Any social or political envisioning is constrained by an invisible frame: by the implicit values and views on which it is created, most importantly its view of the nature of human beings.

A big vision begins with a vision for the “Being” of human beings. We need to go back to basics if we are to rediscover our imagination and create possibility for ourselves and our societies. Any social or political envisioning is constrained by an invisible frame: by the implicit values and views on which it is created, most importantly its view of the nature of human beings. For example, much of modern economic and political thought rests on the assumption that you or I know what we want (think markets, democracy etc). However, most wisdom traditions teach us that discovering what we want is actually very hard and takes deep practice and reflection.

In this session, participants will enquire into the nature of “Being” for human beings and how this would translate into a big vision for humanity and a new framework for progress. A mixture of play, embodiment and reason will be used in this workshop like session.

The session is led Sylvie Barbier and Rufus Pollock, the co-founders of Life Itself. Sylvie Barbier is a performance artist, entrepreneur and educator who loves to create powerful embodied experiences.  Her life ambition is to become a witch! Rufus Pollock is a researcher, technologist and entrepreneur. He has been a pioneer in the global Open Data movement. He is the founder of Open Knowledge. Formerly, he was Shuttleworth Fellow and Mead Fellow in Economics at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge and is currently an Ashoka Fellow and Fellow of the RSA. (Bio source: Life Itself)

Website: Life Itself
Twitter: @forlifeitself @rufuspollock

Related Untitled Agenda Theme:  Reimagining human     


Who are we as the world around us changes? At the intersection of our subjective lives and our collective worlds lie profound dichotomies. And at the threshold of aesthetics and science, culture and politics, symbolic infrastructures versus solid urban forms there are still a host of territories to explore as well. All in a continuous yet contested relationship; traveling beyond that fragile, stubborn and siloing quality of language, concepts, fields, disciplines, bordered cities, individual bodies. But what possibilities can be found in the gaps, in that in-between, often turbulent and symbiotic territory where our truths and our fantasies clash and merge? At the border of fiction…

At one end lies fake news, alternate facts, profound and systemic biases, a human mass without individual agency. At the other end lies a more malleable reality, entangling us in invisible, unique and mysterious ways – in ways that once perceived and interiorized might allow us become more imaginative in how we live with each other, how we belong to each other.

Join the session with Gabriella Gómez-Mont, the former Chief Creative Officer of Mexico City, where she founded and directed Laboratorio para la Ciudad (‘Laboratory of the City’) the experimental and creative think tank for the Mexico City government, reporting to the Mayor. She has also worked as a journalist, documentary filmmaker, visual artist and experimental curator.  She is now in the process of launching Experimentalista: a novel type of urban+creative studio, already working with several Mayors, cities and organizations across the world.

Related Untitled Agenda Themes:  REIMAGINING human     

Featured Image: Gabriella Gomez-Mont at TEDGlobal 2013 in Edinburgh, Scotland. June 12-15, 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson
Image: Gabriella Gómez-Mont,

Bodytalk research team Simo Vassinen, Maria F. Scaroni, and Roope Mokka, investigates the crossing points and possible new unions of futures research with dance and physicality – with a specific zoom into rave and club culture. The team’s underlining idea is that the repetitive physical release conducted alone to monotonous, high tempo music in a shared space that we know from raves and clubs can offer new perspectives and mindshifts for digesting societal realities and imagining better futures also in other contexts.

Dissolving the ego, one dance at a time, alone together. 

The shared educational-professional-hobby-activist background of the Helsinki/Berlin-based Bodytalk team combines e.g. futures research, contemporary dance, performance, co-creation, methods of participation and empowerment, workshop moderation, techno music and club culture, journalism, event management and political philosophy. Simo Vassinen (DE/FI) has a combined background of futures research, journalism, translation, dance, performance and choreography. Maria F. Scaroni (DE/IT) is a dance artist, initiator and teacher of experimental dance and physical practices, and space-holder for raving, bodywork and community caregiving. Roope Mokka (FI) is one of the founders of Demos Helsinki, futures researcher and urbanist with a parallel storyline in underground culture and community-driven artistic projects. The three members also share a long-lasting affair with dancing and club culture. 

Bodytalk is supported by The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes’ Together Alone project. #togetheralonefi #instituutit

Related UNTITLED Agenda Tracks: Reimagining Human

Photo: Socially distant Technodrift in Berlin, April 2020, Maria F. Scaroni

Associate creates an experimental and poetic digital documentation from the various discussions that take place within the Untitled events. Associate is at the same time an independent artwork and experimental documentation of the festival and the online events. 

The recorded discussions in Untitled meetings and festival events are processed through a machine learning algorithm. This process picks up parts of sentences and individual words that accumulate and mix in the ever increasing database. The algorithm forms new connections between various textual elements based on machine learning models that analyse the context and statistical properties of individual words and phrases.

The machine learning model aims to bring light to emerging and new connections between textual nodes, and reflect on various alternative meanings and paths derived from the language used within Untitled discussions.

Images: Otso Havanto / Associate.

Privacy and anonymisation of data is a core function of the artwork. All the conversations recorded in Untitled events that are used for Associate, are processed in a way that it is impossible to identify an individual speaker.

The first version of the artwork is displayed online on its own website. This version creates new textual interpretation clusters and poetic variations from the Untitled discussions, ultimately aiming to foster the creation of Untitled’s own unique discourse engine. 

Associate uses a statistical machine learning model that has been trained by the Common Crawl dataset, and by the OntoNotes source material from the University of Pennsylvania. The work accumulates ever expanding textual material from the Untitled discussions and produces novel statistical vectors between the various meanings of words and concepts. Over time the work trains a model that is unique to the language used by the Untitled community and platform.

The artwork aims to encourage us to use big data as a tool and resource for the various communities, movements, and other non-commercial organizations, that aim to create a more just and fair future society for all.

The artwork can be found on the following link: