Two renowned Canadians, author Margaret Atwood and retired astronaut Chris Hatfield, had a tough crowd of TV industry executives at the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers enthralled with their compelling presentations which took place during the four-day event of workshops, networking sessions and panels to highlight emerging content trends and industry issues.
A Vision of the Future
After attending “Sparks of Inspiration”, a series where groundbreakers share the sources of their creativity and speculate on what the future will bring, Kensington’s President Robert Lang was thoroughly impressed.
Margaret Atwood talked with Stephen Hunter, VP of Production and Development from National Geographic Channels International about her trilogy of speculative fiction, and in particular her most recently released “MADDADDAM.” She prefers the term speculative fiction over science fiction, as she bases her stories on science that is actually currently in the works and then imagines where that will take us to in the not-too-distant future. She says that much of what she imagined in the first novel of her dystopian trilogy, “ORYX AND CRAKE” has become a reality.
And who better to talk about the future than Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station? Having spent over 160 days in space, and building a large following on social media while on his latest mission in 2013, Hadfield has captivated millions all over the world.
Chris Hadfield said that travelling in space and looking down on the earth taught him patience. After wowing the crowd with some of his images and observations of time in space, he closed with a performance of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” which he had recorded from abroad the International Space Station.
“Hadfield is smart, fearless, creative, curious about the world and good at simplifying complex ideas. He keeps it real and the media love him. He really has Prime Minister potential, if he’d want it,” said Robert Lang.
Attendees at the 21st annual Congress included international broadcasters, science documentarians, digital content managers and industry commentators from Discovery and Exploration Production, Inc., CBC/Radio Canada, Explora, The Nature Of Things, PBS, NOVA, PBS International, ARTE, ABC, BBC, CBC, Channel 4, National Geographic, NDR, NHK, WGBH, and ZDF.
Visit the WCSFP website to find out more.