24/05/18: STRP KICK-OFF

Launch of a critical, optimistic research project examining positive futurism and the role that artists and technology can play.

Date                   24 May 2018
Time                  13:00 – 18:00
Location          Wall Street, Stadhuisplein 6, Eindhoven
Register           before 22 May via this link

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Imagining the future is one of the most difficult things there is. What we (think we) know is the past, and we often look to the future with the same perspective. In confusing times, we like to flee into the illusion of an era in which the world seemed clearer, safer and friendlier. Whoever dares to dream of a better world for everyone, a world that, for that reason alone, no longer resembles that of yesterday, is quickly seen as a naive idealist.
Fear of the future is understandable, but it narrows our minds and impedes our ability to explore new ways and strategies. Yet this fresh way of thinking and alternative combinations are exactly what we need in order to be able to build the future, to apply perspective and in doing so to regain trust in our ability to look positively at ourselves and the world around us. The STRP programme for 2019 and 2020 will focus on a future that is (perhaps) better than we all dare to think.

During the STRP Kick-off we will explain more about the theme and our plans and join with artists and audience alike in thinking about the meaning and definition of critical optimism now and in the future.

We will do this together with writer and theatre-maker Rebekka de Wit who has written an essay about the question of why naivety and optimism have become so interchangeable, and with philosopher, writer and film and theatre-maker Pieter De Buysser who has been asked by STRP to reflect upon the project An Anthology of Optimism, about the possibilities of critical optimism in the 21 century, which he initiated ten years ago. Fashion model, ‘chancellor’ of The Institute of Exponential Sciences and dedicated Transhumanist Lotte van Noort is also one of our guests. She will take part in a session in which we will talk with the audience about the personal and social definition and meaning of critical optimism.
Writer and radio-maker Nikki Dekker made the podcast Iets doen, hoe doe je dat? for the VPRO, about how she and everyone who wants to do something can make a tangible contribution to a better world. During the STRP kick-off, Nikki Dekker will explain all about this project and together with the audience she will begin a new podcast about activism.

Download the programme here in pdf.

Parallel to this programme we organise a programme in Dutch for teachers and educators. Check our Dutch page for the programme.


Details about the programme / speakers:

Rebekka de Wit
Rebekka de Wit (1985) is a writer and theatre maker. Her debut novel We are one miracle short was published in 2015. She has been a columnist for De Correspondent since 2016 and is artistic director of the Flemish theatre group De Tijd.
Among other things, Rebekka has written the essay ‘We are all naive, let’s stop accusing each other of this’, in which she states that naivety and optimism are often mentioned in the same breath. And that, once you realise how miserable the world really is, you have to behave accordingly. But the longer she thinks about it, the stranger it seems that optimism and naivety have become interchangeable. She will give a lecture during the STRP Kick-off about what critical optimism means to her.

Pieter De Buysser
Pieter De Buysser (1972) is a writer, film maker and theatre maker. He studied philosophy in Antwerp and Paris. The interweaving of fact and fiction, exercises in thinking in terms of possibilities and imagining the uprising are just some of the recurring themes in his work.
Together with Jacob Wren (Can) he initiated the project An Anthology of Optimism ten years ago. As a starting point for this project they wrote a letter about critical optimism to artists, thinkers, scientists, writers, politicians and businesspeople all over the world, asking for their reactions.
They used this exchange to try to identify the possibilities for critical optimism in the 21st century, both on a personal level and in the socio-economic system. They shared the results and their own reflections with the general public in the form of a lecture-performance. STRP has now asked Pieter De Buysser to review the project ten years later and to reflect upon the findings from that time.

Lotte van Noort
Lotte van Noort (1996) is a fashion model, a nerdy science-lover and committed transhumanist. She is a ‘chancellor’ of The Institute of Exponential Sciences. The primary objective of this institute is to stimulate innovation and creativity in science. As a transhumanist, van Noort is primarily interested in how we can transcend nature by making humans, as a species, better.
During a joint-session with Lotte van Noort, Rebekka de Wit and Pieter De Buysser, we will talk about the personal and social meaning and the definition of critical optimism.

Nikki Dekker
Nikki Dekker (1989) is a writer and radio maker. Her poems have been published in De Gids, Tirade and De Optimist. Her first radio documentary My babysitter & me was selected for Prix Europa. She has made a three-part series about activism for the VPRO. She goes beyond liking and tweeting from behind the computer and in her podcast Do something, how? she researches how she, and everyone who wants to do something, can make a tangible contribution to a better world. During the STRP kick-off, Nikki Dekker will explain all about this project and together with the audience will start a new podcast about activism.