Brain Bar Budapest Debating Futures
1-3 June 2017
Wired

Don't expect the ordinary

Brain Bar Budapest is Europe's festival of future thinking

Brain Bar Budapest is where the challengers and trendsetters from across the world give us a glimpse of what’s to come. Our festival kicks off where others throw in the towel. Philosophers take on disrupters. Technologists clash with ethicists. All interspersed with music and performance with unique and unpredictable slants on what the future holds.

Our first 24 masterminds for 2017

With 30 more to come!

Albert-László Barabási

Albert-László Barabási

Rockstar of network science
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How everything is connected to everything?

Director of the Center for Complex Network Research at the Northeastern University. His work lead to the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, and proposed the Barabási-Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological and social systems, from the cellular telephone to the WWW or online communities. His best-selling book "Linked: The New Science of Networks" is available in fifteen languages worldwide.

Peter Sunde

Peter Sunde

Co-founder of Pirate Bay
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How to keep secrets after privacy died?

Politician, computer expert and social activist known for co-founding the world's most resilient bittorrent site Pirate Bay. He was imprisoned in 2014 but ran for the European Parliament in the same year, expressing concerns over the centralization of power in the European Union. He also founded Flattr, a Sweden-based microdonation provider and currently works as an artist in residence at the collective of Konsthack.

Simone Giertz

Simone Giertz

Queen of Shitty Robots
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How to keep technology playful?

A non-engineer maker and robotics enthusiast from Los Angeles. Her widely popular videos have been featured on Wired, Mashable, Business Insider as well as in The Late Show and Conan O Brien. She recently joined TESTED, a team of makers founded by master robot-builder Adam Savage.

Shane Tusup

Shane Tusup

Badass of swimming
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How to reinvent winning in sports and business?

Coach and husband of the "Iron Lady", three-times Olympic gold medalist, world record holder swimmer Katinka Hosszú. FINA Female Coach of the Year in 2016. Together with his wife he co-founded Iron Aquatics, a new powerhouse for swimming talent in Budapest. A lawyer by education, he's the former Captain of Swimming at the University of Southern California.

Carol Cleland

Carol Cleland

Professor of Astrobiology
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When will we contact alien life?

Once a member of NASA Institute for Astrobiology, now Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. Her research areas include microbiology, origins of life and the theory of computation. She is the inventor of the term ‘shadow biosphere’, and currently finishing a book titled "The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for life as we don’t know it".

George Friedman

George Friedman

Founder of Geopolitical Futures
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Is there a global war coming?

Founder of Geopolitical Futures and former Founding Chairman of Stratfor. One of the globe's best known intelligence experts and geopolitical forecasters who has correctly predicted world-changing events — including the EU crisis, the Ukraine conflict, and the US-Iranian truce. He is the author of six best-selling books, including "The Next Decade", "The Next 100 Years" and "Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe".

Hannah Nordhaus

Hannah Nordhaus

Author of 'The Beekeper's Lament'
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Why bees matter for modern civilisation?

Award-winning author of "The Beekeeper’s Lament", a best-selling investigation on the worrisome global honey bee die-off. Graduated in history and American Studies from Yale University, her work received critical acclaim from the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Árvai Péter

Péter Árvai

CEO and Co-founder of Prezi
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How will artificial intelligence change our workplaces?

Chief executive of the legendary Budapest-born startup Prezi. Under his leadership, Prezi has secured its first round of investment from TED, then also raised funding from Silicon Valley's best-known venture capital firms Accel Partners and Sunstone Capital. In 2014, Peter was named 'European Web Entrepreneur of the Year' by the European Commission.

Boyd Cohen

Boyd Cohen

Urban strategist
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How can we make our cities smart and sustainable?

Urban strategist specialised in smart cities and sustainable development. Boyd received his PhD in Strategy & Entrepreneurship and co-authored Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change.

Stephen Cave

Stephen Cave

Director of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence
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Will artificial intelligence replace humans?

Executive Director of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. His latest work "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization" was called "the best book of the year" by The New Scientist. His topics include human nature, robot warriors and animal rights. Former diplomat and a frequent commentator of Wired, the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, the Financial Times, BBC and National Geographic.

Kevin Zollman

Kevin Zollman

Guru of game theory
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How to raise future-proof children?

Game theorist and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. He has applied game theory to a variety of topics and co-authored "The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting". His work has been covered in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and Scientific American.

Rocio Fonseca

Rocio Fonseca

Executive director of Start-up Chile
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What does tech talent want from governments?

Executive Director of Start-Up Chile, one of the world's most successful government programs for startups. Graduated from the MIT in biotechnology, management and entrepreneurship, she directed innovation portfolios and go-to-market initiatives and managed teams both in the private sector and the public administration.

Roger Scruton

Roger Scruton

Philosopher
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Are we fooled by utopianism?

One of the world’s most prominent, conservative thinkers. Author of more than 40 books, including The Meaning of Conservatism, The Need for Nations, and Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet, Scruton was knighted in 2016 for services to philosophy, teaching and public education. The Weekly Standard described him as "England's most accomplished conservative since Edmund Burke".

Megan Miller

Megan Miller

Co-founder of Bitty Foods
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Can we save the planet by eating insects?

Food entrepreneur and digital strategist. Her company Bitty Foods is based on the revolutionary idea that insects are the best sustainable source of protein for humans. In 2014, Bitty Foods was named among 'The world's 100 brilliant companies' by the Entrepreneur magazine.

Tim Spector

Tim Spector

Author of The Diet Myth
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Is there a science behind what we eat?

Myth-busting scientist focusing on the misterious microbes live in our body. Tim is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College, London and has recently been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Mona Chalabi

Mona Chalabi

Data Editor of The Guardian
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Will data tell us who will be our partner?

Mona is Data Editor of the Guardian, and columnist for New York Magazine. Her data sketches have been used by the United Nations and appeared in the National Geographic, VICE and the BBC. Mona previously worked at the Bank of England, Transparency International and the International Organisation for Migration. She likes lists.

Colin Beavan

Colin Beavan

No Impact Man
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Can we have zero impact on the environment?

The man behind the No Impact Project, an experiment of "zero impact" lifestyle, producing no trash, consuming no goods, using no carbon-based transportation and no paper products with his family for one year. Colin is also a dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, and a former Green Party candidate for the United States House of Representatives.

Travis Rieder

Travis Rieder

Bioethicist
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Should we have children in times of overpopulation and climate change?

What is the ethics of human self-preservation? Travis, a renowned bioethicist focuses on our collective responsibilities in the challenging era of overpopulation and climate change. His work has appeared in Wired and The Huffington Post.

Marije Vogelzang

Marije Vogelzang

Founder of the Dutch Institute of Food&Design
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Why does we need a food revolution?

The world's first eating-designer. Having graduated at the Eindhoven Design Academy, she set her mind to creating a new direction in design. After having developed and sold two experimental restaurants in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, she now works on restaurant concepts and long-term medical projects for hospitals. She launched the Dutch Institute of Food&Design last year.

Slomó Köves

Slomó Köves

Leading rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation
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What makes a modern religion?

Descending from several generations of rabbis, Slomó finally found his own vocation at the age of 14. Born in Budapest, he studied abroad in the yeshivas of New York, Pittsburgh and Paris and returned to become one of the most active religious leaders in Central Europe. He serves as chief rabbi of the Hungarian Defence Force and is the founder of the first Hebrew-Hungarian bilingual kindergarten and elementary school in Budapest.

Inna Braverman

Inna Braverman

Co-Founder of Eco Wave Power
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Will waves become the ultimate clean energy source?

Co-Founder of Eco Wave Power, a startup that generates clean energy from sea waves. Inna installed her first power plant at the age of 26 in Jaffa, Israel. Four years later she led the execution of the first wave energy array in the Mediterranean Sea. Inna and her story were recently featured in WIRED.

Ari Popper

Ari Popper

Founder and CEO at SciFutures
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Will science fiction make capitalism future-proof?

Leader of a team once called 'the coolest company on Earth'. SciFutures, a California-based innovation house, uses a panel of 100 renowned sci-fi writers to accelerate innovation, creating a workshop that embraces ominous future scenarios to develop real products. Helping “companies test drive the future,” their clients include Ford, Pepsi and the United States Navy.

Lucy McRae

Lucy McRae

Body Architect
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How can technology transform our body?

Trained in classical ballet and interior design McRae’s artistic study of technology began during her years at Philips Design, where she led the technology company’s far-future research lab. With a broad portfolio that focused on emotional sensing, she developed stretchable electronics and an electronic tattoo. Her range of emotion sensing dresses was awarded TIME’s Best Inventions of 2007. McRae is the inventor of the Swallowable Parfum and has spoken at Tribeca Film Festival, London’s Royal College of Physicians, Royal Albert Hall and BBC World Radio Service.

Tomotaka Takahashi

Tomotaka Takahashi

Founder and CEO of Robo Garage
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Why we fear robots?

Founder and CEO of Robo Garage and professor at the University of Tokyo. Tomotaka creates, designs, and invents unique humanoid robots. Inspired by his childhood obsession with Astroboy and other fictional characters, he believes that unlike cold and uninviting machines, humans can relate to robots only if they have bodies like humans.

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Wired UK
Brain Bar Budapest: the clash of ideas in the heart of Europe

Wired UK

Richard Florida
Great crowd, great energy, great city!

Richard Florida, the world’s leading urbanist, international best-selling author

Sir Martin Sorrell
We call it the un-conference

Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder & CEO of WPP

Dan O’Hara
Dear Brain Bar Budapest, you were marvelous! And you held a closing party good enough to make me miss my flight. Respect!

Dan O’Hara, New College of Humanities, London

Luc van Hoeckel
Special thanks to the Brain Bar Budapest team for the wonderful job you did. I appreciated your inviting me for this event, I felt very honored!

Luc van Hoeckel, Social Designer, Co-founder of Super Local

Former Speakers

Chris Hadfield

Chris Hadfield

World’s best known living astronaut
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Through his 21-years as an astronaut, Colonel Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions. During his multi-faceted career, Colonel Hadfield has intercepted Soviet bombers in Canadian airspace, lived on the ocean floor, been NASA’s Director of Operations in Russia, and recorded science and music videos seen by hundreds of millions. A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, is also the author of two internationally bestselling books.

Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson

Professor of History at Harvard University
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Niall Ferguson is Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, his acclaimed books include The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (also an International Emmy Award-winning PBS/Channel 4 documentary series), and Economies Die and Civilization: The West and the Rest.

He is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic and a prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics.

Sir Martin Sorrell

Sir Martin Sorrell

Founder & CEO of WPP
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Sir Martin Sorrell founded WPP, the world's leading advertising and marketing services group in 1985 and has been the director and chief executive throughout. Today WPP is the world leader in advertising and marketing services, and proud parent to many of the industry's biggest and most admired agencies. The group employs 190,000 people in 112 countries, and its clients include 350 of the Fortune Global 500. He has been publicly recognised with a number of awards including the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award. In the Time 100 "Builders & Titans" he was voted one of the world's most influential figures in business. He received a knighthood in January 2000.

Richard Florida

Richard Florida

Best-selling author of ‘The Rise of the Creative Class’
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Richard Florida is the Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide. He is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist, “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” according to The Economist. Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class – “one of the best business books of all time” – 800-CEO-READ.

Philip Zimbardo

Philip Zimbardo

The man behind Stanford Prison Experiment
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Professor Zimbardo was born in New York in 1933. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, triple-majoring in Psychology, Sociology and Anthropology. Afterwards, he received his M.S. and Ph.D from Yale University, where his advisor was Neal E. Miller. He taught at Yale, NYU and later at Columbia as well. He joined the Faculty of Psychology at Stanford in 1968. His famous prison experiment is considered to be one of the world’s top ten most famous experiments.

Neil Harbisson

Neil Harbisson

The world’s first cyborg
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Neil Harbisson is a Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves. The antenna’s internet connection allows him to receive colors from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. Harbisson identifies himself as a cyborg, he feels both his mind and body are united to cybernetics. He doesn’t feel he is using or wearing technology, instead he feels he is technology. His artworks investigate the relationship between colour and sound, experiment the boundaries of human perception and explore the use of artistic expression via sensory extensions. In 2010 he co­-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organization that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement.

Ken Goldberg

Ken Goldberg

Artist, Professor of Robotics at UC Berkeley
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Ken Goldberg is an artist and UC Berkeley professor. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering. Goldberg directs, among others, the Automation Sciences Research Lab and his inventions have been awarded eight US Patents. He’s art installations are related to his research and have been exhibited at venues such as Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo.

Sugata Mitra

Sugata Mitra

Leading evangelist of technology in education
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TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra is at the forefront of a new approach to education which challenges how we teach today’s children in a technological age. He is Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and previously a Visiting Professor at MIT in the US. Sugata is currently working on the School in the Cloud, which is the culmination of over a decade of research and observations from all over the world.

Tim Harford

Tim Harford

The Undercover Economist
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Tim is an economist, journalist and broadcaster. He is author of the million-selling “The Undercover Economist”, a senior columnist at the Financial Times, and the presenter of Radio 4’s “More or Less”. Tim has spoken at TED, PopTech and the Sydney Opera House and is a visiting fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. He was Economics Commentator of the Year 2014, winner of the Royal Statistical Society journalistic excellence award 2015, and also won the Society of Business Economists writing prize 2014-15.

Tina Saaby

Tina Saaby

Chief City Architect of Copenhagen
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Tina Saaby has been the Chief City Architect at the City of Copenhagen since September 2010. She inspires, facilitates, advices, and coaches the politicians and City Administration. Her responsibility is to help defining architectural guidelines and visions in developing the city based on the Architectural Policy.

Tina Saaby is also Visiting Professor at Sheffield University and external examiner at University of Roskilde, University of Copenhagen and she is the Chairman of the Advisory board at The Royal Academy of Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

Video Highlights

Neil Harbisson: Becoming cyborg

Neil Harbisson

Becoming cyborg

Virginia Postrel: Decoding glamour

Virginia Postrel

Decoding glamour

Rudi Westendorp: Ageing and vitality

Rudi Westendorp

Ageing and vitality

Strategic Partners

Magyar Telekom

Partners

Magyar Turisztikai Ügynökség
Visegrad Fund

Contributors

Res Publica Foundation
Centre for Central European Architecture
LEAF