The Day We Went Back

It is 2021 and a few of us have come back to dig up the Time Capsule. As a Past-ist and Futures Archeologist, I take pride photographing the Capsule as an Object. Dusting off the debris of assorted bugs and bees, I’m hoping the content buried within the Capsule will enlighten us to why the F/S 2014 lab was such a milestone in the history of storytelling. Sitting all together again around the fire, it became much clearer – of course, with hindsight…

F/S was a meeting that needed to happen. It was written in history, in future history.
If it didn’t happen at F/S, it would have happened elsewhere, probably a bit later in time. But thanks to the visionaries Lance and Christy, under their tutelage, it took place in 2014 at a beautiful mansion in the Hamptons.

The timing was precise; a critical inflection point for creators and storytellers and the soon-to-be ever chaining scene. In the past perfect of F/S, our dreams were infused by far afield unfeasibility and brought to life with wisdom, magic and resourceful thinking. However, the possibilities of making stuff technically real were overshadowing our ability to dream. In addition everyone was a maker – which was great – but we didn’t really want more of the same. We wanted to create something new, something that had never been done before; we wanted to dream big again so we set the bar the highest we could.

So we had to create a new context, new words, new forms, new work. There were 20 of us at the beginning, then more jumped onboard through the Festival, the Tours, the Documentary and the books…

In hindsight, it was the beginning of the paradigm shift we have since experienced. What made it invisible at the time however was the fact that we were not all members of the same scientific community to notice a disruptive change as it happened within the frameworks of individual disciplines. Our collective was indeed part of the new as well as a disguising factor to feel the power of the wave. What was disruptive though was that we were all aligned when nothing else about ourselves or the rest of the world was. In fact, if you all remember, our main concern when leaving the residence was how to keep our alignment ignited and alive!

Paula Zuccotti is founder of The Overworld – an innovation, trends forecasting and insight consultancy. Paula specialises in the relationship between people, technology and culture and has a unique eye for spotting emerging behaviours, which she translates into insights and opportunities for product and services for companies such as LG, Nokia and Google. Formerly Director of Futures at Seymourpowell, where she created and developed the company’s renowned Ethnographic Research offer, Paula travelled the world for twelve years directing global trends and consumer-behavior studies for a bandwidth of consumer electronics, transportation, FMCG and luxury clients. She is a regular speaker at international conferences and has published several articles. Paula has also co-created educational design programs for the V&A museum and is currently exploring The Future of Culture with The Royal Academy of Arts. Paula has a First-class Honours degree in Industrial Design from the University of Buenos Aires and a Masters in Design Strategy and Innovation from Brunel University. She lives in London.

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