Dystopias loom large over the coming decades: mundane surveillance, autonomous weapons, widespread disemployment, all set against the perpetual dread of climate crisis. It’s easy to succumb to fatalism, to feel powerless in the face of a world tipping off its axis. But there’s no time to mourn everything we stand to lose. Our trajectory is not yet locked in: we have millions of futures to choose from.

We’ve talked enough about how the tech industry – and, indeed, the world – lost its way; now it’s time to make things better. Cennydd Bowles, author of Future Ethics, will explain the essential role designers will play in realising positive visions of the future, and how addressing the world’s most urgent issues requires us to reimagine design itself. Drawing on the fields of speculative design, foresight, and futurism, the session will examine how to mobilise for change, how to bring ethics into the heart of practice, and how to make technology more responsible, more just, and more democratic. Better worlds are possible, if we wish them.

Primary themes

New horizons for design, climate change, speculative and critical design, futurism, ethics.

In person

Offered as a conference keynote or in-house presentation. Intended audience: designers, product managers, software engineers, futurists. This talk sits perfectly alongside the Building Better Worlds training workshop. Book both for reduced rates.

Audience reaction


Notes, evidence, and credit

Further reading