Talking about the future of

Sexual freedom or identity crisis? Age of genetic engineered super-babies? Is technology a friend or a foe to our children? How many people can live on our planet? What will be the most challenging question of human commitment?

Does big data know us better than we know ourselves? Is it keeping us in political bubbles? Will wearables transmit our biometrics and apps process it as big data?

What is the recipe for fighting brain drain? How can science fiction save capitalism? Will sport redefine success in business?

How do gangsters guide modern entrepreneurs? Will online pirates ransack our bitcoin chests? Can we put an end to the shadow economy?

Is prosthetics the 'new black'? Does body modification change human behaviour? Should we redesign ourselves through surgery and chemical intervention?

Can science fiction predict the future? Will conscious machines wipe out humankind? Would you ever fall in love with a robot?

Is the next world war coming? Has the end of capitalism begun? Will Europe become irrelevant?

Did you know that the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world? Is this going to change what we buy?How can the clothing sector benefit from new technologies, processes and business models?

What happens when we run out of drinking water? Which species will go extinct in 2017? Can we survive climate change? Lets go explore! See you at Brain Bar Budapest.

Why do most diets fail? Is there real science behind what we eat? Where does the key lie to health and weight loss?

Where have all the UFOs gone? What is a shadow biosphere? Is it possible to travel through time?

Is GMO really that dangerous? What it's like to be a galactic farmer? Can we save the planet by eating insects instead of meat?


Kevin Kelly
Legend of futurism

What forces shape humanity's future?

Writer, photographer, conservationist, world renowned guru of digital culture. Kevin is founding editor of WIRED magazine, founder of Hackers Conference and author of several books, including 'Out of Control - The New Biology of Machines, Economic and Social Systems'. He was futurist adviser of the movie Minority Report by Steven Spielberg. Kevin's newest book, 'The Inevitable - Understanding The 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future' is a New York Times bestseller. He'll fly in to Brain Bar Budapest straight from Pacifica, California.

Simone Giertz
Queen of Shitty Robots

How to keep technology playful?

A non-engineer maker and robotics enthusiast from Los Angeles. Her widely popular videos have been featured on Wired, Mashable, Business Insider as well as in The Late Show and Conan O Brien. She recently joined TESTED, a team of makers founded by master robot-builder Adam Savage.

Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Toomas Hendrik
Former President of Estonia

How to build a state for the future?

President Ilves is a global thought leader in the fast-emerging and crucial area of e-government and cyber security. As one of the key individuals driving Estonia's world-renowned program of digital public policy, President Ilves is an expert on how to bridge the gap between the technical and policy-making worlds, and the link between digital and economic development.

Lucy McRae
Body Architect

How can technology transform our body?

Trained in classical ballet and interior design McRae’s artistic study of technology began during her years at Philips Design, where she led the technology company’s far-future research lab. With a broad portfolio that focused on emotional sensing, she developed stretchable electronics and an electronic tattoo. Her range of emotion sensing dresses was awarded TIME’s Best Inventions of 2007. McRae is the inventor of the Swallowable Parfum and has spoken at Tribeca Film Festival, London’s Royal College of Physicians, Royal Albert Hall and BBC World Radio Service.

Greg Corrado
Principal Scientist of Google

What does future hold for human mind?

Greg is Principal Scientist and the Director of Augmented Intelligence Research at Google, and co-founder of the Google Brain Team. He works at the nexus of artificial intelligence, neuroscience and machine learning, while frequently publishing in various fields from behavioral economics, to particle physics to deep learning.

Shane Tusup
Badass of swimming

How to reinvent winning in sports and business?

Coach and husband of the "Iron Lady", three-times Olympic gold medalist, world record holder swimmer Katinka Hosszú. FINA Female Coach of the Year in 2016. Together with his wife he co-founded Iron Aquatics, a new powerhouse for swimming talent in Budapest. A lawyer by education, he's the former Captain of Swimming at the University of Southern California.

Tomotaka Takahashi
Founder and CEO of Robo Garage

Why we fear robots?

Founder and CEO of Robo Garage and professor at the University of Tokyo. Tomotaka creates, designs, and invents unique humanoid robots. Inspired by his childhood obsession with Astroboy and other fictional characters, he believes that unlike cold and uninviting machines, humans can relate to robots only if they have bodies like humans.

Alexa Clay
Author of The Misfit Economy

What startups can learn from pirates, smugglers and hackers?

Co-author of The Misfit Economy which was named the best pre-eminent book to read by The World Economic Forum, The Telegraph and Huffington Post in 2015. In the book Alexa interviews over 400 criminals, including Somali Pirates, LA drug dealers, young hackers and NY con artists to demonstrate that their ingenuity have more in common with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs than you might think.

Albert-László Barabási
Rockstar of network science

How everything is connected to everything?

Director of the Center for Complex Network Research at the Northeastern University. His work lead to the discovery of scale-free networks in 1999, and proposed the Barabási-Albert model to explain their widespread emergence in natural, technological and social systems, from the cellular telephone to the WWW or online communities. His best-selling book "Linked: The New Science of Networks" is available in fifteen languages worldwide.

Mona Chalabi
Data Editor of The Guardian

Will data tell us who will be our partner?

Mona is Data Editor of the Guardian, and columnist for New York Magazine. Her data sketches have been used by the United Nations and appeared in the National Geographic, VICE and the BBC. Mona previously worked at the Bank of England, Transparency International and the International Organisation for Migration. She likes lists.

Peter Sunde
Co-founder of Pirate Bay

How to keep secrets after privacy died?

Politician, computer expert and social activist known for co-founding the world's most resilient bittorrent site Pirate Bay. He was imprisoned in 2014 but ran for the European Parliament in the same year, expressing concerns over the centralization of power in the European Union. He also founded Flattr, a Sweden-based microdonation provider and currently works as an artist in residence at the collective of Konsthack.

Karin Kloosterman
Mars farmer

Farming on Mars?

Karin was raised to be an astronaut but decided that Planet Earth offered more-than-enough challenges. A published biologist and serial entrepreneur, her latest company has developed Eddy, a robot that understands the language of plants. Karin is currently working on a Mars-based product to feed earthlings into the next millennium.

On the Spot
On the Spot
Award-winning documentarists

Award-winning team of two digging for human stories behind the news. Eszter Cseke and András S. Takács, digital journalists have travelled around the world from Afghanistan to Svalbard, from Iran to South Africa to make their 40 hour-long documentaries while making interviews with world leaders like Ban Ki-moon or Evo Morales. Their motto is a quote from the renowned war photographer, Robert Capa: "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."

Ari Popper
Founder and CEO at SciFutures

Will science fiction make capitalism future-proof?

Leader of a team once called 'the coolest company on Earth'. SciFutures, a California-based innovation house, uses a panel of 100 renowned sci-fi writers to accelerate innovation, creating a workshop that embraces ominous future scenarios to develop real products. Helping “companies test drive the future,” their clients include Ford, Pepsi and the United States Navy.

Stephen Cave
Director of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence

Will artificial intelligence replace humans?

Executive Director of the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. His latest work "Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization" was called "the best book of the year" by The New Scientist. His topics include human nature, robot warriors and animal rights. Former diplomat and a frequent commentator of Wired, the New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, the Financial Times, BBC and National Geographic.

Megan Miller
Co-founder of Bitty Foods

Can we save the planet by eating insects?

Food entrepreneur and digital strategist. Her company Bitty Foods is based on the revolutionary idea that insects are the best sustainable source of protein for humans. In 2014, Bitty Foods was named among 'The world's 100 brilliant companies' by the Entrepreneur magazine.

Peter Hammarstedt
Director of Operations at Sea Shepherd

How to save the oceans?

One of the youngest icons of the conservation movement, Peter sailed the seven seas to counter illegal whaling, sealing and destructive fishing practices. As Director of Operations for Sea Shepherd and captain of the marine conservation vessel Bob Barker he set the world record for the longest maritime pursuit in history: he and his crew embarked on a 110 day chase of the Interpol-wanted poaching vessel Thunder, across three oceans and 10,000 nautical miles. He currently leads campaigns to stop pirate fishermen plundering marine wildlife in the Gulf of Guinea.

George Friedman
Founder of Geopolitical Futures

Is there a global war coming?

Founder of Geopolitical Futures and former Founding Chairman of Stratfor. One of the globe's best known intelligence experts and geopolitical forecasters who has correctly predicted world-changing events — including the EU crisis, the Ukraine conflict, and the US-Iranian truce. He is the author of six best-selling books, including "The Next Decade", "The Next 100 Years" and "Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe".

Marije Vogelzang
Founder of the Dutch Institute of Food&Design

Why do we need a food revolution?

The world's first eating-designer. Having graduated at the Eindhoven Design Academy, she set her mind to creating a new direction in design. After having developed and sold two experimental restaurants in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, she now works on restaurant concepts and long-term medical projects for hospitals. She launched the Dutch Institute of Food&Design last year.

Travis Rieder

Should we have children in times of overpopulation and climate change?

What is the ethics of human self-preservation? Travis, a renowned bioethicist focuses on our collective responsibilities in the challenging era of overpopulation and climate change. His work has appeared in Wired and The Huffington Post.

Péter Árvai
CEO and Co-founder of Prezi

How will artificial intelligence change our workplaces?

Chief executive of the legendary Budapest-born startup Prezi. Under his leadership, Prezi has secured its first round of investment from TED, then also raised funding from Silicon Valley's best-known venture capital firms Accel Partners and Sunstone Capital. In 2014, Peter was named 'European Web Entrepreneur of the Year' by the European Commission.

Rocio Fonseca
Executive director of Start-up Chile

What does tech talent want from governments?

Executive Director of Start-Up Chile, one of the world's most successful government programs for startups. Graduated from the MIT in biotechnology, management and entrepreneurship, she directed innovation portfolios and go-to-market initiatives and managed teams both in the private sector and the public administration.

Steven Leckart
Co-author of Cabin Porn

Why do we escape city life?

Multi-talented writer, filmmaker and documentarist who co-authored Cabin Porn, the world's favorite inspiration of modern escapism. He has written documentaries about the music industry, reported narrative magazine stories about online drug trafficking, and covered various disruptive technologies for publications including Wired, Popular Science, and the New York Times.

Roger Scruton

Are we fooled by utopianism?

One of the world’s most prominent, conservative thinkers. Author of more than 40 books, including The Meaning of Conservatism, The Need for Nations, and Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet, Scruton was knighted in 2016 for services to philosophy, teaching and public education. The Weekly Standard described him as "England's most accomplished conservative since Edmund Burke".

James Beacham
Physicist at CERN

Will we ever travel in time?

James is an experimental particle physicist working at CERN’s world-famous Large Hadron Collider. As a member of the team that discovered the Higgs boson, Beacham is on the hunt for evidence of new particles — dark matter, gravitons, dark photons and exotic Higgs bosons — and is obsessed with finding new ways to tackle the most pressing unanswered questions of physics with future experiments.

Hannah Nordhaus
Author of 'The Beekeper's Lament'

Why bees matter for modern civilisation?

Award-winning author of "The Beekeeper’s Lament", a best-selling investigation on the worrisome global honey bee die-off. Graduated in history and American Studies from Yale University, her work received critical acclaim from the Washington Post, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Real Giana Brothers
Real Giana Brothers

The first contact

Inhabitants of planet Sumotori have been watching over the Cosmos to maintain order and peace. Sumotori leadership set up special 3-member biomechanoid teams to carry out the mission described above. The names of these teams are RGB. Our RGB unit have decided to use peaceful, musical tools instead of weapons, and have assembled a completely surreal, eclectic and chaotic mixture of music.

David Kaspar
Leader of the Prague Creative Center

Can we use culture to take the city back from tourism?

David and his group "Creative Prague" are transforming the Czech capital into a hub of education, culture and creativity. He has been involved in the cultural and community revival of his city for decades, revitalizing public space and cultural projects with social outreach. He also teaches at the Theatre Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Colin Beavan
No Impact Man

Can we have zero impact on the environment?

The man behind the No Impact Project, an experiment of "zero impact" lifestyle, producing no trash, consuming no goods, using no carbon-based transportation and no paper products with his family for one year. Colin is also a dharma teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, and a former Green Party candidate for the United States House of Representatives.

Ilona Lénárd & Kas Oosterhuis
Ilona Lénárd &
Kas Oosterhuis
Founders of ONL

How the digital century will change architecture?

Power couple of a visionary designer and a visual artist. Kas leads the ONL innovation studio and the Hyperbody research group at Delft University, and is the founding editor-in-chief of a scientific journal called Next Generation Building. Ilona has specialized in art in public spaces, among others the Musicsculpture in Oldemarkt and the TT Monument in Assen. Her recent works include a series of robotic paintings. Both of them position themselves at an international scale between art, architecture, robotics, furniture, design and cities.

Anne Stenros
Chief Design Officer of Helsinki

How to design the public services of the future?

Global thought leader on design thinking and creative leadership. Before becoming CDO of Helsinki, she worked as Managing Director of Design Forum Finland and the Executive Director of Hong Kong Design Centre. With a background in architecture, she has the doctorate in technology and architectural theory.

Tim Spector
Author of The Diet Myth

Is there a science behind what we eat?

Myth-busting scientist focusing on the misterious microbes live in our body. Tim is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College, London and has recently been elected to the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Péter Pozsár
Co-founder of Hello Wood

How to create the village of the future?

Maker, architect and educator: Peter uses cutting edge design to engage social issues and sustainability. He is co-founder of Hello Wood, an international practice blending education, temporary architectural structures and social design. The group’s famous summer school has grown into a multi-year program, recently setting out to build a new village from scratch.

Pamela Druckerman
Author of Bringing Up Bébé

American writer and journalist living in Paris. She authored some of the world's most influential writings on modern parenting. Her op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, and Monocle. She also appears regularly on Good Morning America, the Today Show, and BBC. In 2012, Pamela was nominated as one of the world's most influential people by Time magazine.

Lőrinc Barabás
Composer and jazz trumpet player

Occupying a musical world on the border of jazz, electronic music and pop music, Lőrinc has played and shared stages with artists like Valerie June, Bonobo, Nicola Conte, Erik Truffaz and performed at The Montreaux Jazz Festival. Originally coming from a jazz education, he draws on a wide range of influences from Béla Bartók’s music to native American culture.

Inna Braverman
Co-Founder of Eco Wave Power

Will waves become the ultimate clean energy source?

Co-Founder of Eco Wave Power, a startup that generates clean energy from sea waves. Inna installed her first power plant at the age of 26 in Jaffa, Israel. Four years later she led the execution of the first wave energy array in the Mediterranean Sea. Inna and her story were recently featured in WIRED.

Kevin Zollman
Guru of game theory

How to raise future-proof children?

Game theorist and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. He has applied game theory to a variety of topics and co-authored "The Game Theorist’s Guide to Parenting". His work has been covered in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and Scientific American.

Slomó Köves
Leading rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation

What makes a modern religion?

Descending from several generations of rabbis, Slomó finally found his own vocation at the age of 14. Born in Budapest, he studied abroad in the yeshivas of New York, Pittsburgh and Paris and returned to become one of the most active religious leaders in Central Europe. He serves as chief rabbi of the Hungarian Defence Force and is the founder of the first Hebrew-Hungarian bilingual kindergarten and elementary school in Budapest.

Deadly Colours
Deadly Colours

Catwalk concert premiere

A spectacular catwalk concert presented by Soharóza, the most innovative interdisciplinary choir in Hungary. The performance is based on the group’s cult show Taboo Collection, directed by Fruzsina Nagy and Dora Halas conductor, pioneer of improvised choral music and collective composing. Singing models wear costumes showcasing the topic of death – an inevitable part of our lives. The solid electronic beats of Hungarian beatbox champion and sound designer Márk Bartha makes the performance a full experience.

Christopher Mattheisen
CEO of Magyar Telekom

What are the jobs of the future?

Chris studied economics at Columbia University. He started his telecommunications carrier in 1993 at the legendary local carrier Westel 900. From 2006, he has been the CEO and member of the Board of Magyar Telekom.

Ákos Takács
Head of marketing at Red Bull Hungary

What is the future of marketing?

Ákos is head of marketing at Red Bull Hungary. As a titan of the branded content revolution, he's founder of Red Bull Pilvaker, a globally unique project that mingles underground hip-hop, 19th century poetry and modern theatre arts.

Shir Halpern
Founder of the Tel Aviv Farmers Market

How to imagine the future of agriculture?

Founder and owner of the Tel Aviv Farmers Market. She helps farmers to put emphasis on the principles of sustainability, localism, seasonality, small producers and quality of variety and taste. Shir is also advising Liftoff Ventures that focuses in food technology. She has a B.A. in History, a culinary degree and an MBA specializing in sustainable development.

Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?
Do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?

From hazy melancholia to hiss-heavy abstract rythms

Founded in 2015 by S Olbricht - whose lo-fi techno is already familiar to Boiler Room & BBC audiences - and Krisztina Dányi, the singer-composer-producer behind Morningdeer, the intriguing act embraced by Tokyo-based Whereabouts Records. The result is a niche and unusual stepping stone to fantasy, with distinctive elements ranging from hazy melancholia to hiss-heavy abstract rhythms, and some of the finest personal poetry you’re likely to hear in pop music.

Carol Cleland
Professor of Astrobiology

When will we contact alien life?

Once a member of NASA Institute for Astrobiology, now Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado. Her research areas include microbiology, origins of life and the theory of computation. She is the inventor of the term ‘shadow biosphere’, and currently finishing a book titled "The Quest for a Universal Theory of Life: Searching for life as we don’t know it".

Boyd Cohen
Urban strategist

How can we make our cities smart and sustainable?

Urban strategist specialised in smart cities and sustainable development. Boyd received his PhD in Strategy & Entrepreneurship and co-authored Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change.

Zoltán Várdy
TV and Digital Pioneer

What is the future of media?

He spent 25 years building and running media businesses around the world as an executive, entrepreneur, investor and advisor. He helps ‘Total Video’ companies find new markets, new revenue streams and new investments. Corporate career stops include NBC Universal and ProSiebenSat1. Zoltan has also invested in media start-ups Brainient and Antavo.

József Váradi
Founder and CEO of WizzAir

What is the future of travel?

A real industry maverick, Jozsef is founder and head of the leading value airline of Europe. Previously a commercial banker and sales director of Procter & Gamble, he also led the Hungarian national airlines before founding his own company. In 2016, WizzAir carried more than 23 million passengers all-across the continent while Jozsef voted 'CEO of the Year' by Aviation100.

Eva Duda Dance Company
Eva Duda Dance Company

Circus performance

Blending contemporary dance, circus and live music creatively, VIRTUS is based on inter-arts collaboration. The creative artists do not lack humor in portraying typical Hungarian scenes and the tensions of human encounters. This show is a real Eastern European escapade with grandiose emotions, lofty rhythms, sad laments, heated conflicts and a glorious circus. Choreographer: Eva Duda

Jody Kochansky
Managing Director, Aladdin by BlackRock

How to measure the risks of the future?

Managing Director, Head of the Aladdin Product Group at BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager. Jody has been with BlackRock for over two decades in a variety of leadership roles within technology, analytics and portfolio management. He is responsible for defining and implementing the vision for the Aladdin platform used globally by BlackRock and many of its clients.

Galactic Jackson
Galactic Jackson

Synthesizer wizard

Kick-ass synthesizer wizard straight outta Újpest is ready to rock the stage of Brain Bar Budapest. Waiter in daytime, dj in evenings, vinyl and synthesizer collector, moved to the capital from a small town in the Great Plains to amaze us.

Previously at brain bar

Brain Bar Budapest 2016

Brain Bar Budapest is the biggest European festival on the future. Lively, ambitious and unique, Brain Bar Budapest creates the stage for top trendsetters, decision-makers and challengers to exchange ideas in unusual and unrestrained conversation.

We call it
the un-conference
sir martin sorrell
Sir Martin
Founder & Ceo of WPP
To think about the future differently, to think about technology differently, to think about your place in it. That's what Brain Bar does.
World's best known living astronaut

Previous speakers

Niall Ferguson
Professor of History at Harvard University

Niall Ferguson is Professor of History at Harvard University, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, his acclaimed books include The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World (also an International Emmy Award-winning PBS/Channel 4 documentary series), and Economies Die and Civilization: The West and the Rest.

He is a regular contributor to television and radio on both sides of the Atlantic and a prolific commentator on contemporary politics and economics.

Richard Florida
Best-selling author

Richard Florida is the Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at New York University, and the founder of the Creative Class Group, which works closely with governments and companies worldwide. He is perhaps the world’s leading urbanist, “as close to a household name as it is possible for an urban theorist to be in America,” according to The Economist. Florida is the author of several global best sellers, including the award-winning The Rise of the Creative Class – “one of the best business books of all time” – 800-CEO-READ.

Sugata Mitra
Leading evangelist of technology in education

Sugata Mitra is at the forefront of a new approach to education which challenges how we teach today’s children in a technological age. He is Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University, UK and previously a Visiting Professor at MIT in the US. Sugata is currently working on the School in the Cloud, which is the culmination of over a decade of research and observations from all over the world.

Neil Harbisson
The world’s first cyborg

Neil Harbisson is a Catalan-raised, British-born contemporary artist and cyborg activist best known for having an antenna implanted in his skull and for being officially recognized as a cyborg by a government. The antenna allows him to perceive visible and invisible colours such as infrareds and ultraviolets via sound waves. The antenna’s internet connection allows him to receive colors from space as well as images, videos, music or phone calls directly into his head via external devices such as mobile phones or satellites. Harbisson identifies himself as a cyborg, he feels both his mind and body are united to cybernetics. He doesn’t feel he is using or wearing technology, instead he feels he is technology. His artworks investigate the relationship between colour and sound, experiment the boundaries of human perception and explore the use of artistic expression via sensory extensions. In 2010 he co­-founded the Cyborg Foundation with Moon Ribas, an international organization that aims to help humans become cyborgs, defend cyborg rights and promote cyborgism as a social and artistic movement.

Ken Goldberg
Artist, Professor of Robotics at UC Berkeley

Ken Goldberg is an artist and UC Berkeley professor. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed technical papers on algorithms for robotics, automation, and social information filtering. Goldberg directs, among others, the Automation Sciences Research Lab and his inventions have been awarded eight US Patents. He’s art installations are related to his research and have been exhibited at venues such as Buenos Aires Biennial, and the ICC in Tokyo.

Tina Saaby
Chief City Architect of Copenhagen

Tina Saaby has been the Chief City Architect at the City of Copenhagen since September 2010. She inspires, facilitates, advices, and coaches the politicians and City Administration. Her responsibility is to help defining architectural guidelines and visions in developing the city based on the Architectural Policy.

Tina Saaby is also Visiting Professor at Sheffield University and external examiner at University of Roskilde, University of Copenhagen and she is the Chairman of the Advisory board at The Royal Academy of Arts School of Architecture, Design and Conservation.

Stay in the Loop

Sign up and stay tuned on what's new from Brain Bar Budapest