth. Dr Harry Pitts will interview retired dock workers and local residents in Avonmouth to understand their experience of work, and reflect with them on the changing nature of work in the context of automation.
Following this, there will be an exhibition at the M-Shed which will display photographic portraits and accompanying stories of contemporary dock workers in Avonmouth. We will explore how their work has changed over time, and is set to change further as a result of accelerating technological advances in automation. We will also examine the role that unions will play in these changes.
David Hunt – The Future of Food
When? Monday 5th November
Where? City of Bristol College
Who? Selection of students at City of Bristol College
What? Would you eat insects? If not, why not? Insect-based foods are nutritious, and a much more environmentally friendly source of protein than meat. However, many people feel instinctively disgusted at the thought of eating an earwig, munching a maggot or crunching a caterpillar.
The city is a foodie-lover’s paradise – rated by the Financial Times and the Guardian as having ‘one of the most exciting food scenes in the UK’, but is it possible that insects may one day feature largely on the menus of Bristol.
This interactive workshop, run by psychologist Dr David Hunt, will explore the attitudes of some of Bristol’s finest chefs to insect-based foods. Working with Bristol Green Capital Partnership, Dr Hunt will encourage food producers and chefs in the city to think about the future of food. In this workshop chefs, students and researchers will sample insect-based foods and imagine together how insects might feature in the future of Bristol's food landscape.
Malu Villela-Garcia – The Future of Community Spaces
When? Saturday 10th November,10am-3:00pm
Where? Campus Pool, Bishopsworth, BS13 7RW
Who? Open to the public
What? Austerity budgets have forced many local authorities to look again at how local taxation is spent. One of the ways savings have been made in Bristol is through the decommissioning and transfer of community assets into community hands. Social enterprises such as Campus Skate Park in Bishopsworth (a former public swimming pool) have sought to take on the losses of local services and turn them around – through community effort – into venues that serve the needs of local people.
In a series skate-focussed workshops, Dr Malu Villela-Garcia will explore how community buildings and resources are used in Bristol, and the experience of community asset transfer from the perspectives of the communities involved. The workshops will include discussions about what lessons have been learned, and how these can be built upon in the future.
Maria Fannin – The Future of Blood
When? 5th November
Who? Local art group
What? This creative workshop will explore the perceptions of synthetic blood products and blood disorders. At the moment, patients with blood disorders need regular blood transfusions, which require sufficient donations from people with compatible blood types. Synthetic blood and synthetic blood products could change the relationship that people with blood disorders have with their illness, and with the institutional structures that support them.
This creative workshop for young people will explore perceptions and experiences of blood disorders through creative practice. The young people will work alongside human geographer Maria Fannin and artist Katy Connor. The aim of the day is to explore the culture and practices surrounding blood transfusion from a creative, cultural and technical perspective.
Programmes from previous Thinking Futures festivals: