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BBC ‘Human Planet’ boss opens Frome’s First Festival of Ideas

BBC ‘Human Planet’ TV series producer Dale Templar will open the inaugural ‘Generation Next’ festival in Frome on Thursday 10th May. Bath-based Dale will kick-start the week-long Generation Next event which promises to host some of the world’s brightest thinkers.
The all-new festival of ideas will feature key note speeches and discussions from some of the most in-demand scientists, artists, philosophers, business people and media experts of our time. Dale, who ran the multi-BAFTA award-winning landmark series, will open the festival with a talk entitled ‘Our Planet’ giving her insights into the future of the planet and the human race. Dale said, “It’s a great honour to be invited to speak at such an exciting event. There is a genuine appetite for a discussion on the future of the planet both environmentally and economically, in fact the two are inextricably linked. “The future holds many challenges for the human race and the planet we live in. The festival of ideas will give its visitors an opportunity to really engage with the issues and find ways to move forward in both the short and long term. “It’s also great to have such an innovative festival right here in Frome, just a few miles down the road from Bath. This particular area of the UK is getting a strong reputation for hosting challenging and exciting events.” Generation Next will shine a light on the big issues facing humanity as the human race goes deeper into an unprecedented period of economic and environmental instability, looking at ways to create a more sustainable future for the planet and the people who live on it. Other highlights include appearances by Cambridge scientist professor John D Barrow, author of the bestselling ‘The Book of Universes and Theories of Everything’; inspirational speaker Tim Macartney, author of ‘Finding Earth, Finding Soul’; groundbreaking artist of Bjork-fame Ansuman Biswas and professor Murray Shanahan, professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College, London. Festival co-organiser Alistair Clay said Generation Next would light people’s imaginations and open their minds to new ways of seeing and thinking about the world in which they live. He said, “We were delighted that Dale agreed to open Generation Next. Her work on ‘Human Planet’ has given her a unique perspective on the threats and opportunities which humanity faces in the coming decade and we look forward to hearing her thoughts. “You only have to turn on the news these days to see that as a society we’re at a real crossroads. Our economic models don’t work anymore and the environment is at a critical tipping point. Now is the time to ask our best thinkers how they see the future and what they would do to put humanity on a better course.” The festival kicks off on Thursday 10th May with Dale’s talk followed by different themed evenings. On 11th May the debate will focus on sustainable communities, 12th May will feature a day of discussions on consciousness, including a speech by world-renowned mind expert Professor Max Velmans and 14th May will be an education-themed evening starring author William Bloom and groundbreaking headteacher Zoe Readhead. On 15th May the festival will ask the question, ‘Capitalism, What Next?’ in a debate chaired by Guardia-esteemed scientist professor John D Barrow will share his vision on the future of the cosmos. Then on 17th May a night of art will feature talks by former ‘British Designer of the Year’ nominee Helen Storey and nature and technology fusion artist Simeon Nelson. Finally the festival will conclude on 18th May with a keynote speech by inspirational speaker Tim Macartney of The Children’s Fire fame. Generation Next will be held at Rook Lane Arts, Frome from 10th to 18th May. For more details and to book tickets go to