Creative Director / Presenter / Expert - Future Human - Future Selves, Virtual Physical Presence, Hybrid Identity | body>data>space | University of Greenwich | BBC | Stemettes
Ghislaine Boddington is a world leading expert in digital identity, virtual presence and immersion experiences. As a presenter, researcher, podcaster and curator she has shared her original perspective globally since the mid-nineties, focussing on the evolution of liveness and virtual physical presence and exploring developments in our bodies, our senses and our identity, and how we can evolve intimacy, touch, empathy and trust in hybrid futures.
Her presentations, podcasts and consultancies anticipate difficult questions that researchers, creatives, technologists, policy makers and the wider public need to debate and consider as our living relationship with technology continues to evolve. She explores this from an interesting historical perspective, through to the recent past and takes us into the future with deep intuitive accuracy.
Forever interested in the use of the body as a digital interaction canvas, Ghislaine comes from a background in performing arts and dance and was connecting telepresence stages between performers around the world from the mid 1990s. In 2017 she was awarded the esteemed SAT IX Immersion Experience International Visionary Pioneer Award in recognition for her long term and inspirational reflections on the shifts that fast expanding body-led technologies make to our digital identity and to our future as human beings.
Today she continues to amalgamate her practise-based knowledge of telepresence, virtual worlds, robotics, motion capture, AR/MR, wearables, implants, sense and gesture tech to create future visions. Her ongoing aim is in creating a wider debate about both the positive and negative aspects of such evolutions on our living bodies, whilst finding solutions and forward-thinking approaches, specific to your needs.
She regularly inputs items and co-presents for BBC World Service and BBC Technology shows and podcasts, where she shares her insights on the merge of our physical selves and our data selves, biometric data ownership and the future of the 'hyper-enhanced' human. She is a member of the UK Government’s College of Experts for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports advising on the futures of creative industries and multi-verses.
A Reader in Digital Immersion at the University of Greenwich, Ghislaine is the co-founder and Creative Director of body>data>space, a collective of designers engaged in body responsive technologies, virtual physical networks, interactive interfaces and user centred experiences.
Ghislaine has keynoted in over 35 countries across creative industries, culture, policy, education and corporate sectors including Hyundai, BBC, Innovate UK, Nesta, Telefonica, FutureFest, Mobile World Congress, Cambridge University, ICA, Deutsche Bank, EU Forum Europe Digital, Here East/Plexal, DCMS, British Council, Imperial College and the National Theatre. "Through these projects, she has created moving and transformational links between thousands of people across the world" [Forbes]. She receives press / TV coverage of her ideas and her work (Independent, Financial Times, Forbes, Tech Trends, Guardian, Le Monde amongst others) and is regularly invited to input topical commentary for TV, radio and government reports, remaining at the forefront of the futurist debate.
A strong equity advocate, from 2017-2021 she was Spokesperson and lead mentor for Deutsche Bank’s ‘Women Entrepreneurs in Social Tech' accelerator and for the last 10 years has been an active mentor and Trustee for Stemettes Futures.
Future Human: The Body is the Interface
The integration of humans with our evolving technologies is moving faster than we realise, pointing to major transformations not only to our bodies, but to our understanding of ourselves and our identities. Ghislaine shares her thoughts on the directions being taken and the potential positive and negative outcomes ahead, extending the debate over the enhancement of our bodies through an examination of the link between personal data and embedded biometric technologies.
Ghislaine uses her expertise in the evolution of our physical selves and our data selves – what she calls “The Internet of Bodies”. She references fascinating topical examples of body interventions and modifications of all types, from medical implants to cosmetic surgery, hi-tech prothesis/robotic extensions, implantable devices, the use of artificial intelligence and other sensory enhancement additionalities.
Topical concerns regarding the harvesting of our biometrics as value assets – for behavioural and emotional patterning – will be examined linked to differing approaches globally. Her talk explores with you the personal implications this will have for our individual digital footprint and how this could affect our identity and our responsibility to self and others. What are the potential regulatory answers to these imperative questions regarding our agency in this world?
“I explore a space where our physical bodies and our data selves merge and converge seamlessly. I research virtual physical blended presence and the shift in our identities through our avatar and robotic interactions, the integration of our senses and gestures and our evolving behaviours in virtual space.” Ghislaine Boddington
Women in Tech: Diversity & Inclusivity Enables Innovation
Ghislaine is well known for her long-term advocacy for diversity in collaboration, believing strongly that this is the only future pathway for creating truly inclusive innovations. She proposes a clear view on why we should prioritise gender equity in the tech sector, which is based on her work founding one of the first women in tech networks Women Shift Digital, as Spokesperson for Deutsche Bank’s accelerator Women Entrepreneurs in Social Tech and as a Trustee of the Stemettes.
A better balance in the workplace has many advantages both internally and externally, and facts are proving that this extends marketplace engagement and company value through attracting a wider customer base. Growth within female founded businesses is excelling and yet investment is not, with still over 90% of venture capital going to male founded businesses. Exploring methodologies to enable a balanced collaborative workplace, from the top to the bottom, Ghislaine will put forward examples of quality creation and dissemination of products and services made for diverse needs and communities and based on deep collaboration, trust and common sense.
Experience Economy: How Technology Will Define Collaborations
As we mature through the digital revolution our basic human need for collaboration is starting to define the types of experiences we want our technologies to offer us – interactive, reflective and conducive to the creation of a more positive life.
Ghislaine believes in what she calls “the incredible beauty of inter-disciplinary specialists working together in co-creation” and shares in this talk several key collaboration methods for the positive enablement of both teams and customers, extending options for successful products and service-based launches.
Exploring our approach to collaborative engagement she proposes two exercises to use in every project – the I/We Syndrome Check Point and The Weave, a making process that ensures a balanced between the body, the technology and the output. With productive examples of the types of experiences and interactions required by today’s digitally sophisticated customers, she points to pathways ahead to help your teams to design for the experience economy, with key touch points for positive engagement.
“This ever expanding digital eco-system is not yet fully understood by anyone, from big business to the most radical innovators – it is new learning for all – yet what is clear is that the body is the interface for the virtual physical future of our experiences and our senses.” Ghislaine Boddington
Bio-hacking Onstage: Live Human Chip Implant Show
As the sci-fi vision of the digital human starts to become reality, how can we ensure and prepare for a positive enhancement of our human selves? As technologies move inside our bodies Ghislaine presents examples of the burgeoning interest in non-medical implants – personalised for our own needs and able to replace several day-to-day requirements such as keys, travel and finance cards or enabling us to open our phones, laptops and homes with gestural swipes.
Such implants are already in use by a diverse range of cyborg humans, advanced pioneers in embedded technologies who are advocating for a Cyborg Bill of Rights. Yet also in the corporate sector there is a trend towards inserted micro-chips for smart ticketing, banking and personal medical information.
This special event will involve a range of specialists, curated and presented by Ghislaine, who will share their knowledge and findings, and engage in an onstage and audience interactive conversation, finalising with a live micro-chip implant led by a specialist, where a volunteer will receive a personal chip for usage.
What are the positive and negative implications of implants for humans? What embedded technologies and their encryption means for our data rights and protection? Are such technologies invasive and dehumanising or a natural development as we extend ourselves and create a collaborative enhancement process with internal devices, including attached AI?
Ghislaine Boddington believes fully that body intelligence is a key part of making collective intelligence work and she’s spent the past 30 years proving it. Beautiful, elegant, funny and dynamic, Ghislaine speaks 70+ times a year around the world and serves as a frequent advisor for universities, organizations, major tech companies and start-ups.
Boddington paints a fascinating picture of a world and believes that our quest to augment our existence and indulge in new experiences will lead us to turn our bodies into “digital interaction canvas.
Ghislaine Boddington, curator of the “future of love” section of the FutureFest, said [that] the aim is to look at things that aren’t around the corner but up to 30 years away and broaden horizons.
As Ghislaine Boddington, creative director of body>data>space, noted in her talk on virtual reality and the “Internet of Bodies”, the hope for the future is in recognising and augmenting physical bodies in games and play.
Ms Boddington is a pioneer in immersive technology, which emulates the physical environment through a digital or simulated world. …… [Her] vision of the future is one where people talk interchangeably about their digital and physical selves, a world in which microchips embedded under your skin enable you to have a physical relationship with another person remotely
While everyone was marveling that we could land on the moon, Ghislaine was marveling that we could speak to someone ON the moon. Thus began her interest in Telepresence. A performance artist she has explored the possibilities of virtual enhancement of our senses and ways to bring together body data like touch, movement, gesture, emotion and empathy through convergences of robotics, wearables, telepresence, hepatic and virtual reality since the mid-nineties. Through these projects, she has created moving and transformational links between thousands of people across the world