Free Soloing the Future: How creativity could save the world (and why it probably won’t)
In the Main Lecture Hall of the Taylor Institution Library, St Giles, Oxford 5-6.30 pm, 23 October

Facebeook event here.

Photo by Ahmed Carter on Unsplash

It can often feel as though we are heading over the edge of a precipice of our own making. Climate change, food security, artificial intelligence, transhumanism, pandemic threat – it can feel as though we are helpless in the face of these and other wicked problems.

And in a way we are, because most of these problems have been caused or at least contributed to by humans, by the way we do things. And we show no sign of wanting to do things differently. We find ourselves trapped in destructive ways of thinking about the future, from institutional and cognitive biases against promising solutions to perpetually falling foul of the local maximum problem.

That is why creativity is so important. Creativity is, at its simplest, the art of doing things differently – whether that’s making new things, structuring society differently, having new perspectives on old problems, or just coming up with very simple but very effective ideas that no one has had before.

In 2017 Dan won the Oxford Humanities Innovation Challenge with Mycelium, a fun and addictive creative thinking card game based on the memory systems of mediaeval monks and the brain scans of battle rappers.

This event marks the launch of Mycelium, featuring stunning artwork by Sophie E Tallis.

Dan Holloway is a two time Creative Thinking World Champion, two time European Speed Reading Champion, and former World Intelligence Champion; a novelist, performance poet, ultra runner, speaker and journalist.
In this part lecture, part workshop, part tour of the history of ideas, part vacation among our possible futures, Dan explains how creativity can solve the problems that stand in the way of a better future, and provides some simple and effective techniques to help us all be part of the creative revolution.

If you have any accessibility needs, please email

With thanks for the generous support of Oxford University Innovation Limited and The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities