"At FutureEverything and my academic positions, I have had the pleasure to champion inspirational digital artists, collaborative culture, and the role of digital creativity in society."
Drew Hemment, Founder of FutureEverything
After 23 years in the role of FutureEverything Creative Director, Drew is moving to a strategic role on the FutureEverything Board, and handing the reins of Creative Director to the V&A's Irini Papadimitriou.
Since founding FutureEverything in 1995, Drew has led the company and the development of its creative programmes. His work, at FutureEverything and beyond, has been covered by New York Times, BBC and NBC, and recognised in awards from the arts, technology and public sectors.
The new appointment comes at a busy time for Drew. In recent weeks, he has been a guest on Front Row, the BBC's flagship culture show, and on BBC 6 Music. This month in Linz Austria, he is receiving two awards, including an honorary mention in STARTS Prize 2018 for the Making Sense Toolkit, and a Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2018 as a part of the Leonardo community.
Edinburgh Futures Institute is a part of a £1B City Deal investment in data-driven innovation. It has the aim to harness the digital revolution for social benefit, and to connect to Edinburgh’s world famous festivals. Drew is moving on from his academic post at University of Dundee and the FutureEverything Creative Director role to take up the prestigious new post. He will continue a role on the GROW Observatory from Edinburgh.
Drew Hemment commented "At FutureEverything and my academic positions I have had the pleasure to champion inspirational digital artists, collaborative culture, and the role of digital creativity in society. The scale of the canvas in Edinburgh, and is an opportunity for me to connect futures, data and festivals. When I heard the call, I came running. Already the world's foremost festival city, and number one in the UK for informatics, it has the ambition to become the data capital of Europe."
Professor Dorothy Miell, Vice-Principal, University of Edinburgh said "I am delighted to announce Drew Hemment has been awarded a highly prestigious Chancellors Fellowship in data-driven innovation at the University of Edinburgh. As one of the key international figures who have shaped the emergence of digital culture across Europe, Drew is ideally placed to help realise our ambition, while connecting with the city's festivals, through the work of the Edinburgh Futures Institute."
Vikas Shah, Chair of the Board of Directors at FutureEverything also commented "Drew has worked with cities and nations as an ambassador, representing the digital art and design sector. This includes the Singapore Government, for whom he was artistic director of the flagship digital culture programme of the 50th anniversary of the founding of Singapore, and Manchester, where Drew has been a key figure driving its digital renaissance over two decades. So there will be a lot of excitement and anticipation about what he will now accomplish in Edinburgh and beyond.”
As an artist, Drew has created celebrated works of art, such as Loca: Set To Discoverable, which was awarded an Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica. Drew has led numerous technology and social innovation projects. These include one of Europe's first Open Data projects, which lead to the creation of DataGM, the Greater Manchester Datastore. More recently he has led the hugely ambitious GROW Observatory, mobilising a Europe wide community around monitoring soil condition and a changing climate.