Making Futures: Rethinking Craft Communities, Taking on Global Challenges is a three-day conference taking place in Cebu, the Philippines from 6-8 March 2020 at the Quest Hotel. It is a partnership between the British Council and Plymouth College of Art and supported through British Council’s Crafting Futures global programme.

Making Futures is a biennial international research conference developed and curated by Malcolm Ferris at Plymouth College of Art. Across six UK editions to date, it has established itself as one of the leading events in the field and is the only biennial global craft conference in the UK. In support of this global dialogue, editions have also been held at Beijing Design Week, China, the Cheongju International Crafts Biennale, South Korea, and (forthcoming in 2020), the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, United States.

Making Futures explores contemporary craft and maker movements as ‘change agents’ in societies across the globe by investigating key issues concerning the progressive possibilities presented by the revival, development and promotion of these sectors. These issues, many of which will be discussed in Cebu, include: the changing nature of both craft and industry, developments in digital technologies, sustainability in the context of the global climate crisis, material innovations, social and community-based regeneration, and craft leadership.

The conference platform positions the Philippines and Southeast Asia as an exciting region for approaches and ideas that other parts of the world may not have heard of. It also actively seeks to stimulate the formation of connections and networks that can lead to future partnerships.


British Council

Themed Sessions

Day 1

1. Making Leaders: Crafting Leadership Cultures
2. Digital-Analogue Crafting
3. Crafting in Industry

Day 2

1. Lifecycles of Material Worlds (Sustainability in Action)
2. Workshops: Materials and Processes in Transformation
3. Building Craft Networks and Partnerships in Action

Day 3

1. Craft as Social Enterprise
2. Lifecycles of Material Worlds (Sustainability in Action)
3. Cultural Tours

Featured Keynote Speakers

Kidlat Tahimik (Philippines) Artist National Artist of the Philippines for Film
Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui (Pakistan) Senior Programme Adviser/ Consultant Entrepreneurship and Community Development Institute
Prof Cameron Tonkinwise (Australia) Director Design Innovation Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney
Kenza Oulaghada (Morocco) Weaver and Artisan Leader Anou
Tomas Diez (Spain) Director Fab Lab Barcelona

Call for Abstracts

There will be around three (3) presenters per theme. Some themes below will be for breakout sessions of the conference.
  • Making Leaders: Crafting Leadership Cultures
  • Lifecycles Of Material Worlds (Sustainability In Action)
  • Crafting In Industry
  • Digital-Analogue Crafting
  • Craft As Social Enterprise
  • Building Craft Networks & Partnerships In Action
  • Workshops: Materials And Processes In Transformation 
For full details on themes, check the conference programme in the downloadable section.
What’s in it for Making Futures presenters?
You will be able to share your crafts practices and ideas to local and international audiences through dynamic presentation formats, networking sessions and cultural tours in Cebu. We encourage all Presenters to actively participate in the three days.  You participation will be valuable as this is the first time that the Making Futures conference is taking place in Southeast Asia.
Please submit your abstracts here. Applications are extended until 20 January 2020 (23.59 GMT). Announcement of selected participants: 31 January 2020
Selected Presenters’ Travel
The British Council will cover the selected presenters' round trip flights, accommodations and meals. We will send Visitors’ Notes to the Philippines closer to the date to help guests plan their travel. Everyone’s safety is British Council’s priority.

For queries, you may send an e-mail to Stay tuned for more updates on Making Futures! 

External links