No navel-gazing here

News And Views

News & Views

  • 25 November 2014
  • Phoebe Phillips

Connecting new spaces and critical thinking with BT Ingenious

3 Monkeys recently launched the first official BT Ingenious Tower Talk up the iconic telecom structure, to mark the launch of its first collection of essays, Connected Worlds, which brings together leading minds in a breadth of science, technology, advertising, new media and culture sectors.From BBC Click’s Kate Russell and Nick Kwek, to Conrad Bird and Labour MP Baroness McDonagh, we brought a truly eclectic audience of influencers to BT Tower, in order to encourage new opinions and new connections within diverse industries.

Kicking off the evening we produced a video reception from Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts on the age of the idea, swiftly followed by a TED-style panel discussion, introducing the provocative themes which lace the Connected Worlds book.

Robotics expert Dr Guy Hoffman dove into his theories to commence the panel, intimating how human-robot interaction will likely increase as we realise they simply do not have incentives to harm humanity. From managing our finances to teaching our children in schools, the potential is exciting but, to many, currently unknown. Guy questioned, “Would you rather have your kid taught by a robot, or a smartphone? Because that’s the direction we’re headed in.”*

The panellists sought to ask some of the questions that we as a collective audience aren’t yet comfortable with or used to thinking about; the aim was to connect new schools of creative thought with traditional ideology, and how we can push forward to realise future possibilities.

Chaired by a close collaborator of ours, Dr Chris Brauer of Goldsmiths University, the panel was also joined by internet technologist Ben Hammersley and BT’s resident futurologist Dr Nicola Millard, who both interrogated the disintegration of space, as precipitated by technology. “Why do we come into an office at 9am, sit down to email the person sitting opposite us?” Nicola enquired, looking at whether or not we’re making best use of technologies in working culture, and whether or not a luddite mind-set is inhibiting the evolution of ingenious processes.

Ben illuminated some of the darker aspects of connective technologies and space; how the notion of the corporation is changing entirely as individuals can use the internet to pool together quickly and untraceably - either with good or bad intentions. The suggestion was that our own knowledge and innovations ought to be on par with those operating in the darker webs.

Sparking original enquiries and complex debates, the event served as the first BT Ingenious branded Tower Talk, offering a prelude to the ingenious communications programme 3 Monkeys is delivering. For a brand steeped in tradition, this event reaffirmed the ingenious flame that fuels the heart of British Telecom. It wasn’t an opportunity to display an entirely new direction and new brand strategy, rather a more important task of reminding people how the business has arrived at where it is and the drivers to take its community forward: ideas and ingenuity. We’re looking forward to the next Tower Talk already!

_FH15093, 5093

*Quotations are paraphrased