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    discover our 2018 topics

    Photo: Unsplash/Jordan Sanchez

five themes focused on the future

During the upcoming me Convention, global leaders from a variety of different disciplines will reveal the latest developments in New Society, New Leadership, New Economies, New Creativity, and New Bionomics.

new society

We’re living in a thrilling moment of great and rapid change. Technology bends our world through infinite lenses, evolving notions about how we relate to ourselves and each other, what it means to live well, and the very definition of happiness. At the same time, we’re seeing a shift in consciousness with social progress taking center stage, shining light on a wealth of fresh cultural perspectives. All the while, we must re-negotiate our values and navigate the darker side of our tech-fuelled present, with debates about privacy, surveillance, and censorship.

Photo: Unsplash/Lurm

new leadership

Traditional leadership models are becoming obsolete. Employees actively create, organize, and lead while leaders – to a greater extent – involve their teams in decision-making and operations processes. The resulting increase in morale and mutual trust leads to more productivity, efficiency, flexibility and drive within companies. All this takes place within the wider framework of a modified physical workplace, emerging ethical considerations, the rise of automation, and a heightened awareness of the immediate and longer-term benefits of quality offline time.

Photo: Unsplash/Andrea Reiman

new creativity

Manufacturing and distribution used to be the biggest barriers to creation, but new technologies enable artists, designers, citizens, and entrepreneurs to create on demand, while boundaries between disciplines are fading. New societies require new visions and solutions, and it’s the artists who will show us the way, altering perspectives and demonstrating what’s possible through music, film, art, and countless other modes of creative expression. Today the arts are more vibrant – and critical – than ever before.

Photo: Unsplash/Catrin Johnson

new economies

Along with fresh visions and inspired leadership, new societies require a novel approach to economies, from cultural exchange to the realm of finance. Blockchain has already expanded into a multitude of applications that bring transparency and democracy to diverse fields and industries. Meanwhile, cryptocurrencies continue to raise hype and controversy in almost equal measure, with no sign of the conversation slowing down. As more of the world benefits from internet access, forces of globalization gather pace, bringing a wealth of opportunities – and just as many challenges. How can we pursue growth and preserve local cultures, doing our best to ensure a more prosperous and equitable world?

Photo: Unsplash/Samara Doole

new bionomics

Bionomics is the study of an organism in relation to its environment. Over time, we have fundamentally reshaped our environment to suit our needs and to propel economic growth, but not without significant cost. As we begin to acknowledge that nature holds the solutions to so many diverse challenges, our focus is shifting away from control towards conservation, integration, and inspiration. Not only can we take lessons from the designs and behavior of nature, we can also use these insights to move beyond the goal of sustainability to resilience and regeneration. From biomimicry and biohacking to protecting environments and feeding a growing planet, the future is about learning to work together – with each other and our ecosystem.

Photo: Unsplash/Arushee Agrawal

Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of either Mercedes-Benz and/or SXSW.