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Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming

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Brooke Boland

Vivid Sydney 2018 opens next week. Here’s our guide to the most valuable events for those working in the arts.
Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming

Image: supplied.

When Tory Loudon came on board to curate Vivid Ideas 2018, her thoughts were firmly fixed on the future. 

‘There’s a beautiful David Bowie quote: “Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming”. Tomorrow, the future, what we each need to be equipped to take on the big topics that creativity and innovation should be thinking about – that has been my focus,’ she said.  

Like earlier iterations, Vivid Sydney involves three pillars: the popular illumination of the city; featuring Light art, installations and projections; a Music program of Australian and international acts; and an Ideas program that spans the innovation and imagination sector, exploring the intersection of technology, culture and creativity.

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This year’s Vivid Ideas program tackles the big topics and conversations we need to have in the arts.

‘For me it was all about the future. What’s coming up, what sort of society we are creating, how people are using technology and innovation and to tackle the big issues on the horizon,’ said Loudon.

This year’s program has a design and innovation focus, and the creative arts feature across the talks, workshops, and break-out conferences. Here are our highlights.

International game changers you’ll want to hear from

The Game Changer series brings together international voices at the forefront of design, technology and science

Jane McGonigal and Kriti Sharma on Futurism and AI

Loudon invited futurist and game designer Jane McGonigal to be in conversation with artificial intelligence technologist Kriti Sharma to talk about future thinking and society, the ethics of designing AI, and how to apply futurist thinking to open up new possibilities with your work

Why see it?

‘When people think about the future, they find it very hard to put themselves as a first person in the future. [McGonigal] wants to teach people how to think like a futurist; she will give you some tools and tips so you can think about what some of the big scenarios on the horizon are, and learn what you can do now to create the world around you that you want in the future,’ said Loudon.

Peggy Oki and Laura Wells on Art and Social Media

Peggy Oki and Laura Wells, two women pioneering environmental change through new approaches, share how they built an on- and off-line community to become agents of change. 

Why see it?

Learn tips about turning your passion into action and explore what part you can play in making a real impact. 

Dan Goods on NASA and Creativity

Dan Goods is the Director of the Museum of Awe and Visual Strategist for NASA. He will discuss how he went from arts student to working for the pre-eminent science institution and space agency, NASA. 

Why see it?

‘His whole thing is about how creativity is actually really important in all areas, including science. He blends science, art, creativity, and innovation to create incredible projects that help people think about space and time, and about our place in the cosmos,’ said Loudon.

Dare Jennings on Creating Cult Brands

Today many people are looking for customised experiences and companies are working hard to discover how to build brands based on this desire for individuality and the bespoke. Dare Jennings, Founder of Mambo clothing, Phantom records and Deus Ex Machina, talks all things custom and explains that you need to throw out the rule book in order to create cult brands that cut across age and lifestyles.

Why see it?

‘People are looking for individualised, customisable experiences. Why is that? It’s actually a push against mass consumerism and people wanting to find their own way to express their creativity, which is why custom-made is becoming more prevalent,’ said Loudon.

The Inaugural Mark Colvin Conversation 

Are schools and society stifling or encouraging creativity? Hosts Julia Zemiro and Megan Washington will be joined by a panel of educators, writers and commentators including Lucy Clark, Robyn Ewing and Benjamin Law to discuss education and creativity.

Why see it?

‘If we want to prepare the next generation for the future – then creativity, imagination and the arts are critical. said Loudon.

Local catalysers who are creating the trends

The New Horizons series brings together local creatives and technologists to discuss trends and how we can address important contemporary topics through creativity and design.  

Upskilling and networking opportunities for Creatives

There are also opportunities to learn new skills through practical workshops and sector-specific conferences.

Film, TV, Audio and Digital Disruptors

Data Visualisation 

Creative Careers

‘Throughout Vivid Sydney 2018, audiences and artists alike will be presented with intellectual challenges and stimulating ideas’, Loudon explained.

‘They are all quite big topics, but they are the topics and conversations that I think we need to be having if we want to be a more compassionate society and we want to be better equipped as human beings,’ she concluded. 

Vivid Sydney 2018 runs from 25 May – 16 June at venues across Sydney. Learn more at

About the author

Brooke Boland is a Melbourne-based freelance writer.