For 2023 our theme is looking to a more human future and reimagining the way we do things. We’ll look at this through a cultural, social, political and economic lens
Don’t try to be interesting. The secret is to do interesting. None of us were born interesting. It’s something that needs practice; a set of habits, not a personality type. Not something you are, something you do. Russel Davies will be back at OffGrid talking about the need to pay attention and notice more. Collect the obvious (images, quotes, facts) and the less obvious (metaphors, patterns, vibes) Store and remember things, collide ideas together and multiply their value.
How the consulting industry weakens our businesses, infantilises our governments and warps our economies. There is an entrenched relationship between the consulting industry and the way business and government are managed today which must change. Rosie will talk through the confidence trick the consulting industry performs in contracts with hollowed-out and risk-averse governments and shareholder value-maximising firms.
Artists have learnt to pay attention. The rest of us spend most of our time on auto-pilot, rushing from place to place, our overfamiliarity blinding us to the marvellous, life-affirming phenomena of our world. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Will Gompertz takes us into the minds of artists – from contemporary stars to old masters, the well-known to the lesser-so, and from around the world – to show us how to look and experience the world with their heightened awareness. How Hasegawa Tohaku can help us to see beauty, to how David Hockney helps us to see colour and how Frida Kahlo can help us see pain. In doing so we come to know the exhilarating feeling of being truly alive.
To play is to be human and there isn’t much Sir Ian hasn’t done in the gaming space. From writing interactive adventure books over 40 years ago, to introducing Europe to Dungeons & Dragons; creating one of the UK’s largest gaming retail chains, publishing some of the most successful video games and helping to launch a school with creativity at it’s heart. Sir Ian will talk about his belief of how games and game technology will be at the heart of the next generation of human societies.
Why do people collect things? Why do we write lists no one will ever see? Designer, artist, and author, Stefanie focuses on creating playful, accessible, human-scaled approaches to communicating with data. From captain’s logs to trainspotter diaries, Stefanie believes that it shows the human side of us and our need to try to be closer to things we love and are passionate about.
Her work has been exhibited at major galleries including the V&A, the Design Museum (Designs of the Year 2016), Somerset House, the Wellcome Collection, Bletchley Park (all UK), the Centre Pompidou (Paris), and MoMA (New York), where her work is also in the permanent collection.
Why has politics gone so far wrong and what can we do about it? It’s a question regularly posed to Alastair Campbell. His answer, typically, is forthright and impassioned. We cannot afford to stand on the sidelines. If we think things need to change, then we need to change them, and that means getting involved. Setting out a series of practical steps, Alastair shows how we can get more involved and become political players ourselves.
Melissa is the Founding Director of WeCanMake, a community land trust and neighbourhood test-space in Bristol for imagining and making new ways to create homes that build social infrastructure and community wealth.
Melissa will be coming to talk about the project and how they are looking to grow the spaces, tools and capacities to collectively imagine and actively anticipate better community-led ways to do housing. More than just generating speculative futures, but making practical glimmers through prototyping and testing out ideas for real so that people can see and feel how new possibilities might work on the ground.
Loss and adversity are part of the human condition, but an imperfect past isn’t always an indicator of what’s to come. Is there a pattern? Why is it that often the people with the hardest beginnings in life, become the most successful adults? And is there something to learn from those people, who perhaps have the strongest sense of what matters most?
Award winning journalist, Alice Thomson, has spoken to prime ministers, pioneers and poets, CEOs and chefs, actors and archbishops, sports stars and Nobel prize-winning scientists, to help us really understand what is going on. How did Richard Branson overcome severe dyslexia? How did Daphne Park, born in lonely rural Tanzania, become one of Britain’s top spies? How was diver Tom Daley driven on to win an Olympic gold medal by being bullied at school and his father’s early death?
After losing a friend to suicide, Tom Chapman decided to do something about the biggest killer of young men in the UK.
In a personal, moving talk he tells us about the international movement he founded building on the unique relationship between barbers and their clients to prevent suicide and save lives.
Imagine: you are designing a society, but you don’t know who you’ll be within it – rich or poor, man or woman, gay or straight. What would you want that society to look like?
This is the revolutionary thought experiment proposed by the twentieth century’s greatest political philosopher, John Rawls. Economist and philosopher Daniel Chandler argues it is by rediscovering Rawls that we can find a way out of the escalating crises. Looking at the protection of free speech and transcending the culture wars; getting money out of politics; and creating an economy where everyone has the chance to fulfil their potential.
Environmental trailblazer Juliet Davenport OBE and founder of the renewable energy supplier Good Energy Plc, Juliet will lead us through the most pressing questions facing any company so that we can do just that.
From how to fuel the business to how to hire ethically; from how to market sustainably to delivering your product in an environmentally friendly way. Not only finding answers to these questions, but looking at experts and brilliant business innovators who are doing things differently: who are showing that green businesses can even be beneficial for the planet.
No matter how you feel about it, Sophie is definitely a professional comedian. Having appeared in Taskmaster, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, The Last Leg (Channel 4) Live At The Apollo, Mock the Week, Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, House of Games (BBC) Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club (ITV) and Don’t hate the Playaz (ITV2)…
Breathtakingly adorable introverted extrovert Sophie Duker (she/her/snack) refused to make a traditional entrance. She was born by C-section in the 90s and started being unreasonable almost immediately. She’s now a fully grown girl.