Beyond the excitement of constantly seeking out interesting ways to deliver African Cultural contents for kids vis-à-vis Asa apps & videos lies the yearning for regular motivations: opportunities to experience new Cultures, add faces to customers known only virtually, engage & showcase works to a new audience, share our journey with others for the purpose of learning and collaborations etc.
And just when the team was getting to terms with the months long routine of redesigning some of our apps to meet the feedback generated from customers over the course of a year, we got a great opportunity to experience something we’d long dreamt of!
Enter the British Council and FutureEverything!
We made the list of British Council’s international delegates to the just concluded FutureEverything Festival in Manchester, United Kingdom. FutureEverything is an award winning annual event that brings together thinkers and doers in the creative and digital space. Simple put, it is an innovative intersection between Technology and Culture making it an interesting one for us long before it came true. It brings together people to discover, share and experience new ideas for the future within the beautiful city of Manchester: home to a lot more than football as I would come to know.
This year’s festival was significant for two reasons. One, it marked the 20th anniversary of the Festival, a major milestone, with lots of interesting attractions lined up. Another was the inclusion of a 2 days inaugural Global Futr Lab put together by Strange Telemetry for selected international participants like myself. It offered us a chance to meet and work with innovators drawn from diverse backgrounds, experience, digital/creative practice and countries – UK, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Ukraine, UAE and Nigeria – making it an interesting inter-cultural exchange experience for us.
Whatever the acronym for the SHED at the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), it was an ideal space for working; a kind of nerdy nirvana for sparking off innovative ideas around solutions. Hence, the 2 days lab experience at the SHED offered a great atmosphere to dissect Asa apps with critical thoughts from an individual and collective point of view. First, I introduced Asa works alongside other participants. Next, we had
a light tour around the city of Manchester soaking in its Cultures as Tom and Rebecca talked us through its history. You got a sense of the regeneration happening in the city too just by observing the landscape. Ever the artsy type, a notable piece of attraction for me was the graffiti scattered across some parts.
Working in groups, we thought through our projects within the contexts of Systems, Designs and Processes from local, national and global perspectives. Practically considering Asa apps, factors that affect them in terms of distribution, platforms etc and what would become of them in an ideal future where technology barriers, copyrights and certain structures were broken. It was a process that allowed for futuristic ideas as to our contents, distribution etc. It was also interesting to hear the perspectives of others. A notable point from Heun was the South Korean brand “Pororo” popular among many kids in the country. On another note, I learnt from Vhenza that the word ‘Asa’ means Hope in one of Indonesia’s tribes. Bhavani, from India mentioned that ‘Asa’ means to aspire for something in her native Language. Interesting multi-context to our brand
In just 2 days, I’d seen the beauties of Manchester, worked with creatives of diverse cultures and backgrounds setting the pace for more interesting adventures and conversations ahead.
Adventures don’t come in one post! Next up, the FutureEverything Festival kicks off. Watch out for subsequent posts on the Series. There’s more to share.