The Story 2015

The Story 2015 was, as usual, at Conway Hall, London, on Friday 20th February. The speakers at The Story 2015 were:

Kati London – Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research, FUSE (Future User Social Experiences). Previously, she was Director of Product for Zynga New York and Vice President and Senior Producer at Area/Code (acquired by Zynga). In 2012 she became Innovator-in-Residence at USC’s Annenberg School, where she led workshops in Design Patterns for Autonomous Objects. Kati talked about her work on communities, autonomous objects and the future of cities.

Philip Hunt  – one of the founding partners of Studio AKA, one of the best animation studios in the world (this is our opinion at Storythings – Philip didn’t write this!). Philip’s work includes the BAFTA winning Lost and Found, based on the best-selling book by Oliver Jeffers. Philip’s diverse body of Directing work on an eclectic range of animation projects also includes the multi-award winning short film AH POOK IS HERE– an interpretation of recordings by the late William S. Burroughs.

George Oates  – the director of Good, Form & Spectacle, a new design firm exploring themes in cultural heritage. George recently started a project inserting female characters into some classic Grimms tales. Some of these tales contained no female characters at all. George’s new book, If Only The Grimms Had Known Alice, is a fun read for all ages, challenging you to re-imagine these well known stories with women at the centre of each story.

Danny Miller  –  co-founder and CEO of Human After All, a London based creative agency who believe that creativity connects. Danny has recently launched Weapons of Reason, a magazine dedicated to turning knowledge into action. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on creative economy, where he’s currently exploring open knowledge sharing among the creative industries.

Gary Carter  – almost certainly the only international television executive with a Time Out/Dance Umbrella Dance and Performance award.  Gary joined Shine Group in June 2013  working closely with the heads of Shine Germany, the Shine Nordics companies and Shine 360. Prior to joining Shine, Gary was COO of FremantleMedia Group, where he was responsible for leading their overall strategy, ran the group’s central Creative Networks, founded their digital divisions as well as managing its various European production operations. Prior to this he worked for 5 years as Executive Director of Programme Affairs at Endemol International, where he united the group’s intellectual property in one division, oversaw the international roll-out of Big Brother and acquired the production licences across Europe for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Simon Munnery has been described by Time Out as ‘an avant-garde comedy god’. He has recently been featured on Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, The Culture Show,Alternative Comedy Experience, and The News Quiz. He is a British Comedy, Perrier, and Barry Award nominee, and Chortle and Sony Radio Award winner. His latest projectFylm stabs at the void between film and theatre, involving visual sketches performed by Simon amongst the audience, and projected live on screen.

Dubbed the Willy Wonka of Design and Science, award-winning director and designer of experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun is a critical explorer, and a fearless and passionate provocateur. In 2013, Icon Magazine nominated Ben Hayoun as one of the 50 international designers “shaping the future”. She is the Designer of Experiences at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, Head of Experiences at We Transfer, and a member of the Space Outreach and Education committee at the International Astronautical Federation. Wired magazine awarded Nelly Ben Hayoun with a WIRED Innovation fellowship for her work to date and its potential to make ‘significant impact on the world.

Lucy Perman  – Executive Director of Clean Break. Clean Break was set up in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that theatre could bring the hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience. Still the only women’s theatre company of its kind today, they tell stories about women and crime that are not being told elsewhere, taking this work into prisons and onto stages across the UK. Complemented by a theatre education programme for vulnerable women in community and custodial settings, their plays aim to draw in audiences, capture their hearts and minds, and make them leave wanting to change the world.

Alexa Clay  –  writer and researcher, specialising in underground and grassroots innovation, technological change and economic transition. Her project The Misfit Economy looks at how bottom-up, informal, and black market economies may have something to teach the traditional economy about ingenuity, entrepreneurialism and human resilience. The Misfit Economy will be published by Simon and Schuster later this year, and as a film by Laura Gamse.

James Bridle  – artist, writer, and publisher based in London, UK. His writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, Matter and many others, in print and online, and he writes a regular column for the Observer. His artworks and installations have been exhibited in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, and have been viewed by hundreds of thousands visitors online. He has been commissioned by organisations including Artangel, Mu Eindhoven, the Istanbul Design Biennial and the Corcoran Gallery, Washington DC, and been honoured by Ars Electronica and the Japan Media Festival. His formulation of the New Aesthetic research project has spurred debate and creative work across multiple disciplines, and continues to inspire critical and artistic responses. In 2014, he was resident at the White Building in London and Eyebeam in New York, and received the Graphic Design of the Year award from the Design Museum, London.

British/ Colombian artist and researcher Matthew Plummer-Fernandez critically and playfully examines sociocultural entanglements with technologies. His current interests span algorithms, bots, automation, copyright and file-sharing. He was awarded a Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction for the project Disarming Corruptor; an app for disguising 3D Print files as glitched artefacts. Matthew shares his research on Algopop, a popular tumblr that documents entanglements with algorithms in everyday life, as well as the artists that respond to this context in their work. This has become the starting point to a practice-based PhD funded by the AHRC at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he has worked as a research associate/ technologist and visiting tutor. He holds a BEng in Computer Aided Mechanical Engineering from Kings College London and an MA in Design Products from the Royal College of Art.

Our host for The Story 2015 was Anna Rafferty. Anna has been one of the most influential and innovative people working in the UK in digital media, leading the digital strategy at Penguin for over a decade. After a brief period working as a consultant, she has just joined J K Rowling’s Pottermore project as Director of Product, Creative and Content. She is Chair of Culture 24, and sits on BAFTA’s Childrens and Digital Strategy Committees.