Category Archives: news

New Home

I have transferred this blog to a new address  to reflect my developing interests in personal futures and self knowledge. All future posts will be found at

We are C-H-I-C-A-G-O!!!

Arrive and happy to be here in progressive Chicago. Been offline for a while having gotten married, left my job and emigrated to the US and finally had a honeymoon. We are now ready for a new adventure and new opportunities but first we need a place to live.  We are looking forward to meeting new people and see some of this awesoem country.

Tim and I will also be running a new blog together ‘parsonsinchicago‘ recording our observations of our new adventure and updates of our new activities as the very English people in Chicago!

I will continue to pursue my interests in Pesonal Futures, forecasting , design futures and will have more time to do some of my own little projects and collaborations so watch this space and I hope to be updating the blog alot more with more writings, projects, interventions, exhibition reviews etc

Be back soon.

Citizen Evolution @ MAK Vienna

From next week, Marei Wollersberger and I will be installing the Citizen Evolution project as it will be exhibited in the MAK DESIGN SPACE in the MAKVienna as one of three winners of “Project Vienna—A Design Strategy. How to React to a City?”, the competition of ideas held jointly by MAK & departure.

This project is best described by the recent article in Domus magazine :

“On display will be the humourous and hypothetical scenarios “Microbe Sky,” “Pigeonpoo Roofgarden,” “Zentralfriedhof Power Plant” and “Pharmaceutical Distribution Network” done as schematic, graphic training aids. Each picture will be complimented by a “narrating” object (such as a homemade hand tool) to be used within the context of the scenario. The two designers worked based on the hypothesis that the central systems of provision and distribution upon which we currently rely will cease to work—an entirely plausible situation in these times of crisis. To prepare for this case, the Viennese would be equipped by the State with all manner of systems for self-sufficiency—above all with open-source biotechnology.”

<Related article

Future of Persuasion and Personal Futures @ IFTF

Persuasive Microtrend Card: Disagreement?

Persuasive Microtrend Card: Narcissistic?

Tomorrow I am off to Palo Alto to participate in a 2 day conference called The Future of Persuasion as part of the Technology Horizons program at the IFTF. The conference will be using a variety of formats and methods to enable participants, clients of IFTF, to experience the emerging theories and behaviours that will shape the development of persuasive technologies over the next few years.

I have been helping out with some of the developments of certain immersive experiences at the conference alongside the magnificent Jake Dunagan (Institute For The Future) and Stuart Candy (Long Now Foundation). I will also be presenting some of the personal futures methods I have been exploring in The FATE Institute work including The Microtrend Diary and The Delphi Party alongside the wonderful Jason Tester.

Citizen Evolution: Winners of “Project Vienna – A Design Strategy”

In collaboration with Marei Wollersberger, our project for the Future of Vienna entitled ‘CitizenEvolution’ has been chosen to be exhibited at the MAK in Vienna. One scenario describes how adapting rooftops in Vienna will enable individuals to generate energy by extracting filtered bio gases from pigeon poo. Our work was recently posted on the Austrian newspaper website called kurier:

“Project Vienna – A Design Strategy – Designstrategien für die Zukunft Wiens |
“Marei Wollersberger and Jessica Charlesworth propose 4 hypothetical scenarios, that create new social structures and dynamics in the city through new interactions and usage of existing resources. For example the pigeonry of the new generation: the consumer generates energy by extracting filtered bio gases from pigeon shit directly on his rooftop.”

A decade on since Human Genome mapped

“Ten years since scientists first mapped the human genome, the man who runs the Wellcome Trust Sir Mark Walport – which spends hundreds of million of pounds each year on medical research – thinks it is time to start thinking about how we use genetic information.”

Tomorrow, Eureka – Times Online’s Science column – will be taking an in-depth look at some of the businesses that have been launched on the back of the genetic advances of the past decade. In particular the resulting sustainability if the personal genome businesses that have made bucks form selling predictive risk analysis. The author of the piece states that it will “chart the very different ways in which the rival companies eg. 23andMe and the defunct Decode Me are trying to turn a profit, their different attitudes to data-sharing, privacy and medical supervision, and the implications their models will have for the future of personal genetics.”

An event to watch out for that is running in conjunction with the Wellcome Trust’s ‘identity‘ exhibition:

The National DNA Database on Trial
04 February 2010, 19.00 – 20.30

Self on Dahl

Roald Dahl the writer

Will Self discusses Roald Dahl, my favourite author whom i used to meet in the shoe shop at my home village of Great Missenden, and the release of the Fantastic Mr Fox. The stop frame animation film by Wes Anderson with the voices of Geroge Clooney, Bill Murry and Meryl Streep.

Via Guardian

Predictive Genomic Risks Are Too Divergent

“Companies that offer analyses of future health risks based on basic genetic tests should be more transparent about the limitations of their predictions” Craig Venter.

In the recent New Scientist, Venter and four colleagues have proposed guidelines for the industry after assessing the results of scans of their own personal genomes as provided by the Californian firms 23andMe and Navigenics.. They found the companies recorded the genetic markers consistently at least 99.7 per cent of the time, but diverged on their assessment of the associated health risks. That’s similar to New Scientist’s comparison earlier this year of the results of scans from 23andMe and a third company, , Decode Genetics of Reykjavik, Iceland. In this case the genetic markers were consistently recorded 99.996 per cent of the time.

International Business Machines Goes Personal Genome

“One of the oldest names in computing is joining the race to sequence the genome for $1,000. On Tuesday, I.B.M. plans to give technical details of its effort to reach and surpass that goal, ultimately bringing the cost to as low as $100, making a personal genome cheaper than a ticket to a Broadway play. The project places IBM. squarely in the middle of an international race to drive down the cost of gene sequencing to help move toward an era of personalized medicine. The hope is that tailored genomic medicine would offer significant improvements in diagnosis and treatment.”

via NYTimes

HGC develop principles to regulate genetic tests sold to public in UK

The UK’s Human Genetics Commission (HGC), the Government’s advisory body on new developments in human genetics and how they impact on individuals’ lives, is seeking views on a ‘Common Framework of Principles’ for direct-to-consumer genetic tests. The Principles were developed by an international expert working group that was convened and supported by the HGC.

Direct-to-consumer genetic tests can significantly influence choices that may profoundly affect the lives of an individual and their family. Genetic tests that can provide information about health can heighten anxieties, leading individuals to make inappropriate requests for further tests, or alternatively encourage a complacent disregard for the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. Other tests can also provoke anxieties, such as ancestry tests that offer fundamental information about identity and ethnicity. Yet, in the majority of countries, there is very little regulation of this steadily growing market and so the quality of service and the provision of support to accompany testing are determined by the test provider.

via BioNews and FT