With last week's launch event 'Advertising at the frontiers of consciousness' sold out in advance, Bad Ideas' Future Human series looks like it's hit on a winning formula for East London's bright young things. In a reinvention of the intellectual salons of old, this series of events offers up intelligent entertainment in the form of a fun, participative format which addresses substantial ideas in a social setting, with plenty of booze to hand. No stranger to participatory erudite formats, Bad Ideas projects in the past have included Art of Confession and The Butchers shop.
Taking you to the 'frontiers of our radically altered near future' these fast paced and unpredictable soirees take the potentially dry premise of starchy debates and make them sexy. With synergistic synapses cocktails in hand, we sat before a distinguished panel of guest speakers who told us how neuro-marketing gets into parts of the brain that other advertising techniques just can't reach. Participants donned a tin foil Neuro Engagement Helmet (NEH) to demonstrate exactly what kind of cerebral activity an ad such as 118 118 elicits. (Due to the high insurance for this kind of high technology, the hat had a one-off cameo performance here, but we are assured that other expensive props are likely to feature in future.) An added dimension to the night was a projected Twitterfall giving us a running commentary from the crowd and kicking parts of the evening into touch.
Up next on March 10 is Fashion's Microchic Shake-up. At this event, guests will find out how digitisation is unleashing a hyper-personal style wave — from the microscopic intelligence techniques of global trend forecasters to futuristic websites where users can design and manufacture their own clothes, and on April 14 Automatic for the People focuses on how software algorithms are taking us beyond the information age, and why exponential technological advance could see economic upheaval on a par with the industrial revolution. Be there, and be square!