I am making a very exciting book this year. It’s being designed by Ella Britton and Joana Casaca Lemos, and is part of the Think Act Vote (?!X) project that I started in 2010. It is a radical think tank that explores the new and creative ways we can and are shaping our future lives and communities. We are disrupting the traditional model of a think tank because we believe that every single one of us, no matter what age, background, religion, ethnicity or occupation has personal experiences and ideas to share that can lead us to a brighter future.
It all started from a conversation with friends that presented a simple reality – when you flip an election on its head, it’s really just about choosing a future. And with that Think Act Vote (?!X) was founded and immediately set out to playfully ask people that very question; What is the Future You Choose?
We started with a ballet box and asked hundreds of people to think about and vote for the future they choose. The most powerful of these futures have recently been visualised by over fifty amazing illustrators – we are sharing these illustrations every week of 2012 in our online Futures Calendar. We ran a t-shirt design competition, judged by an esteemed creative panel, including Fashion Designer Katharine Hamnett, Social Entrepreneur Cyndi Rhoades and Stylish Illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve, and the winning design by Jesson Yip was lovingly made into t-shirts by ethical fashion superstars, Komodo. We then ran an event called ?!X Refashioned that saw leading ethical fashion designers Tara Starlet, Ada Zandtion, Beautiful Soul, Junky Styling and others design a one off piece and customisations for any one to do at home. And, with our travelling photobooth we’ve travelled to events and festivals across the country, including Vintage Goodwood and Latitude Festival and snapped hundreds of people in the ?!X t-shirts.
In 2011 we launched our Futures Interviews series, asking people to share their chosen futures and some of the ways we can think, act and vote to create them. The Futures Interviews are continuing to fly into our inbox thick and fast, and we’re publishing many interviews online every week. Whilst we’re super excited about this we really don’t want the older stories to be lost in a digital archive. We want to pause for a moment and capture some of the best responses we’ve had in a book, all about the future.
The final book will be published in June 2012 (hopefully launched at Rio+20) and will available to buy in limited edition. We’re also planning to present both the project and book to the British Prime Minister and leading politicians, to raise awareness of a new collaborative and creative future.
The book is going to feature a whole host of known contributors such as Wayne Hemingway, Dan Snow, Kriss Akabusi, Lynne Franks, John Bird and June Sarpong but alongside completely new voices such as Abrar Agil, a 17-year-old third-generation Palestinian refugee living in Machester.
All the interviews received between now and the end of March will be put forward for the edit for the book, so what are you waiting for?