“Science vision“ instead of “science fiction“: the Fraunhofer ISI explores images of the future at the first Foresight Film Festival

Sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the first ever Foresight Film Festival will take place on 2 July 2015 in the German city of Halle (Saale). Short films on selected future topics will be shown there under the slogan of “Science Vision“. Entries to the Festival can be submitted by students, artists or scientists up to 31 May. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI is contributing its expertise in foresight research to the Festival that is organized by Prof. Ralf Wehrspohn of the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in close cooperation with the science2public – Gesellschaft für Wissenschaftskommunikation e.V. and Fraunhofer ISI.

How will new technologies influence our daily lives? What opportunities and risks for society does technology progress entail? And in what kind of a world do we want to live in the future? The Foresight Film Festival, which is taking place for the first time on 2 July 2015 in Halle (Saale), takes a cinematic and creative approach to these and other questions. Visionaries from all disciplines, whether students, creative artists or scientists are called upon to submit their images of the future as short films before 31 May this year.

The following three topics have been selected for the short film competition:

  • “Self-optimization or: the quantified self. How successful, beautiful, happy and healthy can a person be?“
  • “Artificial intelligence or: tomorrow’s world of work. Of computers, robots and human creativity.“
  • “Post privacy or: where is the flood of data taking us? Treacherous toothbrushes and the oil of the information age.“

Against the backdrop of the Foresight Film Festival, Prof. Marion A. Weissenberger-Eibl, Director of the Fraunhofer ISI, emphasizes how important it is for society to confront future topics: “We can only match our actions to the requirements and challenges of the future and remain innovative if we tackle the questions of tomorrow’s changes in society and technology today in science, politics, the economy and society. This is the starting point for the Fraunhofer ISI’s foresight research and the Foresight Film Festival will provide creative inspiration for the future orientation of research and innovation in Germany.“

Foresight has been an integral part of the research activities at the Fraunhofer ISI for many years. Dr. Simone Kimpeler, Head of the Competence Center Foresight, has this to say about the institute’s role in the Foresight Film Festival: “The Fraunhofer ISI is already involved in the BMBF’s current Foresight process and has identified societal and technological trends with innovation potential. From among the ´stories of the future´ resulting from this, we have selected three topics for the first Foresight Film Festival. On top of this, we can assist the participating film teams in an advisory capacity. The cooperation initiated by the Festival between creative artists and film makers and technology developers and scientists from different disciplines is a very exciting project. This is a way of trying out new ways of participating in the development of future visions. As part of the scientific monitoring of the Foresight Film festival, we are especially interested in what visions of the future the films contain.“

The scientifically sound short films can be submitted until 31 May 2015. After pre-selection by a specialist jury, the general public will choose the best foresight short film in each of the three categories live and via the internet on 2 July. The winning entries will receive prize money of 3.000 euros.

In cooperation with the Department for Media and Communication Studies at the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Film Festival is also offering a free "science2movie academy" especially for students and interested young scientists that starts with a block seminar from 20-22 March 2015 and supports the participants of the interdisciplinary teams in turning their ideas into short films.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI analyzes the origins and impacts of innovations. We research the short- and long-term developments of innovation processes and the impacts of new technologies and services on society. On this basis, we are able to provide our clients from industry, politics and science with recommendations for action and perspectives for key decisions. Our expertise is founded on our scientific competence as well as an interdisciplinary and systemic research approach.

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