Designing the Future 2023.


Amol Rajan captains electrifying flight to the future.

On Thursday 11th May 2023, a new cohort of passengers was welcomed aboard a ‘flight to the future’ – in the form of our third national Designing the Future event at the Royal Institution in London.

After securely fastening their seatbelts, all were invited to open their minds as well as their window blinds, get comfortable – with the uncomfortable – and explore the possibilities ahead for the built environment and beyond.

Fully briefed by Future World Airlines’ fabulous cabin crew, passengers were addressed by their captain – the inimitable Amol Rajan – before settling in for some first-class, interactive in-flight entertainment. Sparked by experts in their fields, there was illuminating conversation around everything from air mobility to the low-carbon transition, from group bias in AI design to the power of idealism and disruptive thinking, and lessons that can be taken from the bumble bee and the biodiverse meadow.

The evening even saw a demonstration of early electric aviation befitting of the Royal Institution’s scientific history, using a space hopper and a whole lot of gaffer tape. Punchy panel conversation later followed during a lively audience Q&A.

While the future holds many unknowns, having open and honest conversations enables us to explore the potential challenges that we may face.

Our Designing the Future events create a space for us to step out of the day-to-day and consider the issues shaping the years to come, as well as the opportunities that they may throw up.

We would like to thank all our guests and our superb speakers – Amol Rajan, Dr Paul Hanna, Darrell Swanson, Bernice Lee OBE, Frances Brown and Professor Ruth Morgan – for sharing their ideas and expertise with us.

Please enjoy a taster of the evening.