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The next best thing about living in the future is to talk about it today.
For about 250 of us, the discussion of the future and its possibilities were enough to keep us inside on a beautiful Saturday. The From Now conference took place on June 7 inside East Vancouver’s Make design studio/meeting space. The creation of Nikolas Badminton, a British-born digital strategist with an eye fixated on technology and how it impacts our society and culture, From Now turned out to be a fascinating day-long experience. Think of it as a more accessible TED, one where you can be a participant in the learning (and also drink a beer with one of the panelists.)
A Toilet That Tells You Things
From Now’s line-up of speakers covered the spectrum of the bleeding edge of tech and the discussion of how it’s transforming ourselves and our relationships with each other. Toronto native Nora Young began the talk in the morning with a vivacious look at how a city might have its own distinct digital culture, just as there’s a different look and feel in realspace between a Vancouver and a Winnipeg, Halifax or Montreal. That’s an idea that might seem out there to you right now, but within the space of five years it may have snuck up on us.
As the host of CBC Radio One’s show about technology, the “Spark” host talked about “the Internet of Things” and how some of the world’s cities are already beginning have their own digital identity: streetlights that can tweet at you, or a public restroom that can tell you if you’re pregnant or sick as you’re washing your hands. This is the road that we’re on right now, Young said, and each digital city of the future will need to reflect and identify with its citizens in its own special and distinctive way. “The city will need to be fun, a place where we can interact more with each other and discover new chances for opportunity and exploration,” Young postulated.
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