The Also Festival was created to get big ideas in front of people and to stimulate new thinking so this year we're really pleased to present Nobel Peace prize nominees, alien hunters and titled professors for your delectation.
Looking for ideas on how to live better? Roman Krznaric will explain why we need to stop living in the moment and reclaim Carpe Diem, Dr Tom Chatfield explains how to live fully away from your phone. Want to reflect? Philippa Perry is on hand to decode the meanings from our dreams. Is science your thing? Acclaimed Professor David Nutt will explain the loss to science the psychoactive substances bill brings. Wanting to immerse yourself in literature? You’ll love Helen Oyeyemi’s magical siesta short story session in which the incredible author will read to us. Like a bit of everything? Hear Prof David Tong talk about the poetry in gravitational waves, Dr Kate Rayworth's revolutionary take on economics or Jamie Bartlett's research in to just how much we need radical thinkers.
Carpe Diem as been hijacked, taken over whilst we were chilling with Netflik, and it is a problem. So says the wonderful philosopher Roman Krznaric who will be leading the charge at our Sunday Philosophy session to reclaim the power of carpe diem. He suggests we start with grasping windows of opportunity, hedonistic experimenting, immersing ourselves in the present, becoming more spontaneous in daily life, and the forgotten realm of carpe diem politics. Life is so much more than this present moment. Sounds good to us.
There's been a lot of it about, but what is the actual, hard, scientific evidence for its success? To give us an audit of what we know and where we're going with it all we are pleased to welcome clinical psychologist Dr Bergljot Gjelsvik who is doing the current research at the University of Oxford's Mindfulness Centre, and who will bring us up to speed about relationship between the mind and mindfulness. Bring your questions.
As an author, broadcaster and star of Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, it's fair to say Natalie Haynes has stood up for the classics all her life. She'll be at The Also Festival to present her brand new show 'Honour Among Thebes', when she'll take us on a top notch, top fun romp through those most powerful myths and stories of the ancients, and we'll be sacrificing a wine skein to get everyone in the classical mood.
Psychologist and author Philippa Perry takes a break from writing her next book, the future classic 'Families and How to Survive Them' to come to The Also Festival to talk to us about our dreams. Let's be clear, we're talking here about the ones we actually have - at night - alone - and most probably in bed. Yes, she'll be leading this session to help us understand what those night-time adventures are telling us, and how you can get the most ouf ot them.
Join British social geographer, winner of the acclaimed Transmission Prize and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford Prof Danny Dorling to hear the statistical explanation of who the UK really is, what they really, really want one year on from that divisive referendum and find out where our Sceptred Isle is headed. Danny will be in conversation with Salon London's Helen Bagnall. NB: we will kick this session off by playing a round of Prof Danny Dorling Lotto.
Consultant Psychiatrist Prof Carmine Pariante leads the world in research into the ways stress affects us mind and body. In this session he'll begin to unpack the complex systems behind your mental health, explore the roles nature and nurture can play, dispel the myth of happiness, explore why you might need mindlessness alongside your mindfulness and reveal what you can do to ensure good mental health. Well we did say it was a complex system!
Because Charles Foster can, and has, and even took his family with him. This incredible University of Oxford Professor and barrister wanted to experience and explore the world as an animal would and so lived as a badger, an otter, a fox and more to find out. We loved the result of his beautiful experiment into the animal kingdom and a dramatic reversal of the way we view the natural world we've made his book 'Being A Beast' about his findings our in festival non fiction Book Club book, Being A Beast. Unmissable.
The author of the wonderful 'Dark Net' and Director of Analysis of Social Media at the think tank Demos, Jamie Bartlett has spent the last couple of years in the far reaches of the world finding out who is at the fringes of humanity. He's been imbedded with those libertarians, extremists, and crypto anarchists (a group he collectively describes as 'radicals') getting to know them and asks them what they're doing there. He'll be at The Also Festival to report back on why we need them and what we an learn from them.
Prof David Tong publishes his greatest works on the web (for free) making him the most successful, interesting and influential theoretical physicist around - and we know because we've met some of his hard core fanbase and they told us! This is just one reason we are so pleased to have this eloquent, passionate, fascinating University of Cambridge Professor at The Also Festival to explain why there is poetry in gravitational waves. Unbelievably cool (apparently!)
Multi-sensory experiences have been something we've always played with since the beginning of The Also Festival and for those of you who have enjoyed this element of the festival, we wanted to allow you to go a little bit deeper. So we will be putting on a perfume making workshop with the leading UK perfumier Sarah McCartney who created 4160 Tuesdays where we explore the ideas of gender and scent. All genders welcome!
We're really excited by this interactive event. We have created a specially designed cocktail event to explore the way our brains work. We will explore whether taste can be enhanced by colour and sound, and take a journey through our taste buds via a series of cocktails of delicious cocktails. Space is limited!
In this revolutinary poetry session Grandmaster of Memory Mark Channon explains how to get a romantic poem out of a silly old book and right in to your noggin - forever. For you to delight others at gatherings for the rest of your life. Guaranteed to give you the gift of poetry. This workshop uses techniques practised by those extreme memory masters to ensure your success.
Visual person? Join renowned psychotherapist Philippa Perry as she leads us through a guided visualisation, one she has designed specifically for the Also Festival.
Based on the acclaimed Professor of Psychology Clay Routledge's Fountains of Youth study which revealed time spent thinking about your past made you more optimistic about your future we present the first ever UK nostalgia work outs. If 1975 - 1985 was a defining era for you - come and indulge yourself in your past with us. With Salon London's Helen Bagnall.
We'll be celebrating iconic singers and songwriters in pop up choir sessions throughout the weekend. If you fancy a vocal work out to Kate Bush, Prince, David Bowie or Aretha Franklin, you'll be led by fantastic singers and vocal coaches to help you unleash your inner icon.
Art Macabre inject a lethal dose of curiosity and theatricality into drawing and mark making. Founded in 2010 and directed by Nikki Shaill, over the past seven years Art Macabre has inspired thousands of participants to pick up a pencil and explore the darker side of arts. Imaginative themes, diverse models and subjects, unique locations and cultural collaborators set Art Macabre apart from your average life drawing experience. Fleeing Hackney for the weekend to the elysian fields of the Also Festival - Art Macabre are curating two stunning life drawing events - to which you are all invited. Pens at the ready.
Muna will be putting together the ultimate bookshop for an ideas festival bringing all the best books for you to browse. She magically transports Book and Kitchen to the country to create in our humble opinion the world's most beautiful book shop. Think cake and coffee, reclining seats looking out on the lake, and even a Billie Holliday soundtrack on vinyl. Muna Khogali worked in publishing for many years before founding Book and Kitchen, a beautiful Notting Hill bookshop with a small cafe, art gallery and events space, hosting literary evenings, supper clubs, music nights and more.
Co-author of Sex, Lies, & Brain Scans, Julia Gottwald hails from the University of Cambridge's Department of Psychiatry, where she researches cognition in teenagers with obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary research and holds academic degrees in Biochemistry from Free University (Germany) and Neuroscience from the University of Oxford. She'll be at Also to discuss the the moral complexities of neuroscience. What the technique of fMRI entails, what information it can give us, which applications are possible today, and which ones are science fiction. Considering the important ethical questions these techniques raise: should brain scans be allowed at airports to screen for terrorists? Should they be used to vet future judges and teachers? And just how far will we allow neuroscience to go?
This session is designed to get you back in touch with your inner artist. Based on the work of Paul Thek ("we are all artists," so said Joseph Beuys) this hour session will delve in to who you are and use your unique approach and experience to create art. A mixture of biography, experience, beliefs and artistic talent - festival goers on this workshop will design, build, sculpt and create. Inner Artist will be led by Susan Supercharged, an Artist/ Lecturer who grew up in the exciting and precarious New York City East Village Art Scene. She studied painting and performance at such places as The Arts Students League and Stella Adler acting studios. Susan Supercharged appeared in one of the last Andy Warhol projects at the Factory ,and she worked as a Fashion model where she was known for filming with her Super 8 camera as she went down the runway. Many of these films inform her current practise. Susan relocated to London in 1997, forming an Art Collective in Shoreditch. She continues to explore questions of distorted identity through collaged commercialism, pyschogeography,and assumed advertising. These hybrid terrains are filmed, photographed, cut up and painted. Her last piece “The Unbearable Automaticity of Being” was a large multi media installation of Susan Supercharged’s Space Pod/ Space Camp crash landing in a Soho Car Park. She will be showing at Venice Biennale 2017 in the group Show “ Empire II ".
Kate Raworth is a renegade economist focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to address the 21st century’s social and ecological challenges, and is the creator of the doughnut of planetary and social boundaries. Her book Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st Century Economist sets out a radical and visionary new approach to economic thought. Kate dares to take on the mainstream economics establishment with a radical rewrite of 200 years of theory. Using humour and metaphor, but always deeply grounded in the theory itself Kate offers a greener, fairer, safer way to think about the global economy. The book's 'seven ways to think' propose seven foundational principles for an economic mindset that is fit for this century and she is passionate about sharing them widely in a playful and engaging way.
Tom Chatfield is a British writer, broadcaster and tech philosopher. He’s interested in improving our experiences of digital technology, and better understanding its use through critical thought. A Visiting Associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, his six books exploring digital culture – most recently How to Thrive in the Digital Age (Pan Macmillan) and Live This Book! (Penguin) – have appeared in over two dozen countries and languages. He speaks and broadcast around the world on technology, the arts and media. Appearances include TED Global and the Cannes Lions Festival; authors@Google; the World Congress on Information Technology; Science Foo Camp; Intelligence Squared; the Houses of Parliament; Aspen Seminars for Leaders; and venues ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Googleplex.