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From Now: A Conference About Humanity with Technology

DesignCultureMind x The Holon Group

Saturday, 7 June 2014 from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM (PDT)

From Now: A Conference About Humanity with Technology

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
From Now Conference: Full Day Ticket (Early Bird)
These will sell out quickly so grab one while you can. Non-refundable but transferable.
Ended $85.00 $5.71
From Now Conference: Full Day Ticket
Grab yourself and ticket and a couple for your friends too. Non-refundable but transferable.
Ended $90.00 $6.00

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Event Details

From Now: Humanity with Technology

This is a not-for-profit, grass roots conference for people to come together, learn and discuss how technology is integrating into and changing our societies and culture.

Topics may include smart cities, wearables, the internet of things, social media, the quantified self, crypto-currencies, quantum computing, big data, grass roots tech movements, the maker movement, apps, mobile, robotics, cyborg anthropology, philosophy, bionics, surveillance, modern business dynamics, user experience, the impact today and the future of where our tech-led world is taking us.



08:30 - 09:00: Registration and breakfast
09:00 - 09:15: Introduction to the day (Nikolas Badminton)
09:15 - 10:15: Nora Young Keynote
10:15 - 10:30: Break
10:30 - 11:00: Michael Fergusson
11:00 - 11:15: Break
11:15 - 11:45: Nikolas Badminton


12:00 - 13:00: Lunch


13:00 - 13:15: Jonathan Tallant
13:15 - 14:15: Amal Graafstra
14:15 - 15:15: Toby Barnes Keynote
15:15 - 15:30: Break and reconfiguration


15:30 - 16:00: Unconference Session 1
16:00 - 16:30: Unconference Session 2
16:30: Wrap up, put chairs away, libations and discourse


We have amazing speakers coming from near and far:

  • KEYNOTE: Nora Young, Journalist and host of CBC Spark
    • 'Design for the Internet of Things: An Urban Utopian Fantasy'
    • Daily life in the city means dealing with the legacy of past decisions: old transit, historical urban planning, and earlier visions of what the city could be. How often do we get the opportunity to imagine our cities' futures? The next five years will shape what our future digital cities will look like. What do we want our digitized urban spaces to be like? What values will they express? And what will it look like when the Internet of Things is also us? Nora looks at bleeding edge design plans for a democratic, playful, Internet of Things-ified city. 

  • KEYNOTE: Toby Barnes, Product Strategy Director at AKQA
    • 'Emotional Interface Design'
    • As we start to build products and services that understand context and develop software to work for us every second of the day, there is a growing opportunity to look not just at the digital UI, or the physical interface, but also how we expect to interact with software at a subtle personal level. Why do we design one user interface that is designed to work for everyone when we are all such different people. Once our software is talking to us, waking us from our sleep, even interrupting our meals, how will we react? Wearable extensions of the network, and connected devices are changing our lives at an incredible rate but are they ready to talk to us, and more importantly are we ready to listen? 
    • Toby will look at a number of digital relationships from Tony Stark’s Jarvis, to Theodore Twombly’s Her, from Tom Baker and Douglas Adams to Siri. Is there an uncanny valley for UX? Getting one interface agreed upon is hard enough, what will happen when the permutations are infinite?

  • Amal Graafstra, CEO at DangerousThings.comand bio-hacker
    • 'Grinders: Biohacking for society'
    • Grinders are the garage tinkerers of the evolving biohacker landscape, installing body mods and upgrades that are definitely novel, yet simple. However, the impact these simple upgrades have fundamentally challenge perceptions of self, reality, and their places in it. Let's get meta and talk about the implants grinders are installing and their effects on personal psychology and society in general.

  • Michael Fergusson, CEO at Ayogo, a company that uses game psychology for gamifying healthcare
    • 'Narrative, Mastery, and Social Connection: How playfulness can transform healthcare.'
    • Why is it we accept the idea that because healthcare is important, it should be dreary, lonely, and boring?  Conventional thinking assumes that hospitals and doctors' offices are where healthcare decisions are made, but common sense tells us that the most important healthcare decisions are made where we really live: sitting at our desks, standing at the fridge, or in the supermarket. In those places (i.e. the real world), it matters whether things are beautiful, engaging and emotionally fulfilling. Dreary loses; inspiring, wins. Let's talk about how being more playful can help health care become more efficient, more effective, and more relevant.

  • Nikolas Badminton, Principal at DesignCultureMind, Curator of Cyborg Camp YVR and From Now and Speaker on the near future
    • 'Sex and the Singularity'
    • A talk that looks at how we have come to a point when technology is inevitably changing the way we have and consume sex. It also looks at how things will (and must) change as we head to 2045 when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence, radically changing civilization, and perhaps human nature.

  • Jonathan TallantAssociate Professor and Head of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham. 
    • 'Time: Past, present and future'
    • Jonathan will talk about philosophical models of time: their past, present and future, and how these models shape the way we represent the world around us.
    • He's the current president of the Philosophy of Time Society and an Associate Member of the Centre for Time, based in Milan, and will bring an amazing perspective.

We want you, your colleagues, and your friends to come with curiosity and open minds. We want them to listen, question and participate. The conference is not just the speakers and free beer at the end of the day. It’s a collection of thoughts, discussions, realizations, aha moments and memories formed into an idea of where we are headed in the world, both in the near (3 to 5 years) and far futures (10 yrs plus).

You'll have a chance to participate and the end of the day format will be a number of sessions that you will be able to lead and be an active part of. Very exciting!

What you get?

The day ticket includes access to the full line-up of speaker sessions plus all panels and unconference sessions, breakfast (inc. tea and coffee), lunch and afternoon refreshments.

What happens to any funds left over?

After we've paid all the bills we take the residual income from the conference and donate it to a non-profit of choice. Last year we ran Cyborg Camp YVR and donated to The fabulous EATArt Foundation. We also donated money to Creative Mornings Vancouver for loaning us the use of their camera equipment to record everything. We're also doing that again this year.

We'd love to hear any suggestions from you of who we donate to this year.


Email us if you want to find out about sponsoring the event.


This event is produced by DesignCultureMind x The Holon Group

Have questions about From Now: A Conference About Humanity with Technology? Contact DesignCultureMind x The Holon Group

When & Where

257 East 7th Ave
Vancouver, BC V5T 0B8

Saturday, 7 June 2014 from 8:30 AM to 6:30 PM (PDT)

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DesignCultureMind x The Holon Group

DesignCultureMind is an Innovation and Product Strategy agency. We care how culture, community, cities, countries and the world is impacted with every interaction.

The Holon Group is an international think tank, based in London, Vancouver, Barcelona and Berlin.

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