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About Dear Future,

Dear Future, is about so much more than predicting the future. Dear Future, poses bold questions that lead to innovative solutions. Questioners, thinkers, visionaries and innovators from all walks of life come together during this dynamic festival. A festival where experiments, entertainment, exhibitions and lectures meet. Dear Future, is for all those engaged in a smart, fearless and creative manner with society.

Dear Future, why do you exist?

Dear Future, emerged from an enormous curiosity. Humanity is facing some major challenges. How do we prepare ourselves for these? How do we shape an intelligent life in a rapidly changing world? We challenge you to think along with us.

Our mission is simple:

“Dear Future, poses the appropriate questions. Smart questions. Because most discoveries are not made thanks to the brilliance of the answer, but the brilliance of the question. Dear Future, invites you to use your talent and work with numerous visionaries, innovators and makers towards a better future.”

Dear Future, where do you come from?

Dear Future, will take place in the heart of the Spoorzone in Tilburg and in diverse locations in the centre of Tilburg. The fifth edition of this annually recurring showcase festival will take place from Saturday 23rd to Friday 29th of September 2017. The result of four editions of European Social Innovation Week, it is an event for social innovators from across Europe. Dear Future, is the answer to the question of how professionals and citizens can come together and enhance each other.

Dear Future, show me your world

Dear Future, allows you to look at the future through the eyes of Social Innovation. With inspirational guests, experts from different disciplines and motivated visitors, Dear Future, explores the not-too-distant future. The experiment gives us answers to the urgent issues and challenges in our rapidly changing world. With a focus on human strength.

Dear Future, what will you look like?

Dear Future, is not a futuristic festival, but does look to the future. In search of new insights. With astonishing organisations, experts, businesses and communities, we investigate urgent challenges. Dear Future, doesn’t present answers, but rather works with visitors and professionals on solutions.


The conference programme comprises stimulating lectures, hackathons, workshops, keynote speakers, panels, dinners, presentations and pitches.


The festival programme consists of diverse showcases and presents the entertainment of the future.


The surprising and innovative exhibitions encourage you to think about Social Innovation. Food for thought.


On Friday 29th September, the Social Innovation Award will be presented for the seventh time. This award will be given to an organisation or initiative that is an example of successful Social Innovation. Initiators or those involved in projects that contribute to Social Innovation can apply until Sunday 21st May 2017 via


And of course, we’ll socialise. Exchanging ideas over a nice, cold beer is always a good plan.

Dear Future, what interests you?

Our interests are broad, but one aspect may of course appeal to you more than another. Dear Future, exposes all facets of life; from the future of dating to possibilities with food. The Dear Future, programme comprises six main themes:


Who am I? And what does my appearance, my demeanour, my gender, sexuality and ethnicity mean for my identity? How do we distinguish ourselves from the crowd whilst still keeping sight of our hub in a highly-individualised society?


Food is the engine of our very existence. What is good nutrition and how do we ensure that there is sufficient food for everyone, in a world population growing exponentially?


Every individual deserves a roof above his or her head, in the city or countryside. The urban environment has its own challenges ahead. How do we deal with urbanisation? More and more people are moving from the countryside to the cities, creating mega-cities. Where will we put all these new inhabitants? What new forms of housing will come into play? And how to we make sure that our cities do not pollute?


Our health determines how long we live. In Western society, life expectancy is rising steadily. What is (un)healthy? How far are we prepared to go with interventions to prolong our lives? Is there mass agreement about 3D-printed organs and other custom applications? And what do these applications mean for our body and soul?


How do you travel from A to B? This will look very different in ten to twenty years’ time. Perhaps we’ll be getting into self-driving buses or cars, grabbing and e-bike and sharing our car with others. New technology means that vehicles are becoming smarter. Is, for example, the use of big data the solution to the congestion problem?


What do you do at the weekend? In the future, will you be able to make a distinction between work and leisure time? Are we working at home more? And does this mean that the dividing line between work and private life is becoming hazy?