Future Innovators Summit

THU September 8-SUN September 9, 2016
Credit: Tom Mesic

Creating agendas for tomorrow

Collaborative brainstorming and the creative development of questions having to do with humankind’s future, education and the digital commons—that’s the mission of the Future Innovators Summit.

Following its successful premiere at the 2014 Festival and the fascinating follow-up last year, the next Future Innovators Summit is formulating creative questions for the future. In workshops and intensive discussions, artists, designers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and social activists from all over the world will be talking about their ideas and projects related to this year’s complex of topics: the future of humankind, the future of education, and the future of the Commons. The Future Innovators Summit was developed by Ars Electronica and Hakuhodo, and is being staged this year in cooperation with netidee.

Program of the Future Innovators Summit

THU September 8, 2016
10 AM-11:30 AM
FIS Breakfast Kick-off Flashtalks
Moderation: Hideaki Ogawa (JP), Kazuko Tanaka (JP)
THU September 8, 2016
4 PM-5:30 PM
FIS TeaTime Kick-off Flashtalks
Moderation: Kristefan Minski (AU)
FRI September 9, 2016
10 AM-5 PM
Workshop Day
SAT September 10, 2016
10 AM-6 PM
Mentor Day
SUN September 11, 2016
4:30 PM-6 PM
FIS Final Presentation
Moderation: Kazuhiko Washio (JP), Hideaki Ogawa (JP)
MON September 12, 2016
11:30 AM-12:30 PM
Future Innovators Summit 2017
Moderation: Hideaki Ogawa (JP)

Initial Questions

Future Humanity

  • What will only humans be able to do?
  • What should only humans do?
  • What will a sanctuary of the future be?
  • What will a delightful moment be in the future?

Future Education

  • What is the school of the 21st century?
  • What should people study in the age of AI and the robot?
  • What is the education for inventing the future?

Future Commons

  • What will an important physical community be in the future?
  • How can we create a sense of solidarity for resilience?
  • What kind of open commons are needed with the radical progress of AI technology?
  • Which social goals can be addressed by open-source and innovative technologies like block-chain?
  • What will the ethical questions be in future commons?

Final Questions

Group A: Future Humanity

“How to grow the empathy?”

Group B: Future Humanity

“How do we become more human?”

Group C: Future Education

“How can we re-map the order of knowing?”

Group D: Future Commons

“What is sense of human being in the future?

Group E: Future Commons

“What platform is required to define AI commons in the future?”


Together with experienced partners, such as Hakuhodo, Internet Foundation Austria – and a group of outstanding innovators from all over the world, the goal is to create future agendas as “Creative Questions”, which means essential, challenging and catalyzing questions for shaping a better society. Together with innovators from different cultures and from different backgrounds such as artists, designers, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and social activists, we will have a unique creative collider program during the Ars Electronica Festival.

Group A: Future Humanity

Ai Hasegawa (JP) is a Japanese speculative designer, artist, and researcher. Her design work deals with relationships, new and future reproductive and genetic, biotechnologies and ethics. Recent works are “(Im)possible Baby” and “I wanna deliver a shark…” series.

Mohamed Hossam (EG) is an audio/visual new media artist , art manager and the new media and interaction design mentor at Fablab Egypt. Joining and organizing various national and international Festivals, conferences and events, Mohamed is concerned with the development of the creative and making community in the Egyptian society.

Sophia Brueckner (US): Inseparable from computers since the age of two, she believes she is a cyborg. She developed Google products and built haptic devices for mental health at RISD and MIT Media Lab. Now teaching for sci-fi prototyping, Sophia’s goal is to combine design and engineering to create new technologies in the service of mental well-being.

Daniel Tauber (DE/UK): Daniel’s practice is at the intersection of art, design, economics, science and technology. He explores the aesthetic, functional, social and cultural future of products and services. Currently working at IDEO he helps organisations being innovative in delivering impactful future user experiences.

Sarah Petkus (US): Sarah Petkus is a kinetic artist and roboticist from Las Vegas, Nevada whose area of focus is in developing mechanical and electronic systems as characters, capable of reacting to environmental stimulation with unique, self defining behavioral quirks.

Group B: Future Humanity

Behnaz Farahi (IR/US): In her work Behnaz Farahi explores the potential of interactive environments and their relationship to the human body. By implementing design/motion principles inspired by natural systems her application areas include architecture, fashion and interaction design. Currently she is an Annenberg Fellow and PhD candidate at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Shiho Fukuhara (JP): To advance her research-based approach, Shiho has formed the BCL, an artistic research framework and open collaboration platform dedicated to exploring and critically investigating the interfaces and predetermined breaking points between Art, Science, Design, Technology and Society.

Ghalia Elsrakbi (SY/NL): Ghalia is Graphic designer, researcher and educator. After finalizing her studies and PhD in Netherlands, she co-founded Foundland Collective. Since 2014 she is based in Cairo, Egypt where she teaches at the American University in Cairo.

Haytham Nawar (EG) is artist, designer, and researcher and has participated in several international exhibitions and biennials. He’s founder/director of Cairotronica, Cairo International Electronic and New media Arts Symposium. Haytham is also director of Design Program, Department of the Arts at the American University in Cairo.

Trevor Haldenby (CA) is an imaginative futurist, artist, and designer who creates provocative visions of the future. He is founder and President of The Mission Business, a boutique foresight and design consultancy that adapts future scenarios into interactive theatre performances.

Hakan Lidbo (SE) has worked within more disciplines than most artists, but with no formal education. In his early career as a DJ and producer, he released more than 350 records. Today he works with art, radio, film, festivals, events, interactive installations for museums and public spaces, games, books, food, apps and robots.

Group C: Future Education

Fermín Serrano Sanz (ES) is executive director of the Spanish Foundation Ibercivis, where he deploys and supports citizen science experiments and studies at local and international scale. With a background on computer science, Fermín has collaborated with several institutions including the University of Zaragoza, Etopia, CERN, European Commission, etc.

Amit Zoran (IL) is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. In his research, he explores the two divergent realms of emerging computational technologies and classical hand-hewn skills, seeking a new way of thinking about these polarities: the digital machine and the human hand.

Helene Steiner (AT/UK) is a UK based designer and researcher with a focus on new interactions in and with our (natural) environment. Following a biological approach she looks at opportunities to bridge the physical and digital world as well as the natural and artificial. Her background is in Product Design and Innovation Design Engineering.

Oscar Ekponimo (NG) is a software engineer, innovator and technology entrepreneur with experience spanning research and development work in technological application in agriculture and agri-food systems to deploying mission critical technologies for National Security and Military establishments.

Paula Gaetano Adi (AR/US) is an artist and scholar working in sculptures, performance, interactive installations and robotic agents. With a particular focus in the relation of  technoscience, coloniality, and artificial life, her work enacts speculative scenarios that question the biopolitical condition of the human in relation to different forms of technicity and materiality, while simultaneously attending to the very relationship between art and technology. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Experimental & Foundation Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Group D: Future Commons

Genta Kondo (JP): CEO of exiii Inc.. With his company he’s developing a bionic hand (i.e. motorized hand that people missing a hand can control intuitively) utilizing 3D-printer and open-source community. After studying in Tokyo and UC Berkeley, in 2011 he joined Sony Corporation and pursued the commercialization of robotics technology.

Ali Panahi (IR) is Iranian media artist and founder of “nullsight”, a media lab based in Tehran. With background of mathematics & in Civil Engineering, he is a self-studied and experienced developer, programmer and art activist. He started working with TADAEX in 2011 as an artist and developer which followed by collaboration as technical manager for next editions & creative director and freelance curator of festival.

Kathrin Passig (DE) is an author of non-fiction books and bad software based in Berlin. She runs the online automatic T-shirt generator Zufallsshirt.de (random shirts) and collaborates with 200+ coauthors on the “Techniktagebuch” blog (tumblr). Currently she’s researching on the political systems of online communities.

Manuel Laber (AT): With background in mechatronics, Manuel is interested in human-computer interaction, especially in tangible interface design. With the open-source research project “Make-O-Matic”, produced by his company Laber’s LAB, he aims to foster the dissemination of knowledge by automatically documenting all necassary manufacturing activities along such paths and by creating shareable content from it.

Hye Yeon Nam (KR) is a digital media artist working on interactive installations and performance video. She foregrounds the complexity of social relationships by making the familiar strange, and interpreting everyday behaviors in performative ways. Hye Yeon’s art has been showcased in several galleries, exhibitions and international festivals.

Group E: Future Commons

Christian Sahanek (AT): Dr. Christian Sahanek studied Business Administration in Vienna focusing on Marketing. The last 20 years he worked in various sales and marketing positions in the IT Industry in AT and CEE.

Mahir Yavuz (TR/US) is an interdisciplinary creative and researcher based in New York City. He works in the fields of data science, visualization and artificial intelligence. Yavuz was lead creative in various projects in Turkey, Austria, Canada and the USA. His work has been exhibited internationally including the Ars Electronica Festival, Siggraph, Istanbul Biennial, and ISEA among others.

Burcu Akinci (TR) is a researcher and designer with a special focus on data visualization. After studying Urban Design & Planning she attended various urban development projects in Europe. Currently she is doing her doctoral research on urban planning issues with a strong focus on visual communication.

Liyuan Wang (CN) is a graduate student from interdiscipline Project, Dept. of Information Arts and Design of Tsinghua University in China. Her background is product design. At the moment she mainly studies the interaction design of human and machine, as well as tangible interaction,

Magdalena Kovarik (AT/US) is an interdisciplinary artist and designer based in NYC. Her work takes place where the analog meets the digital, man meets machine and outrage becomes art. She comments on developments in the culture and society around her such as the concept of borders to contribute with her own skills and activism. Lately she focuses on experimental journalism and (VR) documentary.


The participants will meet prestigious mentors during the program. The mentors day is the opportunity to meet them and ask for advice. The mentors will contribute their experience and will share their know-how with the innovators.

Fumio Nanjo (JP) is the director of Mori Art Museum since November in 2006. His main achievements include commissioner of the Japan Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1997), commissioner at the Taipei Biennale (1998), member of jury committee of the Turner Prize (1998), artistic director of the Yokohama Triennale 2001, jury member of the Golden Lion Prize of the Venice Biennale (2005) and artistic director of the Singapore Biennale (2006/2008).

Susan Street (US): Professor Susan Street is currently the Executive Director Precincts, Queensland University of Technology and formally Executive Dean of the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT. Currently, on the following Boards: Chair, Board of Trustees of the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, Member, Board of Directors of Creative Partnerships Australia, Board Member, Australia Korea Foundation and an Artistic Advisor to the Australian Ballet. In 1999 Susan was given an Australian Dance Award for services to Dance Education and in 2000 was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor by QUT.

Horst Hörtner (AT) is a media artist and researcher. He is Expert in design of human Computer Interaction and holds several patents in this field. Hörtner is founding member of the Ars Electronica Futurelab in 1996 and since directing this atelier/laboratory. He started to work in the field of media art in the 1980ies and co-founded the media art group x-space in Graz/Austria in 1990. Horst Hörtner is working in the nexus of art & science and giving lectures and talks at numerous international conferences and universities.

Joseph Paradiso (US) joined the MIT Media Laboratory in 1994, where he is now directing the Responsive Environments Group, which explores how sensor networks augment and mediate human experience, interaction and perception. Paradiso has published over 200 academic papers on topics that involve sensor networks, ubiquitous computing, energy harvesting, low power electronics, interactive media, computer music, high-energy physics, and spacecraft control. He often lectures and consults internationally in these areas.

Victoria Vesna (US), Ph.D., is an artist and Professor at the UCLA Department of Design | Media Arts, Director of the Art|Sci center at the School of the Arts and California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI). With her installations she explores how communication technologies affect collective behavior and how perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation. She has exhibited internationally in 20+ solo art exhibitions, 80+ group shows, published 20 + papers, was highlighted in 10+ book chapters and gave 100+ invited talks in the last decade.

James Gimzweski (US) is a distinguished Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Scientific Director of the UCLA Art|Sci Center. He is also Core Director of the Nano and Pico Characterization Laboratory at the California Nanosystems Institute (CNSI-UCLA) and Scientific Director of the Art|Sci Center, UCLA. He is a PI and Satellite Director of the MANA project at the National Institute for Materials in Tsukuba, Japan.  He has worked with Industrial and Government organizations in Switzerland, the UK, US, European Union and Japan on issues relating to Nanotechnology.

Peter Wouda (DE) is Design Director at the Volkswagen Future Center Europe and Managing Director at Volkswagen Design Center Potsdam. He studied in Pforzheim and London. After positions at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg and Skoda in Czech Republic Peter was joining in 2006 the Volkswagen Group Design Center in Potsdam, where he was leading the Exterior Design and was appointed as Design Director in 2015. With his international team of top designer, he was responsible for creating concept and production designs for Volkswagen and other group brands. Amongst the cars being published is the record breaking and award winning of Volkswagen XL1. Today his team is working on future vehicle and mobility concepts for the Volkswagen Group.

Mariano Sardón (AR) is professor and chair of the Electronic Art Degree and the Art – Science Museum at the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero. He was academic advisor of the Interactive Art Program at Espacio Fundación Telefónica Argentina.  He studied Physics at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He was visiting scholar at the University of California Los Angeles. He made several solo and collective exhibitions. Many of his works belong to Museums and private art collections in Argentina and abroad.

Chiaki Hayashi (JP) co-founded Loftwork Inc. in 2000 and currently serves as its representative director. Loftwork is a new style of creative agency that boasts a network of over 22,000 creators. Each year Loftwork rolls out over 560 projects including web, community, and spacial design initiatives. Hayashi is Japan Liaison to the director of MIT Media Lab, a member of the Good Design Awards Screening Committee, and a member of the Manufacturing Industry Subcommittee of METI’s Industrial Structure Council Committee.

Mi Haipeng (CN): Dr. Haipeng Mi is an associate professor in the department of Information art & design, Tsinghua University, China. His research field is human-computer interaction, and his research interests range from tangible media, natural user interface to human-robot interaction. He received his B.Sc and M.S from Tsinghua University in 2005 and 2008 respectively, and his Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo in 2011. Before joining Tsinghua, he was an assistant professor of the University of Tokyo, Japan.

Masaki Fujihata (JP) is a trailblazing media artist, begins with CG in 80’s and shift to make computer sculptures. His successful work Beyond Pages is in the late 90’s as an interactive art. In particular, his experiments with GPS technology with movie images beginning in 1992 ie. Impressing Velocity, to the Voices of Aliveness 2012, explore new possibilities of document and memory, and slso visualize continuitie between virtual and real.

Olaf Hahn (AT): Evangelist for cloud computing, IBM Watson and IoT working for IBM since 1998. Working as a Business Development Executive for innovative solutions for startups, independent software vendors (ISVs) and large accounts – region DACH. Academic Initative Leader in Austria. Keynote speaker for several topics arround innovation, IBM global technology outlook and technical insight. IBM certified enterprise consultant and PMI certified project manager. Lives in Hagenberg (Upper Austria) with his wife and his two kids.

Karin Ohlenschläger (AT/ES): Artistic director of LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial in Gijón, Spain, art historian, researcher and curator who has been specializing in media art, science and contemporary culture since 1985. She co-founded and co-directed MediaLab Madrid (2002/2006). She has directed various international initiatives and curated countless exhibitions of new media art.

Amanda J. Parkes (US) is fashion technologist and biomedia/wearable tech designer, and is leading the development of MNY’s Tech Annex- high technology fashion & textiles R&D space. She is also the founder of Skinteractive Studio, offering conceptual design and technological development on wearable technology, hi-tech textiles, fashion manufacturing, and interactivity.


The workshops will be facilitated by our partner Hakuhodo. The Hakuhodo facilitators will accompany the workshop process during the Future Innovators program.

Kazuko Tanaka (JP) is a trained facilitator at Hakuhodo Inc. She is also a start-up member of Hakuhodo’s new entity VoiceVision Inc.., where she aims to create co-creative environment for industry and citizens. As the leader of working mothers’ network “Hakuhodo Working Moms’ Link” Kazuko often enjoys talking of working mothers’ status and insights to the public. Jury member of Prix Ars Electronica 2016 Digital Communities.

(Future Humanity)

Asako Okuno (JP) is a Brand Activation Director in Hakuhodo. She takes part in a wide array of communication design from brand activations to integrated campaign planning for comsumer brands, services, contents and entertainments. Besides serving for various clients over communication and activation fields, she is a member of the Activation Design institute of Hakuhodo, researching the theory of behavioral change of people toward brands in market. As of now, she also expands her career to education, teaching creative direction class in Ochabi Institute of Art and Design in Tokyo since 2015.

(Future Humanity)

Kyoko Someya (JP) joined Hakuhodo in 1987, starting as an account executive. She possesses a wide range of job experience including action designing, purchase behavior researching, interactive planning and producing, planning and producing of cultural projects and businesses, and more, with many different team styles for companies in various types of fields.

(Future Commons)

Fran Miller (JP) is a Creative Producer at HAKUHODO. Fran’s extensive knowledge on global business coordination for foreign clients in Japan and Japanese business abroad, has lead to her current post as Creative Producer. Currently she leads inbound and outbound projects for re-known brands. She is half-Japanese, half-American and is bilingual and bi-cultural. Fran is an avid animal lover and enjoys cooking.

(Future Commons)

Yoko Imai (JP) joined Hakuhodo in 2010. Her job is to make brand concepts,TV commercials, graphics and many other plans of communication as a copy writer.She wants to make new relationship between products and human by the power of “words”.

(Future Education)

Kaori Nemoto (JP) is a member of Hakuhodo Innovation Design Contributing to business and product development, as,well as solving social problems with various ways of innovating ideas through people’s everyday lives.

(Future Education)

FIS Stage

On the Future Innovators Stage (FIS) in POSTCITY, the staff of innovative projects will present work that’s already in the implementation stage. One example is injecting art into the EU’s future technology program—that is, to turn FET–Future and Emerging Technologies into FEAT–Future Emerging Art & Technology. A new form of conference is being staged in cooperation with Knowledge Capital (JP)—a Kotatsu [Japanese: heatable table]. There’ll also be a presentation of New Tendencies, Armin Medosch’s (AT) new English-language book published by MIT Press (US). Read more…


The Future Innovators Summit is a creative system which has been developed by Ars Electronica Futurelab and Hakuhodo.

At this summit, experienced professionals as well as young entrepreneurs and social activists, technicians and scientists and, of course, artists and designers will meet each other at the Ars Electronica Festival for mutual inspiration and for the exchange of ideas and know-how. The lineup will also include opportunities for participants to engage in dialog among each other and with the public audience. Besides a broad range of lectures, presentations and exhibitions, we want to build a „special taskforce“— from places all over the world who will present their ideas and projects and who will discuss this year’s topics: Future Humanity, Future Education and Future Commons.

Why is this a unique opportunity? At the moment, one can find a growing lineup of events and gatherings for young entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as a lot of hackathons, game jams etc. where the young community of programmers and developers can interact. The same goes for festivals of young artists and conferences of young social activists. What they all have in common is an exciting and virulently inspiring atmosphere, but they often also share a certain flavor of elitist exclusivity, and it’s usually pretty difficult to access them as an outsider. Even more surprising is that you can hardly find an event at which these inspiring talents, creators and innovators can convene, and do so across the borders of their communities and disciplines. But this crossover is exactly what we’re looking for!

in collaboration with Internet Foundation Austria (IPA)


Project Lead: Hideaki Ogawa
Project Manager: Carla Zamora
Research Lead: Kristefan Minski

General Enquiries: Kristefan.minski@aec.at