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Back to the future for UEA academics at Latitude Festival

University of East Anglia (UEA) academics who are pioneering research into what the future holds for science, politics and language, will host a series of talks and workshops for young people at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Six academics from UEA’s Faculty of Humanities will run workshops around “UEA’s Future Visons” at Latitude Festival in Suffolk this weekend (Friday 13 July - Sunday 15 July).

The 2018 festival at Henham Park is based around the theme of the future and is titled “Tomorrow’s World…it takes a village”. It will feature installations, discussions and workshops on the future of technology, space, communication, healthcare and food.

Alan Finlayson who is Professor of Political and Social Theory at UEA’s School of Politics will be speaking about the future of democracy, said: “I think that at the moment a lot of people, all over the world, are having difficulty imagining a future. Things seem to move so fast and often take unexpected directions.”

The experts hope that people positively discuss what the future might hold for specific areas of interest or concern such as America, the planet and nature.

“All of the academics speaking are doing work which is having impact and are already making a difference to policy or public life, to large audiences.” said Alan.

In interactive workshop, young people will have a chance to attend the UEA's Youth Speakers Corner and learn about writing speeches and public speaking. These workshops are organised by Beth Derks who runs the Future Leaders project in the department. Together with Professor Alan Finlayson and UEA students they aim to inspire and equip future generations or budding changemakers to speak out on topics that they feel passionately about.

“The myth is that younger people spend all their time on their phones, only communicating by texts. But actually, online media is full of people communicating in all sorts of ways, giving speeches, making arguments and advancing claims about the world.

“I find that younger people really want to know more and to learn about how they can evaluate others’ arguments while shaping their own.

“I hope that we all get a chance to share some of the things we’ve had the privilege of learning about and specialising in and that others, in hearing about them, are inspired to find out more for themselves.”