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World Building Live: Alternate Histories of our Future

11.02.2019 - General Jeff, Ana López Ortego, Alex McDowell, Paul Moore, Lejla Sadiku, moderated by Juan DiazB

Questioning political climates, migratory dynamics, environmental conditions and lifestyle, filmmakers are challenged to create worlds that cope with these realities while remaining visionary enough to promote alternative views. World Building is an iterative and collaborative practice at the intersection of design, technology, and narrative art in which the deep understanding of a world precedes the telling of a story. At this live World Building session, a group of experts from the fields of architecture, design, international development and social innovation engage with Talents and the audience in a hands-on workshop to visualize an alternate history of our present and recreate the future.


General Jeff

photo of General Jeff
General Jeff was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, California, USA. He has been a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) since 1995 and is a West Coast hip-hop pioneer who has worked with Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and others. For 12 years, he has been a community activist in Skid Row, the homeless capital of America.

Ana López Ortego

photo of Ana López Ortego
Ana López Ortego is an architect, PhD student in geography, university professor, researcher and activist in Latin America. She is the co-founder and co-director of Arquitectura Expandida (AXP), based principally in Bogotá, Colombia. AXP is a collective that builds public assembly structures with communities that claim territorial self-management and their own rights to the city in urban peripheries.

Alex McDowell

photo of Alex McDowell
Alex McDowell RDI is a narrative designer working at the intersection of design, technology and storytelling. He is the founder and creative director of Experimental Design; a Professor of Practice at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts; and Director of the USC World Building Institute. He has 30 years’ experience as a production designer and has worked with David Fincher, Steven Spielberg, Terry Gilliam, and Anthony Minghella, among others.

Paul Moore

photo of Paul Moore
Paul Moore is Professor of Creative Technologies at the University of Ulster, Director of Future Screens NI and Co-Director of the Creative Industries Institute. His research focuses on the creative industries and on how theory and practice can be brought together. He has published widely, and his sound art has been exhibited in London, Coventry, Belfast and Derry. In his spare time, he is a freelance broadcaster with BBC Radio Ulster and has made a range of documentaries for BBC national radio.

Lejla Sadiku

photo of Lejla Sadiku
Lejla Sadiku works as a Governance and Innovation Specialist at the United Nations Development Programme at their regional centre in Istanbul. She is passionate about testing out data and digital innovation that is in development, and about applying social innovation approaches.

Moderated by

Juan DiazB

photo of Juan DiazB

Juan DiazB is a director, writer and narrative designer. He is the European Director of the World Building Institute, a research unit at the University of Southern California focusing on the future of narrative media. He is also the founder and creative director of Kosmology, a creative studio that develops multi-platform projects including TORPOR, a reflection on lifestyle and environmental degradation, and the award-winning music, dance, film and transmedia project WE ARE THE HEAT.