Festival programme

Society 5.0 Festival programme is designed specifically around 5 substantive themes. Each theme features an interactive programme that explores a broad variety of perspectives and aspects and is curated by someone within the HvA.

More details on the programme will follow asap. Check back then to see what we have programmed for the festival.

Nature Re-imagined ↗

Western societies have long built their worlds on neat separations between humans and non-humans, nature and culture. In times of climate crisis and injustice, these worldviews no longer hold. This theme explores artistic and creative methods to re-imagine nature and the place and positions of humans and non-human animals and hosts dialogues to reflect on alternative futures. 

How can we learn to listen to the (political) voices of the sea? How can we understand the entanglements of nature and technology? How can we use digital tools to record the current landscape and build new relationships with non-humans? How can we take historical materials to imagine future landscapes impacted by climate change? How can we have constructive dialogues about climate change that include future generations and interspecies’ perspectives?

Hybrid Democracy

Freedom, equality, rule of law and respect for human rights. Those are the main goals of democratic societies. Is technology helping us getting there? Not without upgrading democracy to version 5.0. This means reclaiming democratic control over how data and technology is used, claiming our rights as citizens and pushing back technology based on authoritarian values.

At the same time, we need to design practices and spaces that bring people together, regardless of being online or offline. A hybrid perspective is needed that has these human and democratic needs at its core.

Speculative Futures

If we want to help shape the future, we will need to adopt a different way of thinking. After all, how do you imagine what does not yet exist? Futures thinking and futures literacy are necessary for solving the complex challenges our society is facing from a proactive rather than reactive stance. 

This new way of thinking should always be based on public values like inclusivity, equality and justice. But how do you ensure that what we design, really facilitates those values? How can we avoid unintended consequences?




Nick Verouden
Senior researcher Digital Society School

Pieter van Boheemen
Senior researcher Rathenau Institute

Shauna Jin
Program manager Digital Society School

Sabine Niederer
Professor of Visual Methodologies & Program manager ARIAS

Esther Hammelburg
Researcher and senior lecturer HvA

Irene Kamp
Lecturer HvA

Digital Public Spaces

Thirty years after the invention of the world wide web, the internet has become a central infrastructure in our lives. We depend on it for our information, news provision, entertainment, communication, and orientation and understanding of the world. With the rise of both smart cities and the Metaverse, the entanglement of digital and physical worlds will only increase. Yet in contradiction to the public spaces in our cities, there is hardly a truly public domain in these digital infrastructures.

Are filter bubbles, social polarization and the commodification of our everyday lives inevitable in such a world? How can, instead, public values be designed and safeguarded in our increasingly digitally mediated societies?

Imagination in Transitions

How should we deal with enormously complex challenges, like the energy transition, the food transition, climate adaptation and polarization, that require a multidisciplinary approach? The cultural and creative sector has a major role to contribute, but the unique value and impact of art and creativity needs to be more clearly articulated on all social agendas.

The creative capacity of individuals and society is empowered by the arts, digital media & technology and design. It makes change possible by stepping out of the bubble, exposing existing problems and coming up with disruptive and non-solving angles. It allows people to imagine a ‘different’ state. By imagining, experiencing and feeling we create new scenarios for the future. We need to make the application of these methods more accessible and the effects more tangible so they can be effectively used to help build a better world.



Martijn de Waal
Lector (Professor) Civic Interaction Design HvA

Tamara Witschge
Lecturer Creative Media for Social Change HvA

Loes van der Tuuk
Project Manager at the Center of Expertise Creative Innovation (CoECI)

Location & Venue

The Society 5.0 Festival will take place at The Student Hotel in Amsterdam. The location is easily accessible by public transport, taxi or on foot.

The Student Hotel (TSH), Amsterdam City

Wibautstraat 129, 1091 GL Amsterdam

OCT 2022