FUTURES

By various authors, ed. Matt d’Ancona

Help make FUTURES - the collectible essay series that will change how we think

History
105% funded
250 supporters
On press

Publication date: November 2020

Support this project
It’s happening. FUTURES is at the printers and will be shipping to supporters as soon as the ink is dry.

Sold out!

$70  + shipping
3 pledges

The Ultimate Feminist Edition

Grace Campbell says: "I’m so excited for you to become one of the Pink Protest gang with this limited edition bundle. Kisses!"

PLUS:

  • 1 bundle of 5 books.
  • Your copy of The Future of Men signed by the Pink Protest (Grace Campbell, Scarlett Curtis, Honey Ross and Alice Skinner).
  • Limited to 10.
$100  + shipping
25 pledges

Frankie Boyle's Personal Dedication

Fancy a personal dedication, handwritten by the one and only Frankie Boyle? Go on, we dare you.

PLUS:

  • One set of all five books.
  • Frankie Boyle will personally dedicate your copy of The Future of British Politics.
  • Limited to 25.
$150  + shipping
10 pledges

Editor’s Annotated Edition - BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!

"You know those weird scribbles you get in second-hand books? I’ll write mine in to your copies, underlining the important bits and - quite possibly - inserting doodled drawings of my favourite Oxford philosophers. Anything could happen, really." Matt d’Ancona

PLUS:

  • All five books, signed by the authors.
  • One book in the series, of the editor's choosing, will be annotated personally by Matt.
  • Extended to 10.
$150  + shipping
5 pledges

Editor's Annotated Edition - Liz Moseley

"I'm proud to be a feminist killjoy, wannabe academic and great believer in the therapeutic power of a snarky underline. I will be treating myself to a new set of purple, white and green pens to do this in a manner befitting of our foremothers. I'm already cross about Frankie Boyle tbh and I've not even read his yet." - Liz Moseley, Tortoise Members' Editor

PLUS:

  • All five books, signed by the authors.
  • One book in the series, of the editor's choosing, will be annotated personally by Liz.
  • Limited to 5.
$150  + shipping
5 pledges

Founder's Annotated Edition

"This pledge might have very limited and niche appeal. Expect liberal use of a highlighter pen and the time-honoured KVS red pen approach. I will probably outsource a couple to Mrs V (my Mum) so expect a few expletives. Like mother, like daughter." - Katie Vanneck-Smith, Co-founder, Tortoise.

PLUS:

  • All five books, signed by the authors.
  • One book in the series, of the editor's choosing, will be annotated personally by Katie.
  • Limited to 5.
$150  + shipping
5 pledges

Edith's Annotated Edition

"Our resident cartoonist, Edith, is getting so famous that this may be the last chance you have to own some of her original handwriting without securing a second mortgage. Imagine if Picasso had been funny - that's how brilliant her annotations will be. How can you possibly say no?" - Matt d'Ancona, FUTURES series editor

PLUS:

  • All 5 books, signed by the authors
  • One book in the series personally annotated by the Tortoise cartoonist, Edith.
  • Limited to 5.
$150  + shipping
5 pledges

The Author's Edition: Frankie Boyle

Frankie's commentary on one of the five essays, written by his own fair hand. Kinda like heckling, but with a biro. Caution: likely to be fairly rude.

PLUS:

  • All five books, signed by the authors.
  • One book in the series, of the editor's choosing, will be annotated personally by Frankie.
  • Limited to 5.
$150  + shipping
5 pledges

Bidisha: The Serious Art edition

Bidisha is offering a gorgeous limited edition fine art photographic print from her series depicting still lives and votive objects.

PLUS:

  • All 5 books, signed by the authors.
  • Your name printed in the back of each book.
  • One original A5 print (unframed) signed by Bidisha (worth £100).
  • Limited to 5.
$180  + shipping
8 pledges

Member's Edition

All five books signed by the authors, plus a one-year Tortoise membership so you can join us in our newsroom and tell us what you think the future might look like.

PLUS:

  • All five books, signed by the authors.
  • Your name printed in the back of each book.
  • One year membership of Tortoise for you or a friend (worth £100).
$7,500  + shipping
1 pledge

Class of 2020 Patron

Donate the first five FUTURES books and annual membership of Tortoise to the class of 2020 at a UK secondary school or university of your choice. Tortoise editors will visit the chosen schools of the two Class of 2020 Patrons to host a ThinkIn with the students and teachers on a topic of their choice.

PLUS:

  • 150 bundles of all five books (worth £4,500).
  • 150 student memberships of Tortoise (worth £1,800).
  • Your name, and that of the school/university, printed at the front of each book as a special “thank you”.
  • Two Founding Memberships of Tortoise, including the Tortoise Quarterly in print and tickets to ThinkIns (worth £500).
  • Two VIP tickets to our launch event on June 12th to 14th June 2020 at Kirtlington Park in Oxfordshire, including entry to the VIP meet-and-greet with a selection of the authors (worth £250).
  • A bespoke ThinkIn with the students and teachers at the chosen school or university for the first two to pledge. Travel outside of London not included.
  • Limited to 2.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get my book delivered to?

We deliver to most countries worldwide. Enter your delivery address during checkout and we'll display the shipping cost when we know where to send your book.

How do supporter names work?

Every person who pledges to help to make a book gets their name included in a supporter section as a thank you as long as they pledge before the list closing deadline. If you want to add a different name, this can be changed in your account after you have completed your pledge.

Still have a question? Visit our Help Centre to find out more.

Where and who do we want to be? 

How might we get there? 

What might happen if we stay on our current course?

Each short book in the FUTURES series presents a beautifully-written original future vision by an accomplished writer and/or subject expert. Read individually, these books will inform, entertain and challenge. Collectively, they will inspire readers to imagine what might lie ahead, to figure out how they might like the future to look, and think about how, collectively, we might make the transition from here to there.

The first five FUTURES

The Future of Serious Art by Bidisha

Bidisha is a broadcaster, writer and film maker. 

The digital revolution has brought all of TV, cinema, shopping and music, not to mention porn, literally into the palm of our hands. It’s easier than ever to bring stories to life, but what happens when artistic work is rebranded "content creation"? Where does this leave literary novelists and arthouse filmmakers? What about those auteur-directors who make mainstream but beautiful, thoughtful films for the big screen? 

Bidisha will use her personal journey through novels, TV and film to mirror the changes that have happened in pop culture, cultural theory and the industry. As a storyteller, and a woman of colour who isn't a millennial, she’ll ask who is taken seriously as an artist, what is taken seriously as art now and how might that change over the next century? 

The Future of British Politics by Frankie Boyle

Frankie Boyle is a comedian and writer.

He says, “To be honest, I have absolutely no idea what the future of British politics will look like. But things should be clearer when I start work in January, possibly in some kind of re-education camp. I’ll be looking at some of the forces that will be key in the coming years, from post colonial entitlement to looming climate catastrophe and drawing what I can only assume will be some fairly negative conclusions.” 

The Future of Men by Grace Campbell

Grace Campbell is a 25-year-old comedian, writer, filmmaker and activist.

She was born in a political environment that suggested only aggressive, dominant men – like her father, Alistair Campbell – were allowed power. Seeing this, she decided that if she wanted to be powerful she had to be like him - a decision which baffled the boys she grew up with.

Being a woman, Grace is well qualified to write this essay. After all, men have been writing about the future of women since words came into existence. Now, Grace returns the favour. Her start point is this: men who thrive off women loathing them will eventually go extinct. Hurrah. She’ll use her own experience, research and interviews to explain how.

She says, “Men do the world the most harm, and yet still have most of the power. I am looking forward to thinking about what men’s relevance will be in the future. I’m sure what I write will piss some people off, and I’m happy about that.” 

The Future of Stuff by Vinay Gupta

Vinay Gupta is CEO of Mattereum, a company that authenticates, indexes and catalogues things on the blockchain. He has a background in designing innovative equipment and systems for refugee camps, including the famous “hexayurt”.

What kind of world will we live in when every item of property has a digital trace? When nothing can be lost and everything has a story? Will property and ownership become as fluid as film is today: summoned on demand, dismissed with a swipe? What will this mean for how we buy, rent, share and dispose of stuff? About what our stuff says about us? And how will this impact on us, on manufacturing and supply, and on the planet? 

The Future of Seduction by Mia Levitin

Mia Levitin is a freelance cultural and literary critic. Her work appears regularly in publications including the Financial TimesThe Spectator and the Guardian. She is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and previously had a career in mergers and acquisitions. 

"We inhabit a culture drenched in dismay, distrust and dystopian fear. There is always a role for realism - but, in 2020, it is definitely time for a corrective, and an intellectual approach that embraces the rich possibilities, multiple challenges and mesmerising innovations that will shape the 21st Century. FUTURES has been founded in precisely that spirit - to commission the best and the brightest writers, representative of modern society, to map out the potentialities and perils of this new world, each in their own distinctive, personal and striking way. Collectively, these essays will combine the wisdom of the ages with the shock of the new. They will be constructive, provocative and indispensable." 

Matt d'Ancona, FUTURES Series Editor

The story behind FUTURES

In the immediate aftermath of WW1, a series of small books made a big impression. In an extraordinary series called To-Day and To-Morrow, published over 8 years from 1923, over 100 established and emerging authors, philosophers, scientists and others laid out a vision for the future. From the future of science to the future of swearing, their ingenuity, penmanship, humour and optimism produced a unique and important body of work that has proven to be, in turns, spectacularly accurate and wonderfully wrong. Collectively they envisioned ideas that must have seemed perverse at the time, glimpsing things we now take for granted, including IVF and maternity leave, mobile phones and video games, wind power and the internet. The opening book of the series by J.B.S Haldane inspired elements of his friend Aldous Huxley’s famous futuristic novel Brave New World. Contributors - Sylvia Pankhurst, Robert Graves, Vera Brittain and Bertrand Russell among them - were some of the most important voices their time.

FUTURES reboots this series for today. 

We believe the public discourse about our collective future needs urgent revision. The gap between the powerful and the powerless is widening. Many of us feel locked out. Alarmed by the lack of vision, hungry for leadership - in business, politics, technology, culture and society. To be blindly optimistic is irresponsible, but without optimism we have no hope. 

At the heart of FUTURES is the belief that the future is unknowable and it is ours to make. To make it, we must first conceive of it and then describe it. It will be comprised entirely new work commissioned especially for FUTURES. It will not be a manifesto. It will not be a prediction or a forecast. It will be an exercise in constructive optimism. Together, FUTURES will take the time to think through a series of alternative futures that are possible but not inevitable. It will make the case for them and point a way forward that we can believe in if we choose to. 

Book specification

  • Paperback
  • Fat A-format size: 121 x 178mm
  • Each essay is roughly 12,000 words 
  • The essays are printed separately.
  • Subject to funding, the first five titles will be sent to subscribers in June 2020.
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  • The FUTURES team avatar

    The FUTURES team

    Dr Lisa Gee – RESEARCH FELLOW IN FUTURE THINKING, University of Birmingham. PROJECT LEAD
    Prof Max Saunders – INTERDISCIPLINARY PROFESSOR OF MODERN LITERATURE & CULTURE, University of Birmingham. SERIES EDITOR
    Prof Don Paterson – PROFESSOR OF POETRY, University of St Andrews. SERIES CO-EDITOR
    Fiona Lensvelt – NEW PROJECTS EDITOR, Unbound.
    Annabel Shepherd-Barron PROJECT LEAD, Tortoise.
    Matthew d’Ancona – EDITOR & PARTNER, Tortoise. EDITORIAL LEAD

    Tortoise is a new media organisation set up by James Harding (former Director of BBC News), Katie Vanneck-Smith (former President of the Wall St Journal) and Matthew Barzun (US Ambassador to the UK under President Obama).


    Tortoise is on a mission to slow down and open up journalism: they don’t do breaking news, but what’s driving the news. Not the news as it happens, but when it’s ready. They take the time to see the fuller picture, to make sense of the forces shaping our future, to investigate what’s unseen.


    They focus on the Big Five forces that are shaping our lives: Our Planet, Belonging, New Things, Wealth and the 100-Year-Life, and are built with and for their members, who actively contribute to the stories they write at live, unscripted discussions called “ThinkIns”. ThinkIns are the heart of Tortoise and take place almost every weekday – in their newsroom and across the UK, enabling Tortoise’s top-flight team of journalists to harness the diverse experience and expertise of members to shape the way they write about the world. 

  • 6th August 2020 An update on the FUTURES series

    Dear readers

     

    We hope you’re safe and well, and that you have enough stimulating reading material to keep you going through these difficult times.

     

    We’re writing to update you on progress towards publishing the FUTURES essays. We originally planned to launch them earlier this year at KITE, Tortoise’s first ever festival of music and ideas. You won’t be surprised to learn that Covid-19…

    19th March 2020 Fully Funded FUTURES!

    A small ray of light in these difficult times.

    FUTURES is 100% funded, the manuscripts are coming in, and people can now pledge for the the digital edition, at a bargain £15 for all five essays. Please share the link with anyone you know who might be interested.  https://unbound.com/books/futures

    As a thank you… and to entice you to encourage a friend (or three) to buy, here’s a selection of…

    19th January 2020 To-Day & To-Morrow. The inspiration for FUTURES

    This week, Professor Max Saunders reveals the history behind the FUTURES essays.

    To-Day and To-Morrow – tech, sex & swearing in the 1920s

    Almost a century ago a young geneticist, J. B. S. Haldane, made a series of startling predictions in an essay called Daedalus; or, Science and the Future. Genetic modification. Wind power. The gestation of children in artificial wombs – “ectogenesis…

    3rd January 2020 Unique FUTURES pledge offer

    Happy New Year – and huge thanks, as ever, for your support.

    This week’s update focuses on Vinay Gupta, the author of The Future of Stuff.

    Vinay helped to design Dubai’s National Blockchain Strategy, was the release coordinator for the Ethereum blockchain, and is now CEO of Mattereum, the company organizing the world's property and making it universally accessible and useful.

    He has contributed…

    27th December 2019 Almost 40% funded… & some fabulous limited pledge offers

    I hope you're enjoying a peaceful/lively/relaxing (delete as applicable) festive break.

    As I write, FUTURES is heading for the 40% mark. Huge thanks for your pledges and for sharing the link with your friends, family and broader network. We’re getting there, but still need your help!

    Every pledge, every share on social media gets us closer to our target. So please keep posting, tweeting and…

    20th December 2019 Exclusive Christmas pressie for art lovers!

    Hi everyone

    Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you for supporting FUTURES so far. We've now reached 1/3rd of our target but we really need you to keep spreading the word with colleagues, friends, family – anyone looking for last minute Christmas presents – to make this project happen.

    *New pledge alert*

    This week, we have a new limited edition pledge from Bidisha – broadcaster, filmmaker…

    13th December 2019 30% funded, new pledge levels and a Q&A with Grace Campbell

    Welcome to our second FUTURES update.

    Thanks to all of you, we've now reached 30% of our target and have sold out of our Editor's Annotated Editions pledges. We're making good progress but we're going to need your help to make FUTURES happen so please keep sharing with friends. 

    *New pledge alert*

    This week, we have two new pledges from Grace Campbell - comedian, activist and author-to-be…

    6th December 2019 The first FUTURES update – Mystic Matt speaks

    Welcome to the first FUTURES update from me, Lisa Gee, FUTURES programme director. We’ll be updating you weekly, usually on a Friday. Although, as other days are available, we may surprise you by casually posting something on one of them.

    Huge thanks to all those of you who’ve already pledged. We're already coming up to 20% of our target, but we really need you to spread the word to make FUTURES…

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