Innovative event at Library of Birmingham brings back history’s greats

If you’ve ever wondered what Matthew Boulton, the Cadburys and others would make of modern society, here’s the chance to find out.

An ambitious project will, for one day only, resurrect the legendary figures of the industrial age, including War of the Worlds writer H.G. Wells, Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, and Birmingham’s celebrated industrialists including Matthew Boulton and other members of the Lunar Society.


The world premiere of xHumed: How the Industrial Age Forged our Digital Future, at the Studio Theatre, Library of Birmingham, Tuesday 5th November, will use digital and social media, artistic and theatrical means to allow influential minds from the past to speak to a live audience.  History’s finest will apply their wisdom to a host of issues that impact on 21st Century life, including identity in the digital age, social inclusion, philanthropy and everlasting life in the digital age.

The ‘xHumed’ speakers, which also include Birmingham social reformer Geraldine Cadbury and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, will be accompanied by genuinely alive contributors including Jon Bounds, the Tinder Foundation CEO Helen Milner and the University of Bath’s Dr John Troyer.

The event is the brainchild of Jason and Samara Jones-Hall, who have combined their experiences of the digital, creative, financial and legal industries to create the concept underpinning xHumed.

Jason Jones-Hall, Digital Director of xHumed, said, “We anticipate talks that are as much about entertainment as they are informative – that’s to be expected when you’re bringing alive people who lived centuries ago into a space as exhilaratingly contemporary as the Library of Birmingham. This is the perfect venue for our world premiere prior to launching xHumed internationally at our panel session at SXSW Interactive next year.

“We’ll be using digital projection, mechanical sculpture, animation, 3D printing – everything to ensure our audience feels they’re graced by the presence of these dead good thinkers.

“And to anyone thinking they’d heard all they ever needed to hear about identity ownership in a world of Facebook? Wait until they hear the views of someone who’s been dead for almost 250 years!”

xHumed: How The Industrial Age Forged Our Digital Future begins at 2pm and 7pm on 5th November. For further details and to book tickets, go to